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Hawaiian-Owned Maui Businesses

Kolonahe Creations is Hawaiian-owned.

The year 2020 has been a year of uncertainty, as the COVID-19 pandemic affects everyone differently. Thus far, Maui residents have experienced strict island quarantine measures. This stopped the virus’s spread but created financial ruin for many Maui businesses. It’s been a bittersweet dichotomy between protecting the most vulnerable in our population and finite health care resources and still engaging Maui’s tourism-based economy.

Maui residents are faced with a time to reflect on respectful tourism. Unemployment is amongst the highest in the country, but who could have dreamt land and surrounding waters would see this time of rest? Though tourism drives much of Maui’s economy, deliberation has centered around how to move forward with sustainable tourism in the future. Much remains uncertain because what the island had supported before was, by and large, not sustainable.

Descendants of ancient Hawaiians live and breathe respect for their island home. Their example teaches us that sharing responsibility (Kuleana) for a healthy community, land, and water allows it to thrive. So, as Maui slowly starts to emerge from isolating at home and reopen to travel, how can we, as residents and visitors alike, honor and support this extraordinary island? By supporting Hawaiian culture, history, arts, organizations, and businesses, you are honoring the heart of what makes this island a special home. When you visit Maui and spend locally, you help to ensure prosperity for the future.

Support Hawaiian-Owned

Residents and visitors can support Hawaiian-owned Maui businesses and organizations to uplift Hawaiian heritage and bolster the local economy. So I hope this resource reaches a diverse audience. Do you already know and support many of the businesses on this list? Or will you be visiting Maui in the future and want to learn more about the culture, history, and how to support local businesses?

This directory highlights Hawaiian-owned and operated businesses and Maui-born entrepreneurs, and people who exclusively promote Hawaiian culture through multi-generational history and community activism. The list is ever-evolving, so new submissions are helpful, and corrections are welcomed. While extensive research went into each listing, and I tried to be respectful of Hawaiian language punctuation, mistakes were likely made in this regard. I thoroughly enjoyed compiling this information, and in the process, learned so much about our community. Let’s uplift Maui together by supporting local and getting involved.

Maui Activities

Aloha Ocean Adventures is Hawaiian-owned.Aloha Ocean Adventures

Kalama Park, Kihei, (808) 374-2828, Website, Instagram

Surfing and the ocean are intrinsic to Hawaiian culture and way of life. Many visitors to Maui seek surf lessons to experience this peaceful and rewarding sport. There is no shortage of surf schools dotting the Maui coastline. However, this particular company offers their knowledge of Hawaiian history and culture as a part of their surfing experiences. Hawaiian-owned and operated, the owners (Keoki and Ikaika) are accomplished surfers and passionate about sharing their knowledge and expertise with every customer. Join this company to support a local business, learn a new surfing skill, and learn about Hawaiian culture all in one go!

 

Aloha Missions is Hawaiian-owned.Aloha Missions

Website, Instagram

There is no shortage of activities available to experience Maui’s natural beauty. But what if you are looking to learn from an authentic cultural experience while exploring the island? That’s where Aloha Missions comes in. Maui raised owners Tamika and Lesley create customized missions that inspire their guests to love Maui through learning about Hawaiian cultural practices. Learn the art of lei making while visiting the Maui Native Nursery in search of flowers. Or, visit a taro patch and learn the planting and harvesting taro methods to make the traditional Hawaiian staple, poi.

They are also deeply involved with uplifting the local community through voting campaigns and community outreach. Supporting local is layered, and voting with your dollars will touch many of those layers when exploring and learning about Maui with Aloha Missions.

Maui Restaurants and Bars

Poi by the Pound is Hawaiian-owned.Poi by the Pound

430 Kele Street, Kahului, (808) 283-9381, Website, Instagram

Poi is a wonderfully traditional Hawaiian dish made from fermented taro root that gets baked and pounded into a paste. Poi by the Pound is the spot for authentic Hawaiian food. Owners C.J. Hookano and his daughter started this business by selling poi door-to-door. Eventually, they expanded to catering Maui events and opened a small restaurant in Kahului. So, if you want terrific Hawaiian food for your wedding or special occasion, or simply to experience an authentic, made-from-scratch meal, then Poi by the Pound is the perfect local business to support.

All Kaina Grindz is Hawaiian-owned.All Kaina Grindz

Kulamalu Town Center (near Long’s in Pukalani), (808) 385-6501, Facebook, Instagram

Three generations come together to share their love of cooking with the Maui community. Located upcountry, in the Kulamalu Town Center, All Kaina Grindz serves a plethora of fresh dishes, including Kim Chee Fried Rice, Loco Moco, Kalbi Short Ribs, Pork Belly Congee, and loads more creative recipes and sides. I especially loved a social media post from one of the owners about what they do: Dreams do come true! The sky is the limit; just do it. I get to do what I love with my family. We work hard, love, cook, feed until hearts are content, and we ain’t done yet—Mahalo to my family to have my back and make my dream a reality. The grind is real; it’s hard and endless, and also very rewarding. Stay focus, keep your heart open at all times, and over everything stay blessed.” When you find yourself in upcountry Maui, support local and fill your belly with All Kaina Grindz.

Maui Goods and Services

KP Construction is a Hawaiian-Owned Maui business.K.P. Construction and Excavation

[email protected], Facebook, Instagram

Straight out of high school, owner Keliʻi Pawai started working for a local construction company and learned the trade. Fifteen years later, still dedicated to the same company, his boss retired and handed over the business to him. He has maintained a successful business focusing on big and small projects all over Maui, such as rock walls, cess-pool conversions, landscaping, and irrigation. Years of experience in the industry make K.P. Construction and Excavation a multi-talented resource for your project needs. Keep your money in the Maui economy and support this Hawaiian-owned business.

Kamalani Window Tinting is Hawaiian-owned.Kamalani Window Tinting

1980 Main Street, Wailuku, (808) 727-2585, [email protected], Website, Facebook

Daniel Kamalani was born on Oahu but moved to Maui. In 1991, he began his new window tinting business. So, whether you are looking to complete an automotive, residential, or commercial window tinting project, Kamalani Window Tinting has you covered. Support this Hawaiian-owned business with the added benefit of providing U.V. protection for you, your loved ones, and your home!

 

Opihi Maui is Hawaiian-owned making handmade goods.ʻOpihi Maui

44 Pea Place, Kula, [email protected], Website, Facebook, Instagram

In Kula, ʻOpihi Maui is a small local sign-making business that focuses on spreading Hawaiian culture, values, and language. Their custom made signs draw inspiration from their ancestors (kūpuna) and the land (ʻaina).

You will find their unique designs are the perfect addition to any island residence while providing an artful way to bring the aloha spirit into every mainland home.

 

 

Lola and Elia is Hawaiian-owned.Lola and Elia Island-Inspired Baby and Toddler Clothing

Etsy, Facebook, Instagram

Jess is the owner of Lola & Elia. She designs handmade children’s (Keiki) clothing inspired by family (ohana), and each item gets pressed at her home studio. The company name comes from her two daughters, while the drive behind her clothing designs is not only to perpetuate the Hawaiian language but normalize it. I love that! You can find her clothing on Etsy.

 

Tops RoofingTops Roofing Maui is Hawaiian-owned.

1762 Lower Main Street, Wailuku, (808) 244-9116, Website

Tops Roofing provides commercial roofing, residential re-roofing, repair, and new construction services. They have served the Maui community since 1972.

Plus, they also offer inspections!

 

The Foam Co is Hawaiian-owned.The Foam Company Bodyboard Shop

Queen Ka’ahumanu Center (across from Koho’s), (808) 873-7833, Website, Instagram

This locally owned bodyboard shop opened in 2003. The Foam Company seeks to propel the sport of bodyboarding by providing enthusiasts with quality boards, fins, and apparel.

Visitors, instead of picking up a generic plastic-wrapped Costco bodyboard during your next Maui visit, consider supporting this Hawaiian-owned business. You will have more fun in the waves while choosing to put your money into the local economy.

To all of the residents who love to bodyboard, you know the Foam Company has you covered.

 

Hoomana Spa Maui is Hawaiian-owned.Hoʻomana Spa Maui

(808) 573-8256, [email protected], Website, Instagram

Hoʻomana Spa celebrates a long lineage of traditional Hawaiian healing through their style of Lomi Lomi massage and other unique healing practices. This tranquil spa is nestled in Makawao and owned by native Hawaiian Jeana Iwalani Naluai and her husband. The property features four treatment rooms, a bathhouse, native botanical gardens, and two guesthouses to rent for Lomi Lomi massage training. Maui residents are blessed to have this outlet for relaxation and self-care. On an island where hotel spas are plentiful and convenient, visitors should consider escaping to a smaller, more private experience while supporting Hawaiian-owned business and traditional Hawaiian practices congruently.

 

Joslynn Ikeda Photography is Hawaiian-owned.Joslynn Ikeda Photography

(808) 856-5648, Instagram

Joslynn grew up in Kanaio, Maui. Photography is her art, and she has a unique talent for capturing love, happiness, and complicated emotions in photographs. Her passion for capturing special moments is what makes her images so compelling.

Her pricing packages are clear and straightforward, and she is offering discounted rates for July and August 2020 during this severe pandemic. Support these local businesses by hiring her for your next event or family photo session. You can check out her work online via Instagram.

Maui Grown is Hawaiian-owned in Lahaina.Maui Grown 808

Lahaina, (808) 633-3247, [email protected], Website

Maui Grown 808 is a certified nursery specializing in tropical plants for direct export throughout the United States. They opened in Lahaina, Maui, in 2013. Partners Mario Siatris (master gardener and weaver) and Uʻi Kahue (food and beverage, and hospitality expert) came together as cultural practitioners to promote native plants’ usage. Their woven products, such as coconut pāpale hats and vases, are impressive!

Kolonahe Creations is Hawaiian-owned.Kolonahe Creations

Makawao, (808) 870-7831, Website, Instagram

This Hawaiian-owned and operated floral company provides stunning decorative pieces for any occasion; weddings, events, flower arrangements, arches, sympathy pieces, specialty leis, authentic lei poʻo (head lei), you name it! They use the Haku (braided) and Wili (twist) lei making method for their lei poʻo. There are so many occasions that can benefit from beautiful floral designs from Kolonahe Creations. They can even ship inter-island. Are you getting married on Maui? Encourage your planner to support the local community with your wedding budget. Residents have a resource for any event that allows them to keep their funds on Maui as well. I was stunned by the beauty of Krystale’s creations when checking out her Instagram page. I wish I had found her before my wedding!

 

Kokua Diaper is Hawaiian-owned.Kōkua Diaper

(808) 573-1236, Website, Instagram

Kōkua Diaper is the only Native Hawaiian and ʻohana-owned cloth diaper delivery and laundry service. They offer a weekly supply of organic cotton diapers delivered directly to you. According to their website, in one year, 7.7 million disposable diapers end up in Maui landfills. With finite land, we all must take steps to reduce single-use waste. Supporting this business is one of the many ways families can do that. They are a small business, currently servicing the areas of Haʻikū, Makawao, Paʻia, Pukalani, Kula, and Central Maui. Contact them directly if you live in South Maui or on the Westside.

 

 

Haleakala Supah Shots is Hawaiian-owned.Haleakalā Supah Shots

Facebook, Instagram

Tina Kekoʻolani is the owner of Haleakala Supah Shots, which features elixirs made from Hawaiian chili peppers to promote wellness and longevity. Three available flavors include passion fruit, Kula strawberry, and pineapple with Thai basil.

Tina started with a booth at a Kula community event near her home and sold everything she had in a couple of hours. From her Insta: “Hawaiian girl bringing good health & vibrance with some nutrition, foodie flair, and wisdom from our ancestors. Hot, healthy, Hawaiian!” Check her out, sip to your health, and support a Hawaiian-owned Maui business!

 

Akina Tours is Hawaiian-owned.Akina Tours and Transportation

140 Alahele Place, Kihei, (808) 879-2828, Website, Instagram

The Akina Family started a legacy of transportation services in 1928 when founder Alexander Boniface Akina drove his kids and neighbors’ kids to school from Kihei to Wailuku. Akina Tours has now passed through 3 family generations, taking on many successful forms, including taxi services, school bus services, tour operations, and airport shuttles. Indeed, you have likely seen their colorful tour buses zipping around Maui. Whether you require transportation service for school functions or sports events, wedding guest transport, or cultural Maui island tours, Akina Tours and Transportation can get you there.

 

Hawaiian Culture

Na Koa Brand is Hawaiian-owned.Nā Koa Brand

Queen Kaʻahumanu Center (across from Forever 21), (808) 214-5089, Website, Instagram

I’m so happy to share this brand. They aim to create subtle yet powerful pieces of art with inspiration from Polynesian tattoo styles. Designed by owners Daimus and Shanna Kanaheleheir, this artwork translates into apparel and jewelry. They started their business in 2013 and named their brand to signify living life to the fullest, without fear. Nakoa means bravery, and their split-off brand, Hoʻomana means empowerment; two ingredients that make a whole, meaningful life possible. Almost all of their materials for their clothing and accessories get sourced from Hawaiʻi. By supporting this local business, you are keeping the funds on Maui and supporting other local vendors. It’s a win-win!

Kumu Cards is Hawaiian-Owned.Kumu Cards

Website, Instagram

Are you looking to learn more about the Hawaiian language and learn some history along the way? Do you speak the Hawaiian language already but want to share it with others? Kumu Cards is a Hawaiian-owned grassroots education company that focuses on keeping Hawaiian words (ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi) and ancestral knowledge alive in peoples’ daily lives. Purchasing a deck of their flashcards serves not only as a great learning tool for you, but a portion of each of their sales also goes to helping Hawaiian language classes.

 

 

Native Intelligence is Hawaiian-owned.Native Intelligence

1980 Main St #2, Wailuku, (808) 249-2421, Website, Instagram

Native Intelligence is your resource for Hawaiian craftsmanship and knowledge. They have the designs you crave for Leis, woodwork, Hula, books, apparel, and art. As self-described: “The goal of Native Intelligence is to champion cultural traditions, craftsmanship, and good designs while perpetuating Hawaiian values. By showcasing local artisans and creatives who strive to protect and evolve the culture, Native Intelligence is an advocate for both culture and community. Our mission is to create a retail environment that allows customers to experience a wide selection of Hawaiian merchandise by definition. Neither a museum nor gallery, Native Intelligence strives to be a continually evolving retail space that has something for everyone. Working with community leaders and neighborhood schools, we hope to extend the educational programs and resources beyond our doors. As our name infers, Native Intelligence encourages the efforts of those who exemplify the best and brightest in Hawaiʻi and Polynesia.”

Maui Art

Secrets Hawaii is Hawaiian-owned.

Secrets Hawaiʻi

Website, Instagram

Secrets Hawaiʻi is an online marketplace that features organic goods, arts, crafts, lei, and zero waste equipment. The owners are seventh-generation descendants from Hawaiʻi. They are committed to making Maui sustainable through practicing the lifestyle of old Hawaiʻi and organic farming techniques. They are a sovereign business created to support Ahupuaʻa (native land divisions) Restoration projects in Ko’olau, Maui. They are also famous for their coconut candy!

You can find loads of information online about local events and issues, protecting and restoring Maui’s water rights, and restoring stream flows, amongst other focuses. If you want to support Hawaiian culture with your dollars, they make it easy with Apple Pay.

Suikeala Native Jewelry is Hawaiian-owned.SuiKeala Native Jewelry

(808) 553-3433, [email protected], Facebook, Instagram

SuiKeala Jewelry gets made from native Hawaiian species of plants, carefully preserved in resin to form unique and beautiful creations. Owner Sui Joao is from Molokaʻi and spends much time respectfully gathering native gems to include in her jewelry. The whole process takes about one week.

Her goal is to adorn her customers with wearable art pieces that spread appreciation and awareness of native plants that go unnoticed by many. Each piece of art comes with information about the plant and why it is unique.

 

 

Earth Elements Maui is Hawaiian-owned.Earth Elements Maui

1 Honokohau Bay, Honokohau, (808) 856-1902, Website

Quality, handmade jewelry from Honokohau, Maui? Yes, please! Earth Elements creates elegant ocean-centric pieces with quality and craftsmanship in mind.

Custom designs are available, so visit them online to inspire your next creation.

 

 

 

 

Maui Hotels and Accommodations

Ala KukuiAla Kukui is Hawaiian-Owned in Hana.

4224 Hana Highway, Hana, (808) 248-7841, Website, Instagram

Ala Kukui is a Hawaiian cultural retreat in serene Hāna. As its name “path to enlightenment” implies, it is much more than a retreat. Executive Director and Hāna resident, Kauʻi Kanakaʻole, focuses this refuge of healing and rejuvenation on a variety of cultural elements. All of the staff are longtime residents of Hana, and they host cultural programs, workshops, and events for the community. As a retreat participant, you will get the rare opportunity to learn cultural traditions from the surrounding community. Retreat offerings include nutritional and culinary education, Hāna farm-to-table catering, wedding coordination, massage therapy, Ayurvedic consultations, and cultural workshops.

Maui Seaside HotelMaui Seaside Hotel is Hawaiian-owned.

100 W Kaʻahumanu Avenue, Kahului, (808) 877-3311, Website

Established by Hawaiian native and WWII veteran Richard Kimi in 1956, the Maui Seaside Hotel is one of the very few independently run hotels in Hawai’i. Their family-run approach and commitment to hospitality have kept many guests returning to their Maui and Big Island locations for years. Ditch the resort fees and instead support Hawaiian-owned hotels.

 

The Mauian Hotel at Napili BayMauian Hotel is Hawaiian-owned in Napili Bay.

5441 Lower Honoapiilani Road, Napili, (808) 669-6205, Website

This 44-unit beachfront hotel has been owned and operated by a Hawaiian family for several years. This location is perfect for easy access to Napili Bay and is great for families. The low-key ambiance, excellent breakfast, and lush gardens make this hotel the ideal place to kick back and relax beachside.

 

Hawaiian Culture Non-Profits

Kahanu Garden

Kahanu Garden is Hawaiian-owned.650 Ulaino Road, Hana, (808) 248-8912, Wikipedia

Kahanu Garden is one of five gardens managed by the non-profit National Tropical Botanical Garden. Established in 1972 near Hāna, Maui, this spot is surrounded by one of the last undisturbed Hala tree forests in Hawaii. It contains the 14th century, 3-acre Piʻilanihale Heiau, which may be the most significant ancient temple in the Hawaiian Islands.

Kahanu Garden’s collection features plants traditionally used by Pacific Islanders, most notably breadfruit. You will also find bamboo, banana, calabash, coconut, kava, Kamani, loʻulu, sugarcane, taro, turmeric, vanilla, and bitter yam. Visitors to Kahanu Garden will learn about the cultural relationships between people and the plants transported around the Pacific on ancient voyage canoes.

 

Maui Nui Botanical GardenMaui Nui Botanical Gardens is Hawaiian-owned.

150 Kanaloa Avenue, Kahului (across from War Memorial Stadium), (808) 249-2798, Website, Instagram

Free admission for members, Kamaʻāina, Keiki, and Kupuna, otherwise $10 and FREE on Saturdays!

Maui Nui Botanical Gardens dedicates itself to the protection of Maui’s native plants and cultural heritage. They collect, cultivate, and distribute native and Polynesian-introduced plants to teach the relationship these plants have with our economic, social, and cultural livelihoods.

This organization hires local cultural practitioners to teach crafts to visitors while continually creating new partnerships to expand community outreach and conservation efforts. Every dollar contributed goes directly toward the preservation of Native Hawaiian plants and the upkeep of their collection.

Hui o Nā Wai ‘EhāHui O Na Wai Eha is Hawaiian-owned.

Donate by check: Hui o Nā Wai ‘Ehā, 213 West Waiko Road, Wailuku, HI 96793, Website, Instagram

Hui o Nā Wai ‘Ehā was established in 2003 to address the negative impacts caused by the dewatering of the Nā Wai’ Ehā streams by sugar plantations and corporate water companies. Their mission revolves around streamflow restoration in the rivers of Waikapū, Wailuku, Waiehu, and Waiheʻe. They will protect the natural and cultural resources of Native Hawaiians while engaging the Maui community through water resource management education and targeted outreach. They are active in local politics and partner with the Maui Tomorrow Foundation, Earth Justice, and Office of Hawaiian Affairs. These partnerships help ensure mountain to ocean (mauka to makai) streamflow in perpetuity, safeguard groundwater, facilitate safe passage for native aquatic species, restore water rights to kilo farmers, and organize the community to support their initiatives. Click here to support this critical work and check out their Instagram.

Mauna Kahalawai Watershed is Hawaiian-owned.Mauna Kahālāwai Watershed

Donate by check: Malama Kahalawai, Inc., P.O. Box 13240, Lahaina, HI 96761

Established in 1998, Mauna Kahālāwai means the House of Water. This Olowalu based organization diligently manages the native forests of West and South Maui by protecting the West Maui mountains. Mauna Kahālāwai Watershed protects the fragile ecosystem from invasive and feral species by controlling weeds, growing native plants, and monitoring watershed health. This work helps to ensure Maui has a continuous supply of freshwater. You can donate to this organization with your time or money.

Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC)KIRC is Hawaiian-Owned, Kokua Kaho'olawe

Website, Instagram

KIRC manages the Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve while being held in trust for a future Native Hawaiian sovereign entity. State funds get allocated to restoration efforts with core programs focused on sustainability, restoration, monitoring, planting native species, eradicating alien species, faunal restoration, archeological protection, maintaining cultural protocols and practices, and outreach. In 1953, United States President Eisenhower transferred ownership of Kahoʻolawe to the Navy for use as a bombing range. Despite decades of powerful protesting, the island’s deed did not get returned to the state of Hawaiʻi until 2003! Efforts of KIRC strive to make up for the lost time. They are preserving the beauty of this uninhabited Hawaiʻian island and its surrounding waters. If you get to volunteer for this organization, not only do you contribute to environmental restoration, you also get to experience a part of the Hawaiian Islands that few people get to see in person. Visit them online for more information on internship opportunities, volunteering, or donating.

Kipahulu Ohana is Hawaiian-owned.Kipahulu ʻOhana

Website, Instagram

The Kipahulu ʻOhana is a grassroots 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1995. Their list of beneficial community programs is endless. Their traditional Hawaiian wetland taro farm, Kapahu Living Farm, is located in Haleakala National Park. In partnership with the park services, they host educational programs, tours and provide an abundance of poi (which gets processed in their commercial kitchen) to the local community. Their Malama I Ke Kai program focuses on shoreline management, supervising an ʻopihi “rest area” or no-take zone, and working to instate a Community-Based Subsistence Fishing Area (CBSFA). These programs are only a snapshot of what this prolific organization does for the Maui community through their ancestors’ wisdom. Visit them online to learn more about their outreach and to donate!

 

Hui No Ke Ola PonoHui No Ke Ola Pono Maui is Hawaiian-owned.

Wailuku Cameron Center, 95 Mahalani Street, Room 21, (808) 244-4647, Hāna Community Center, 5101 Uakea Road, Room D18, (808) 442-6860, Website, Instagram, Click to Donate!

Hui No Ke Ola Pono is a private, not for profit community-based health enhancement, disease prevention, and health care center. They provide programs revolving around nutrition, health management, and health care referrals working within a standard of conduct that reflects Hawaiian values. They are one of the five Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems created under the Native Hawaiian Health Care Act of 1988. Their mission is to improve the health of present and future Native Hawaiian generations through personal empowerment. They integrate medical care with traditional Hawaiian values, beliefs, and practices. Although their mission focuses on the Native Hawaiian community, they will not turn anyone away. While we struggle to adjust to life during a pandemic, access to medical care is of paramount importance. Visit their website for more information if you need medical assistance. If you can, a donation to this cause is a worthy investment in our Maui community’s health.

Farms and Locally Grown Food Distribution

Maui Third WaveMaui Third Wave is Hawaiian-owned in Lahaina.

Website

Maui Third Wave is a majority Hawaiian-owned business dedicated to growing food, medicine, and a future for the Hawaiian people. Maui Third Wave operates under the B corporation status, meaning they have pledged to meet the highest social and environmental performance standards. According to their website, imports account for 85 percent of the food consumed on Maui. So, their mission is to produce “Better than Organic” fruits and vegetables that get consumed by the surrounding communities. They hope to achieve a profitable agriculture system for indigenous Hawaiians and long time residents by combining traditional and modern Hawaiian growing practices. Additionally, as laws start to change regarding cannabis cultivation, MTW is also negotiating to lead the Maui-grown CBD oil industry. Stay tuned and support this Hawaiian-owned business!

Hoaloha Farms is Hawaiian-owned on Maui.Hoaloha Farm

Facebook

Bobby Pahia is one of many Maui farmers working to re-establish Kalo, known as taro, plus many other traditional foods. Referred to as “canoe crops,” the early Polynesians carried them to the Hawaiian islands. Taro is more than just food to Hawaiians because it’s part of their cultural identity. However, canoe-crops have been on the decline due to mono-crop agriculture. As a result, dietary staples are vanishing from the daily diets of many islanders. To put it in perspective, imagine rice disappearing from the Asian culinary diet! You have probably eaten from Hoalahoa farms without even knowing it. Bobby’s farm supplies ingredients to famous Maui restaurants such as Old Lahaina Lūʻau, Aloha Mixed Plate, Star Noodle, and Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop. He is also Mauna Kahalawai chapter president of the Hawaiʻi Farmer’s Union United.

Mahele Farm is Hawaiian-owned.Mahele Farm

[email protected], (808) 248-8905, Website, Instagram

Mahele means to share or divide equally. Mahele Farms is Hana’s community farm with a mission: “to operate a productive community farm that serves as an educational, sustainable, and healthy food resource for the isolated Hāna, Maui region.” It began as a collaboration between the previously mentioned Kahanu Garden and Ma Ka Hana Ka ʻIke, Hana School’s building, construction program, as well as Hāna School’s Agricultural Program. They engage the community by inviting all residents to farm together to promote a community’s self-sufficient lifestyle. This collaboration reflects how Hawaiians maintained a healthy multi-million person population before transitioning to the heavily imported goods we see today. The farm offers Volunteer Days on Tuesdays and Fridays. They encourage people to contact them ahead of time if interested in volunteering to learn about and help perform their farming practices.

Nohoana Farm is Hawaiian-owned featuring Waikapu Poi.Nohoʻana Farm

[email protected], (808) 430-4534, Website, Instagram

Nestled along the Waikapū Stream in Waikapū Valley, Maui, Hōkūao Pellegrino has managed to return his family’s property to the flourishing Kalo farm it was before the 1940s when a large sugar company diverted the stream to irrigate sugar cane fields. Now that sugar is no longer a dominant business on Maui, many of Maui’s farmers with Pellegrino are working to restore water rights to their lands. Nohoʻana Farm now grows forty-five different Kalo varieties on his two and a half acre property that his family has owned since 1848. He hopes to help fill the 2 million pound gap of taro imported from Fiji each year to meet Hawaii’s annual demand of 6.5 million pounds of the vegetable. Nohoʻana Farm currently sells its organic Kalo products and other traditional Hawaiian crops to the surrounding community at an affordable price. They also sell to farm-to-table restaurants such as Kaʻana Kitchen at the Andaz in Wailea, whose Maui born chef, Isaac Bancaco, focuses on local food unique to Maui.

Hawaiʻi Farmers Union United (HFUU)Hawaii Farmers Union United is Hawaiian-owned.

Website, Instagram

Thus far, I have only highlighted a mere fraction of the Hawaiian-owned Maui farms. Enter the Hawaiʻi Farmers Union United. Established in 2010, the HFUU serves as an invaluable resource for local food production and the farming community. Throughout the islands, this grassroots organization is a consistent voice for farmers, ranchers, and fishers. HFUU says: “We assert that a multitude of smallholder diversified family farms that implement regenerative techniques in growing and raising our food will create a resilient, vital, and productive agricultural system to feed Hawaiʻi’s people better.” As COVID-19 has devastated the restaurant industry nationwide, farmers have had to pivot from restaurant supply to direct consumers. HFUU has been working with local farmers and stores to maintain that connection. They have launched a 12 to 24-month plan to support farming communities by increasing and stabilizing domestic food production throughout the state. Community-supported agricultural boxes (CSA) boxes of fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs are available at distribution spots, as well as delivery throughout Maui. Click here to find an organized list of available CSA boxes.

Maui Hub is a Hawaiian-owned food distribution company.Maui Hub

Website

This new online resource is EXCELLENT for ordering your produce direct from Maui farmers! Maui Hub makes it easy to register online and pick up your order on Saturdays at one of their many distribution hubs around the island.

 

 

Final Thought

This pandemic might be scary, stressful, and uncertain. Life as we know it has changed drastically since the beginning of this year, and we don’t know when things will return to normal or what that normal will look like in the future. But there is one precious thing we can all take from this time in isolation. We can take the time to learn. Learn about your community. Learn about how to get involved. Donate your time and money. Learn about the cultures surrounding you that you might have considered less during your daily grind in the past. For those of us who are lucky enough to call Maui home, and to those we will be welcoming back in the coming months, let’s uplift Maui by supporting the Hawaiian culture and traditions that make this place so awe-inspiring.