The Puna Noni Connection Story
Puna Noni, or NoniConnection is a family business, from the ground up. My wife Terry and I began this business in 1999, when I was still a Honolulu firefighter. We invested all of our time and money, slaved long hours together side-by-side, and gradually built up a loyal clientele of customers, among local stores and markets, as well as on the Internet. As our children grew up, they began taking more and more part in the business. Today, our oldest son Nimai is the CEO/CFO and our youngest daughter, Nakula, is General Operations Manager. Both our daughters were instrumental in expanding NoniConnection into the body care market. We now produce an entire line of Puna Noni Body Care products. Caring for the earth, or aina, is a Hawaiian tradition. So all our products are certified safe for the environment. Our premium quality Puna Noni brand products are sold throughout the state of Hawaii. And we ship our products all over the world.
Puna is the name of the district on the Big Island of Hawaii where our noni is grown.
It is also the name we called our Grandmother
Puna Goo Titcomb: My grandmother was a Chinese-Hawaiian lady who grew up during the last days of the Hawaiian monarchy. Puna remembers watching the King and Queen riding their horses down Beretania Street as a little girl. Puna spoke fluent Hawaiian, but we only mostly heard her speak the language when she was angry. Today, hardly anyone speaks Hawaiian, though it is a beautifully melodious language. I once heard her scold, in fluent Hawaiian, the caretaker at an old cemetery who tried to chase us off the property. Puna was showing me some of the ancient gravesites of her forefathers. Puna is the one who showed me how to make pure Hawaiian Puna Noni juice. She used to make the juice by hand, from fruit she picked in the neighborhood. She would wash the fruit, and ferment it in large 1-gallon glass Mayonaise jars that she left out in the sun. When the noni fruit was fermenting it looked disgusting. She used to make us drink it whenever we looked like we were getting sick. Needless to say, we didn't miss much school growing up, because going to school sick was the better option than drinking that stuff. As I grew older, though, I learned the value of drinking this life-giving elixir. It has helped my wife with her headaches and digestive problems. And it has helped me control my high blood pressure. Carrying on Puna's tradition, when our children were growing up, I would give them Noni juice whenever it looked like they were getting sick. Naturally, they complained about the taste, so I diluted it with a little pineapple juice, and felt Puna frown at me as I did it. Today, Nakula gives Noni juice to my grandson, whenever he looks like he might be getting sick. But Samba is a brave ninja warrior, and drinks it straight. The Titcomb blood flows strong through his veins.
The Puna Noni Family Business
Jim : The founder of NoniConnection now enjoys seeing his children take over the day-to-day operation of the business. "I know where everything is, and how everything works, so my kids can't fire me," jokes Jim
Terry : Wife, mother, and spiritual guide of NoniConnection. Also chief Noni juice taster. "I enjoy taking care of the grandkids, so my children can work at the business my husband and I built."Compassionate and caring, Terry is still asked for by customers who remember when she used to answer the phone and talk to people about the health benefits of Noni juice.
Nimai : Nimai is the oldest son and CEO/CFO of the family business. With a keen head for business and finances, Nimai has managed to keep us afloat, and even to expand the business, in a time when the rest of the economy is struggling.
Nakula : The youngest of our four children, Nakula is the powerhouse of NoniConnection, working 10 to 12 hour days. Kula does it all--from driving the forklift and working the production line, to schmoozing with buyers and closing deals with companies like Whole Foods and Kmart.
Subi : The newest addition to our company is Subi, our hanai (adoptive) daughter. Subi and Nakula grew up on the North Shore. They delivered newspapers, learned to surf and practiced martial arts together. Today, they work together as a team to promote and market our Puna Noni products. Subi is the bright, friendly, public face of Puna Noni Connection.