Hawaii Island MidWeek: The Kuleana Difference

Hawaii Island MidWeek: The Kuleana Difference

October 09, 2019

With its distribution reach growing each day, Kuleana Rum Works is proving that world-class rum can come from a Big Island distillery.

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Thinking About Sustainable Business and Tourism on Hawaii
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“Hawaii is a unique example of what life could be like when you have all the resources you need and you don’t ruin them all,” says Steve Jefferson, founder and CEO of Kuleana Rum Works. “Coal, oil, and minerals used to be the required resources for a modern economy to thrive, but now we are realizing that sunshine, wind, fresh water, and fresh air are the most important resources—not only on a human level, but on an industrial level as well. Hawaii has all of those in abundance, and we have a multimillennial culture in place that protects those resources, fiercely.”

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Got Rum? Magazine
Got Rum? Magazine

August 13, 2019

Q: What inspired you to build a rum distillery and why in Hawaiʻi?

I was born and raised in Hawaiʻi and have a deep connection to our home. The story of Kuleana Rum began 12 years ago when my wife, Jackie, and I were sailing around the Caribbean with our then 1- and 3-year-old children. We made it to the French islands and were pretty stoked to be back in civilization. Martinique, in many ways, is a LOT like Hawaii. It’s a volcanic island on the same latitude as the Big Island, managed by a first-world country, but really an island nation.

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