Many small local businesses suffered during the pandemic because the tourism industry shut down. HI Now host Kainoa Carlson checks out Big Island Coffee to see how they got through the pandemic by switching to e-commerce.
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For Big Island Coffee, the pandemic lockdown was a time of uncertainty because most of their revenue came from retail partners, coffee shops, restaurants, hotels, and resorts. “When the pandemic happened, our B2B retail partners saw a big decrease because tourism wasn’t coming to the island,” says Keleigh Stewart, Co-owner of Big Island Coffee. It made her and Co-owner Brandon Von Damitz realize how dependent Hawaii’s economy was on tourism. Luckily, the company was able to pivot the business to online sales, which became a huge success.
“We grew about 400%, our online sales, once the pandemic hit. Since then, it’s just continued to get stronger and stronger,” says Brandon. Both he and Keleigh …