Coffee House Offers Local, Organic Menu

Before opening Island Brew Coffeehouse, Charles and Amy Asselbaye and Pei-yu and Rafael Baez were strangers, but through a mutual friend – who knew all four wanted to open a coffee house – they bid together on the purchase of the former Common Grounds Café.

“We all liked the water-front location and thought it had a lot of potential,” Charles Asselbaye explained. “It’s a place where you can come and feel at home and where service is always with a smile.”

It uses organic milk for all espresso drinks and offers Hawaii-grown coffees, roasted by Asselbaye, whenever possible. The coffee haven, which held its grand opening in May at Hawaii Kai Shopping Center, also stocks local products from Lox of Bagels, butter from Naked Cow Dairy and organic dairy products from the nearby Kale’s Health Food Market.

“We have the best-tasting espresso on the island,” added Asselbaye, “which is served in either a biodegradable cup for onthe-go or a porcelain cup to be enjoyed waterfront.”

Island Brew Coffeehouse also has fresh-baked pastries (including paleo and gluten-free items) prepared by pastry chef Monica Chapman, and acai bowls, blended beverages and sandwiches.

The owners, meanwhile, donate coffee beans to locals schools for fundraising purposes and are partnering with Malama Maunalua on some projects.

The coffeehouse is open from 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. week-days and from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends. For more information, call 394-8770.