The Pacific Business News in Honolulu picked up on my story about the Turabo Cafe roasting plant development contract that was announced earlier this week. PBN is one of 60 regional publications from the American City Business Journals company.

Waimea company helps perk up Romanian coffee
Pacific Business News (Honolulu) – by Chad Blair Pacific Business News

Waimea-based Cafemakers is working with a European company to build Romania’s first specialty-coffee roasting business.

Turabo Cafe has more than 50 standalone and shared retail locations.

Cafemakers was founded by managing director Andrew Hetzel in 2001 and relocated from Los Angeles to the Big Island in 2005.

Hetzel and his small staff provide consulting services on coffee retailing, business management, marketing, brand creation, retail operations, training, tasting, and quality assessment and control.

“Interestingly, in this economic recession, specialty coffee businesses are actually expanding,” Hetzel told PBN.

Turabo Cafe’s roasting facility will be about 125 miles outside of Bucharest and is expected to be operational later this year. A Turabo Espresso Academy training center will launch in early 2010.

“The time has come for cafes in Romania to move beyond the prepackaged coffee currently imported from other countries,” Tudor Dragomir Niculescu, Turabo’s general manager, said in a statement.

Hetzel declined to disclose financial details of Cafemakers’ contract, but said it is supported by a $1.3 million grant from the European Union to Turabo.

Cafemakers has worked with Kona coffee growers, but most of its clients are outside the United States, including in India, Jamaica and the United Kingdom.

Hetzel, born in Canada and raised in the Detroit area, was recognized as a PBN Forty Under 40 winner in 2007.

He is on the training advisory committee for the Specialty Coffee Association of America, and licensed as a quality coffee grader by the Coffee Quality Institute of Long Beach, Calif.

Cafemakers’ motto is “Good coffee brings good business.”