Former Kona Brewing President Mattson Davis has launched his own consulting firm, Ulu Development, a name that pays homage to the breadfruit plant that grows abundantly on the Hawaiian Islands.
With a focus on assisting startup food and beverage companies, the firm’s goal is to coach business owners in the areas of entrepreneurship, brand development, go-to-market strategies, creative partnerships and even long-term succession planning, Davis said.
“If you take care of a good tree, it can provide for many, many people,” Davis told Brewbound. “We want to help feed their minds, their souls and their creativity, which in turn will help feed the economy.”
Based in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, the company’s initial client roster includes Craft Brew Alliance (CBA), which owns the Kona Brewing brand, Canadian beer importer TruCraft Beverages and San Juan Island Brewing Co., among other food and beverage entities.
In addition to advising consumer goods companies, Ulu Development is also planning a new restaurant concept, Mobowl, which will be located at six-acre mixed use “Brewery Block” development in Kailua-Kona.
Davis is heavily involved in the development of that project as well, through his Manini Holdings venture, which he jointly formed in 2004 alongside Kona Brewing founder Cameron Healy.
Manini Holdings is also acting as the master lease holder for the brewery block site and financing its development, Davis said. The Queen Lili’uokalani Trust owns the real estate and, 250 yards away, on a property also owned by the Lili’uokalani Trust, Kona Brewing Company is planning to build its new 100,000-barrel production facility.
Both the brewery block — which will include restaurants, retail and craft manufacturing — and the Kona brewery are slated to open around the same time in 2018, Davis said.
Still a CBA shareholder, Davis, who spent 20 years with Kona Brewing as its president and director of restaurant and retail operations, will also continue to assist the company and serve as a government and community liaison in Hawaii, he said.