On October 17, 2020, Kona Mask will open the first N95 mask factory in Hawaii.
The company hopes to produce one million masks every three weeks on the west coast of the Big Island.
Kona Mask will manufacture N95 and flat-pleated masks on a pair of automated machines.
CEO Nicolas Garcia started the business when the pandemic hit and he struggled to find a mask for his fiancé, Amy Colombo, who is a flight attendant.
To make it happen, Garcia sold his home and cashed in his retirement, so Hawaiians, and his fiancé, had a local supply chain.
Garcia is no stranger to manufacturing.
While he retired as a United Airlines pilot after 46 years, he also ran a successful airline soap factory during the 1980s AIDS Crisis.
Garcia plans to staff the factory with local workers who have manufacturing experience.