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Kava Culture Announcing the Passing of Mike Munsell, Founder and CEO of Kalm with Kava

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Ozia - KavaKava Candy
Kava Vendor
This news is so very sad, Mike was a good friend of mine, I helped gave him a lot of kava cuttings to start here in Hawaii, he was going to build a house over here too. This is devastating for the kava community.
Mike you will be missed greatly. I will hold up my shell to you tonight. Aloha nui loa my friend.

Sorry Chris ~ I know we were looking forward to another brother on the islands


New Zealand
Kava Vendor
I was truly shocked and deeply saddened to hear this news.

Mike was always so full of passion for kava and life in general. Just like most of you, I "met" Mike via the kavaforums. I always appreciated and enjoyed his insights and contributions to numerous kava debates. I also got to know him better outside of the kavaforums, through our small joint research/production project in New Zealand (one of the 142232321 projects Mike was involved with, honestly, I have no idea where he was findign the time and energy to run all those undertakings). I always appreciated his amazing kindness, generosity, integrity and unstoppable desire to make kava (not just his kava, but kava in general) mainstream across the globe. We've all lost a fantastic person, but the kava industry specifically has lost one of its most important ambassadors and advocates. Thousands of people only discovered and fell in love with traditional kava thanks to Mike. He will be missed.


Position 5 Hard Support
I sadly didn't know Mike and I'm frankly unwieldy with words, but I'm grateful I got to read and witness the many testimonies of Mike's positive impact on the kava community at large and with other key people who have a kava passion. I would "pour one out" for Mike but the bottled green kava is too good to pour even an ounce out. He would no doubt prefer if I drank it, so that is the plan. Thoughts and prayers to Mike's family that he left behind.


Kava Lover
This is so sad to hear. The Kava community will miss him. A good man with a vision taken way too soon. Mike's family will be in my thoughts and I will dedicate a shell of boronguru to him. I think I saw him say it was one of his favorites somewhere.


Magnum's 'awa drinking bird
I just now found this thread, and I am shocked and very sad. Rest in peace, Mike. Back in 2014 when I registered to this forum, Mike was the one who patiently answered my questions. From his forum posts and videos I remember him as a kind, noble (no pun intended), passionate lover of his work. Everything he did left a lasting impression, not only on our kava community as a whole, but on everyone of us. The energy he put into realizing his vision will resonate forever.
My thoughts and prayers will be with Mike's family and friends in these difficult times.

I'll drink a shell today to honor the legacy of Mike Munsell. ::happyshell::
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Kojo Douglas

The Kavasseur
This is another example of Mike's commitment to the community he loved so much. Thank you for having done this @TheKavaFlow.

Fantastic video, just watched the whole thing. Kalm with Kava is more than a business - it is a mission. His dedication to community development really sings through.

Also, probably one of the few actors in the Kava world who didn't lose their cool during the Tudei wars. Mike had a very "take it or leave it, but don't mix it in" attitude. I wish I would have followed his example more during those turbulent times.

Kojo Douglas

The Kavasseur
From the 2016 Kava Awards:


When putting together this list, I wanted to be as unbiased as possible and keep the categories to a minimum. In a year, what qualities can we identify among vendors and their Kava? I thought it would be important to look for an outstanding individual who embodies good business ethics and sells high quality Kavas – the Vendor of the Year. Who was the best new arrival on the Kava scene over the past 12 months – the Best New Vendor. Who continued to push Kava forward with new ideas and technologies – the Most Innovative. Which small Kava vendor brought the local flavors of the South Pacific to us so successfully that you could almost taste the soil of their Kava gardens in each shell of Kava – the Best Artisanal Vendor. Which vendor keeps their fans on the edge of their seats waiting for fresh, tasty new Kavas and maintains their fan base – the Sheller’s Choice. And, of course, the Kava of the Year category speaks for itself. There are so many great vendors out there now, but I thought these were really the ones who stood out in 2016.

With no further ado, I’d like to raise some shells and distribute awards to various players in the Kava world.

Vendor of the Year – Kalm with Kava

I want to raise a special shell to 2016’s “Vendor of the Year.” Kalm with Kava exemplifies excellent business ethics and community-based economic development through sustainable agriculture. What truly impresses me about Kalm with Kava is their emphasis on the farmers and communities who grow Kava in the Pacific Islands. Their focus on creating a better life for Kava-producing communities by going to their homes, walking with them through their farms, and sourcing the freshest, most cared-for, and best value Kava on the market is what earns them the title of “Vendor of the Year.” They are doing what I believe every responsible company should do in a market that works with natural resources and agricultural products. Namely, they bypass the middleman distributors and buy directly from farmers. Their approach might be more difficult and expensive, but it means that when you purchase a bag of their Kava your money is going directly to the households who produced it. Essentially, it means that when you drink a shell of Vula Waka you are not only benefitting yourself, but you are benefitting a household in Fiji. What more could you ask for?

Excellent work, Mike Munsell and everyone at Kalm with Kava!

Go Krunk Yourself

Kava Enthusiast
I spoke with Mike extensively about getting into the Kava business. His love and passion for Kava among the money involved was highly obvious. He made it clear many times he had done well for himself outside of Kava and although it had ballooned into the goliath it became it was never really about the money. He had an interest expressed in selling Kalm with Kava but maintaining a heavy interest in pursing the elevation and variety of Kava. If anything, to focus more on the aspects of the Kava world he loved more. I did not know him well. We had fairly in depth conversations but compared to the relationships you all had with him it was mere in comparison. I always looked up to him and considered him a friend and looked forward to meeting him one day. I also received samples worth quite a bit and KWK itself has always treated me immensley well.

I will never forget when the borongoru changed due to the stump ratio a while back and a few of us noted diminished returns and he was enjoying it himself but changed it up for us right away. He just had that capability of being very down to the earth, keeping KWK to be a strong mainstay of his community by listening to what we had to say. I will have the special edition Kava coin that the US mint printed that came for free with his special variety. He always did these sorts of things that probably weren't the most financially advantageous Prices moved up very slowly and he refused to put up inferior products. He was a great man, honestly, but losing him will have a real dent on our super small Kava community and I am gutted to see his life and commitment to Kava cut so short.

I hope KWK will stay alive I have went through a living hell getting Kava from other vendor over in Thailand and am about to shell out as we speak over 100$+ in fees and bureaucracy. Mike and his team shipped it in such a way that I never had a problem. They just ran a good business period.

I'm sure if he could have anything to say to us in this dark time it would be to have a shell on him. As I will tonight.


Kava Enthusiast
Very sad news. My heart goes out to his family. I would like to send my condolences to his family and those close to him.

KWK was where it all started for me. I bought my first batch of Kava from Mike and I’ve continued to be a frequent buyer to this day. KWK has always been a reliable vendor and I’ve only ever received quality products. KWK was the vendor that propelled me into the kava world. Here in Canada, for me, it was tough in the beginning to navigate the kava world, but I placed my trust in KWK because Mike seemed very passionate and kind. Wow, so very sad.

Tonight’s shell goes out to Mike in his Honour. RIP
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Terrance J Goins JR

I can only say nice things about kwk i did not know Mike Munsell owned the company till i read this post. It is sad to hear about his passing. After watching some of his videos i saw how passionate he really was. I did not start with kwk i started with ghk Hawaiian awa but i was quickly changed to kwk because of their amazing micronized kava they offer melo melo is my favorite it has helped me quit alcohol and so much more.

Blue Roads

Kava Enthusiast
RIP Mike. Thank you for all you did.

I had only bought KWK a few times, and the last time was an order with the fresh green kava. The shipping ended up pretty high because of the weight, and I was ok paying it for that reason. I did ask about it to confirm, and he refunded me the difference from his standard shipping rates right away without my expecting it or asking for it. I definitely appreciated his level of service. This is a tragic loss.
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