Maui, Hawaii

Category: Made in Maui

Maui Open Studios – explore Maui!

It’s February and that means it’s time for the free self-guided tour of some of Maui’s artists’ studios. This annual event is called Maui Open Studios. If you enjoy exploring and art – check this out. I promise you, you will find places on Maui you have never been before and meet some interesting people along the way.

Grab a copy of the print guide or browse the online PDF edition. Then each weekend check out some new favorite artists, watch them in action, talk to them about their art and maybe buy a very unique souvenir of your Maui trip!

Last weekend was their opening gala. Here is the upcoming schedule (weekends, from 11AM-6PM)

1st weekend: February 10-11 Upcountry

2nd weekend: February 17-18 West, Central, North Shore and Hana

3rd weekend: February 24-25 Kihei and Wailea

Did I mention the event is free?

 

One of my favorites

One of my personal favorites, Beth Cooper, is participating in the 3rd weekend event here in Kihei. Over the years I’ve bought a few of her paintings for our condos and many of our cards (prints of our paintings).

Maui Open Studios
One of my favorite Beth Cooper paintings provides color in our Maui Kamaole condo bathroom

 

You can also find Beth’s paintings in our Sugar Beach condo (her Tahiti scene in our living room) and at our Palms at Wailea condo (a small beach scene in the hallway). Here is another picture of one of Beth’s cards.

Maui Open Studios
one of Beth’s cards I’ve bought – when were you at the beach last?
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What is your favorite Maui coffee?

Maui coffee
coffee beans courtesy of Olinda Organic Farms

Have you sampled your way through Maui coffees? We have a number of coffee growers and roasters here on Maui, and I suggest that when here you give them a try. After all, Starbucks will still be there when you get back home. But in the mean time, you may discover a new favorite coffee, and you’ll have fun searching for it while on vacation!

Yesterday was the 9th annual Statewide Cupping Competition. I have never made it to one of these, though I think – as a coffee lover, that would be really cool to go see. This year’s took place at the Maui Tropical Plantation here on Maui.

This year’s winner in the creative category is a local coffee grower/roaster in Olinda – Olinda Organic Farm. I just checked out their website, looks like they may only sell at certain Farmer’s Markets, but do contact them and see what they say.

Which Maui Coffees to try

I’ve written about coffees in the past, if you type coffee in the search bar on my blog, you’ll come across a number of them. I love Maui Oma’s coffee, if for no other reason than the name (Oma means Grandma in German). Grandma’s Coffee House up in Keokea on the way to the Ulupalakua Ranch has some great home grown/roasted coffee (with delicious deserts to go with it). Kula Botanical Gardens is a new one I discovered this spring – though it was quite a dark roast (I prefer medium).

Costco carries some nice local roasts, though likely not as fresh as the ones you’d get directly from the roaster – my current favorite at Costco is by Kauai Coffee Company. My husband Sig was at their farm on Kauai this past May and brought home a bag of their freshly roasted beans (so delicious). Interestingly this past spring Costco in Western Canada was carrying this coffee also. I discovered this when visiting my cousins in Edmonton!

I’m curious – which is your favorite Maui coffee? Where did you buy it? I’m always interested in trying something new!

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The Amazing Maui Bread Company in Kihei

I just found out we have a new bakery in Kihei! Actually, not so new anymore. The owners of the Fish n Chips place in Dolphin Plaza (across from Kamaole 1 park) opened the Maui Bread Company 4 1/2 months ago. With my love of bread and baked goods, I am surprised that my nose hadn’t sniffed this place out yet.

Maui bread
a small selection of Maui Bread Company’s baked goods

Everything is baked in house and from scratch. In fact, this morning when I went into the store, the two bakers were working the retail end of the store. They can tell you exactly what’s in everything.

What do they sell? Besides the really good stuff (okay, cinnamon buns and danishes), they also sell cookies and a variety of breads. They also have a selection of gluten-free items.

Their only advertising is done by word-of-mouth. The prices are reasonable compared to the grocery stores. I picked up a nice loaf of sourdough bread for my hunny (his favorite) for $5. The cinnamon bun I got for myself didn’t make it home. It was really good.

Where to find Maui Bread Company? It is located in the Dolphin Plaza strip mall which is along South Kihei Road, across from Kamaole 1 beach park. This is close to Honolua Surf Company, Hawaiian Moons, Cafe o Lei and the ABC store.

Dolphin Plaza

Check out the Maui Fish’n Chips place, the Koiso sushi restaurant, Maui Gelato (yum), Cafe a la Plague (great sandwiches and internet)., Pizza Hut etc,

Maui bread
they also have a nice outdoor seating area
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Maui-Made Discoveries

This past weekend the Maui Chamber of Commerce hosted its 3rd Made in Maui County Festival. This was my second time going and let’s just say – it’s the perfect place to make Maui-made discoveries.

Picture a craft fair – without any of the made-in-China-or-elsewhere items. A REAL craft fair, the way they are supposed to be! It was awesome! This year there were more than 140 vendor booths featuring their products. The rule is that everything shown there had to be 51% or more value added in Maui County. That includes Molokai (they had ten booths or so) and Lanai (1 vendor). Finds included handmade cards, jewelry, hot sauce, coffee, clothing vendors, artists, a plant stand, alcohol, food, etc. etc.

My favorite discoveries this year?

Alohi Images

Maui-made discoveries
My friend Shelley with her Alohi Images cards
For the past few years I have been buying Alohi Images cards whenever I can find them. They are beautiful photographs of native plants and flowers. The problem is, these cards are hard to find. Imagine my surprise when it turns out I actually know the owner/photographer! Yes, I stocked up on Christmas cards. And, now I know that I can find her anytime! As for you, check out her website. Shelley tells me that her cards are now being sold at 5 Hallmark stores in the Hawaiian Islands.

Maui Fruit Jewels

Maui-made discoveries
These fruit jewels are so pretty and delicious
I had read about these in the Maui New last spring. Gourmet fruit gummies for adults – okay, so they are okay for kids too, but not shaped like gummy bears. They have all local flavors – lilikoi, papaya, pineapple pepper (that one has a little bit of kick), Maui Wine (think wine jelly)… I forgot to ask where you can get them locally, so let me know if you find them (check out their online shop).

Made in Maui County Marketplace

Did you miss this year’s festival? Looking for more Maui-made discoveries? Many of these vendors are featured on the Made in Maui County Marketplace, a website connecting you to the different vendors. Check them out! Mahalo for supporting local small businesses.

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Maui’s Pau Vodka and Beach Bar Rum

pau vodkaThis morning we checked out the Hali’imaile Distilling Company in Hali’imaile, upcountry Maui. They are the makers of several great products – Pau Vodka, Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum, Paniolo Whiskey and Maui Moon (flavored) Vodka. When driving up Haleakala Hwy, this is the first town on the left hand side, also famous for the Hali’imaile General Store (a Bev Gannon restaurant).

Believe it or not – Maui is home to some great alcohol… We have several distillers (Ocean Vodka, Hali’imaile Distilling Co, Haleakala Distillers), brewers (Maui Brewing Company, Kohola Brewery) and even a winery (Maui Wine at Ulupalakua Ranch). That’s right – Maui is not just known for its beaches 🙂

pau vodka
Some of these oak barrels are filled with their Paniolo Whiskey, some with just water to keep the oak barrels in good shape. The mustache is the whiskey’s logo.

Hali’imaile Distilling Company is set right between Maui sugar cane fields and 1300 acres of Maui Gold pineapple fields. Unfortunately the pineapple fields are somewhat hidden – further behind the Hali’imaile General Store (across the road and back a ways).

 

The tour

pau vodkaWe booked the tour online, showed up at our time and paid the entry fee of $10/person (which includes three samples at a tasting). The distillery tour was about 30 minutes long, the tour guide enthusiastic. This is a small-kine operation. They were just in the process of bottling some Pau Vodka on a small-scale bottling line. But hey – small batches are often best! The Vodka is made from Maui-grown sugar infused with additional molasses. The rum is made from Maui Gold pineapples (grown in Hali’imaile, and juiced for them by the Ulupalakua winery).

pau vodkaAt the end of the short tour we had fun checking out the merchandise and sampling our favorite product. It was still morning – but it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right?

Which was my favorite? I bought a bottle of cognac infused Pau Vodka. Yum.

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Another fun Maui artist – Beth Cooper!

Have you ever bumped into someone you know in a completely different setting? I tend to compartmentalize my friends and acquaintances – then I when see them in a different place, it honestly confuses me, often I don’t recognize them…. how embarrassing! (If I’ve done this to you, I am so sorry).

Beth Cooper art
Beth Cooper with my new acrylic painting of Kamaole III beach park!

This afternoon we were browsing the Lahaina Art Society Fine Art Fair under the Banyan tree, when all of a sudden – boom! There was someone from the ‘condo compartment’ of my brain selling her beautiful paintings in front of the Old Lahaina Courthouse under the Banyan tree. Fortunately my brain made the connection and I recognized her – Beth!

We checked out Beth Cooper‘s table and I bought a beautiful acrylic painting of Kamaole III beach park with Kaho’olawe in the background. I love it! I have just the spot picked out for it in one of the condos…. but…. we’ll see, it may stay at our house.

Beth is a local artist (and outrigger canoe paddler/surfer/art teacher) and specializes in oil paintings. There is something for every budget – from originals to prints to note cards to shower curtains (!!). Check out her website!

The Lahaina Arts Society is an organization that showcases and trains local (Maui) artists. They have two galleries in the Old Lahaina Courthouse, and several times of month host Fine Art Fairs (featuring their artists) under the Banyan Tree! The next fair is Sunday Dec 27th – yes, Beth will be there!

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Maui Rum and Ocean Vodka

Tonight I picked up a few groceries at our local grocery store, Safeway. Maui Rum (one of my favorites) is currently on sale for $18.99/bottle. Their dark rum is very good, as is the gold, but tonight I found a new to me Maui rum – a Pineapple Flavored Rum. Normally I don’t like flavored liquors, the ones I’ve tried have tasted fake. But this bottle proclaimed it to be flavored with Maui Gold Pineapple…. so I had to try it! It is really quite nice.

At the end of the aisle was a display of Ocean Vodka, locally produced vodka made from organic sugar cane and deep ocean mineral water. If you haven’t toured their farm and facility, do. It is really quite interesting.

Now check out this lei! Rather than a traditional flower, kukui nut or shell lei, you could buy an Ocean Vodka lei 🙂 It has two mini bottles of vodka and two shot glasses, together with some plastic orchids. I can think of several of our friends who would prefer this to a flower lei 🙂 I couldn’t find a price-tag on it. I suspect the ABC store or Whaler’s Village probably have these in stock too.

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New book in Toby Neal’s Lei Crime series

Bone HookMaui author (and therapist) Toby Neal has just published her latest book in her Lei Crime series. I really enjoy this crime series, set right here in the Hawaiian islands, talking about life in the islands, writing about local problems. If you enjoy mysteries, check out this series!

Her latest book, #10 in the series, is Bone Hook. This book picks up five years after the previous one (Rip Tides), and sadly Lei’s marriage is in trouble. I was so disappointed about that, I’ve been routing for Lei and Michael, and while they’ve had their problems, I was so hoping they would work it out.

Disappointment about the fictional characters’ relationship aside (really Cara!), this is one of Toby’s best yet! And don’t worry about that cliff-hanger ending…. the next book, Red Rain, is scheduled for release just after Christmas! I can’t wait!

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Curtis Wilson Cost gallery and lunch at the Kula Lodge

It’s been a long hot summer. We’ve broken at least 50 daytime high records here on Maui with weather in Kihei averaging in the low to mid 90s and I am seriously jealous of all you mainlanders celebrating the first week of fall and crispness in the air. Yes, I guess I am missing the change in seasons.

So yesterday Sig and I took an upcountry drive (up Haleakala) to cool down a little and went to the Kula Lodge for lunch. In all these years we’ve never stopped there. They have beautiful bi-coastal views, lunch was okay, the wait staff friendly. But the best part was the Curtis Wilson Cost gallery downstairs.

Looking out the open door at the Curtis Wilson Cost Gallery with the Kula Lodge pizza oven to the right.

If you haven’t been, go! The Upcountry Maui magazine always prints one or two of his paintings. He specializes in realism and capturing the light. He has some beach scenes, but a lot of upcountry scenes, some with upcountry’s famous purple jacaranda trees. They are just stunning! I picked up a small print of his latest painting (Keokea Picnic) for our house and a set of greeting cards.

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Pono Pies

A friend was telling me about one of his clients, the baker of Pono Pies. As he was talking, a few other friends walked in and all said – oh, Pono Pies, sooo good.

Seriously? What have I been missing?

Pono Pies are locally made by a guy in Wailuku (the County seat of Maui). This is a small bakery, the main ingredient of his pies being – wait for it – breadfruit! Breadfruit? What is that? Let’s just say a large weird-looking starchy fruit that grows commonly in the South Pacific.

Here’s what his website says about his pies:

In Hawaiian pono means ‘correct, beneficial, done in the right way.’ My pies are made from Breadfruit from Kahanu Gardens in Hana, Macadamia nuts from Waiehu, and tropical blossom honey from Haiku. They contain no dairy, processed sugar, wheat, or any GMO ingredients. This makes for a healthy, satisfying dessert that helps to address the issues of sustainability and food security one bite at a time.

Intrigued? I was…. So I went to Hawaiian Moons (a natural food store in Kihei) and sure enough, they had two types of Pono Pies in their fridge. So I bought both – for the blog, of course! According to my friend, these pies are NOT baked, but set in the fridge. The consistency is creamy like cheese cake, but they contain no dairy.

Of the two, the lilikoi was my definite favorite. It was lemony-tart (lilikoi is tart) and just all-round wonderful. I would love to know what the calorie count on this is, because with the cheese cake consistency it seems really rich and decadent, though reading the ingredients, it’s probably not (after all, it’s healthy, right?)

Here is the ingredient list from the lilikoi pie:
Lilikoi filling: Maui grown breadfruit, lilikoi puree, Maui macadamia nuts, Maui honey, cashews, coconut oil, lemon juice, non GMO soy lecithin, salt and vanilla.
Crust: dried coconut, macadamia nuts, cashews, Maui honey, salt.
Most of these ingredients are indicated to be organic. And they are gluten free.

The coffee & chocolate one was good too, but having grown up in Austria, I am quite particular about my chocolate cake.

Looking at their website, I would really like to try the mojito pono pie! Here’s where to find them. And if you go to Hawaiian Moons in Kihei, be sure to bring the Pueo discount card from our condo (if you are staying at one of our condos, that is) for a 10% discount off your entire purchase.

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