Gourmet Coffee In Hanapepe

In addition to coffee, Little Fish offers smoothies, juices, breakfast and lunch. Robin Jumper photos

Camille Page
Owner, Little Fish Coffee

How did you get started in this business and how long has it been going? We opened for business on June 30, 2011, for two reasons. One, I’ve worked nights in restaurants my whole life, and now that both my kids are in school I wanted to be home with them in the evenings. Second, there just wasn’t anywhere to get a good cup of coffee in town.

Where are you from originally and what role does that play in your business? I grew up all over California, and moved to Hawaii shortly after high school. For most of my childhood, we didn’t have a TV, so we spent a lot of time on various art projects and listening to my parents’ record collection. I feel like Little Fish sort of reflects that theme. The walls feature local artists and rock posters, there’s a turntable with a small selection of vinyl, and customers are even encouraged to write or draw on our bathroom walls.

What is your specialty and who can benefit from it? Caffeine! Actually, besides really great coffee, we offer smoothies and fresh, local and organic juices. We also specialize in healthier breakfast and lunch options. You can still get a mac-nut sticky bun or a BLT, but we also have vegan options like my homemade hummus.

For those who may not understand what you do: Little Fish Coffee is a mom-and-pop (literally) coffee shop in Old Hanapepe town. All our coffees are fair trade and organic. We open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 6:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Fridays, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. We offer breakfast and lunch, baked goods, espresso drinks, smoothies and fresh juice.

What sets your business apart? Customer service. It’s just me, my husband Ethan, my mom and two close friends running the show. I have a ton of regulars and I like to think we know all of them by name now.

Why do you do what you do? I like coffee and I like people. As a bartender for 15 years, I realized that the world is full of really interesting people. Maybe not always in a good way, but interesting nonetheless. I could write a book.

What motivates you to get up and go to work every day? I don’t have any coffee at home.

Do you have a business motto or philosophy? “I am the gatekeeper of my own destiny, and I will have my glory day in the hot sun.” Actually, that’s Nacho Libre! But it’s true – in business and life, we create our own lives, destinies, whatever. If you don’t like what you’re doing, change it! Life’s about taking chances.

What is the most challenging aspect of your business? Trying to keep things small and local while still managing to turn a profit.

What is your business plan for the future? To stay and grow in Hanapepe. It’s such a great little town with so much potential.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing? I like what my son said the other day. He’s 5, and he told me he wanted to grow up and be a robber. I explained to him why this wasn’t the best idea, and he told me he would just steal from all the rich people and give money to the poor, just not all of it. So maybe a robber, but more likely a bartender.

Where can people learn more? Facebook and Yelp, littlefishcoffee@hotmail.com and 335-5000.