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).
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.
I’ve been meaning to check out the upcountry farmer’s market for a while now. It’s a Saturday morning event, I’m not sure what time it starts, but do know that it ends around 11AM. My mission – to replenish my stock of HI Spice hot sauce.
Yes, HI (the abbreviation for Hawaii) Spice hot sauce is locally made small batch hot sauce. The owners live in Kihei, their commercial kitchen is in Wailuku (as a side note – I’ve picked up from their kitchen before – it smells divine). You can buy their sauce online and at a few local stores – the Maui Tropical Plantation has it, as does 808 Bistro in Kihei, and I’m told someone at the Shops at Wailea carries it too… but it’s cheaper when you can buy direct ($10 vs $15 at the stores).
Upcountry Farmer’s Market
From Kihei the drive will take about 40 minutes. When you come up the Haleakala Hwy, continue on the highway until the Long’s Drugs intersection (just past Carden and King Kekaulike high school). Turn right, then take your first left and find parking. The farmer’s market takes place in a parking lot past and to the right of Long’s. There is some street parking, an empty field. Please don’t park in the store parking lot.
This upcountry farmer’s market is different from the ones in Kihei. Yesterday there were 40+ vendors, many claiming to sell organic or no-spray fruits and veggies. You can buy orchids, hot foods, kombucha and many other foods and drinks I’ve never heard of. You will also find more eclectic vendors – a few years ago there was a ‘Gothic’ veggie stand, yesterday two younger men had a Temple foods stand. I still wonder how one raises Gothic vegetables, but maybe I don’t want to know.
Yesterday I was a woman on a mission, with little time to spare. I found the HI Spice stand and bought five bottles of my favorite hot sauce. They have various kinds but my favorite is their Smoke Scorpion hot sauce. If you like hot sauce, you’ve got to give it a try! Yum.
Can you believe October is nearly over? This year is just flying by! This Tuesday is Halloween, and the biggest party to be found is on Front Street in Lahaina. Festivities begin at 4:30PM with a Halloween Parade, costume contests and a general party atmosphere (see here for more details). There will be road closures and parking lot closures in Lahaina, so do your research if you are driving up there, or see if you can buy a shuttle ticket, according to the website there are still some available. Do remember not to drink and drive – I’m sure the police will be out to enforce the law.
Also happening this week…. This coming weekend is the Fourth Annual Made in Maui County Festival. I am really looking forward to this event which takes place on the lawn at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. It’s a great place to meet local artists, crafters but also some commercial grade operators. The organizers are selective in regards to the vendors which brings up the quality. Last year I discovered HI Spice, a Kihei hotsauce producer – their Smoked Scorpion hotsauce is really good. My friend Shelley will have a booth of her beautiful Hawaii-inspired photography cards there again this year (Alohi Images).
November 5-11 is Wailea Restaurant Week. Twenty-two Wailea restaurants offer 3 course prix-fixe menus (ranging in price from $29-$59). No tickets required, but reservations are recommended. Just be sure to ask for the Wailea Restaurant Week menu. By the way, if you decide you’d rather eat off the regular menu, that is fine too. This is a great way to try a new restaurant or two for a reasonable price. Drinks are, of course, extra. Wailea Restaurant Week takes place twice a year (also in May).
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!
My hunny loves to go for an upcountry drive. In fact, we used to go about four times a year – every time we had company visiting us. Finally I stopped going – it’s a beautiful day trip. It’s just – well, it takes up a good chunk of my day 🙂
Today we went for his favorite upcountry drive as a family. It was drizzling as we left our house – that seemed a bit ominous since our ultimate destination, Ulupalakua Ranch is just 3 or 4 miles above Kihei/Wailea. And sure enough, it rained lightly for the majority of our day. But it was still a beautiful drive and fun family day!
We drove from Kihei to Kahului, taking Hansen Road by the old Sugar Cane Factory to Hana Hwy and then continuing up Haleakala Hwy (which becomes Kula Hwy). We drove all the way to Grandma’s Coffee House where we took a little detour to a side road to drive by Oprah’s house (well, one of them I’m sure). Then back down to Grandma’s Coffee, a little detour to where Oprah’s private road down to Kihei starts (no, you can’t drive it – there are several locked gates). Then we continued to Ulupalakua Ranch
Ulupalakua Ranch‘s General Store is one of our favorite places to eat. They grill burgers to order made from their own meat. There’s something about eating fresh burgers at Ulupalakua.
Then we walked across the street to Maui Winery. Two reasons – the bathrooms are over there (the burgers were a little juicy) and a wine tasting. I picked up a case of their Mele red wine. They have a brand new wine – the Kula which according to their website is a rose white wine. It was really good. Be sure to check out ‘The King’s Room’ in the tasting house which tells some of the 150+ year history of this famous Maui ranch.
Next we headed back to Grandma’s Coffee House for some coffees and carrot cake. They roast their own coffee, make great sandwiches and have delicious baking.
This time we passed Kula Field’s farm stand, turned left on Oma’opio Road (a VERY winding road) and slowly followed it down to the Surfing Goat Dairy and Ocean Vodka (right next door).
Curious – go for a drive! See a part of Maui you didn’t think you’d find!
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.
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.
Next weekend, Saturday February 18th, is World Whale Day. It takes place right here in Kihei.
The Parade of Whales starts at 9AM at the Alanui Ke Alii/South Kihei Road intersection and ends at Kalama Park. It’s not a big one, though last year was a lot of fun (it lasted about 45 minutes or so). Hint, sit or stand facing the ocean, that way you get a great view in addition to entertainment AND you don’t have the sun in your eyes!
Also, you guessed it, South Kihei Road is blocked off for the duration of the parade.
Following the parade there is a festival at the Kalama Park ball field across the street from Foodland. There are kids games, food, live music, a silent auction, local Made in Maui vendors and also a whale information gallery. As far as I can tell, the festival runs from 9:30AM – 6PM.
Admission to the festival is $5 (the parade is free, of course).
Here are a couple events to check out this weekend – who doesn’t love orchids and art?
Do you love orchids? The Maui Orchid Society is hosting the Valentine’s Orchid Festival later this week. The show is taking place at the Maui Mall in Kahului from Thursday February 9th until Saturday February 11th from 9am-4pm. This is a juried event, however, many of the orchids are also available for purchase!
Personally, I love orchids, but I don’t have much of a green thumb. Fortunately I live on Maui and my hubby has better luck with them. When given an orchid I enjoy it indoors until it finished blooming. Then I transplant it into my flower bed. Some of them (okay, I mentioned not having a green thumb) do really well and have been re-blooming over and over again!
Also this weekend, check out the Annual Maui Open Studio event! This weekend (Saturday and Sunday) various Kihei and Wailea artists are opening their studios to the public between 11am-6pm. Pick up a guidebook, look online, or just stop and follow the Maui Open Studio sandwich board signs around town.
Our very own Beth Cooper is having an open house in Kihei this weekend (artist #16 in the guide book this weekend). We have two of her original paintings hanging at condos – one at Maui Kamaole, another at Palms at Wailea! Beth is a lovely person, full of vibrant energy who works with us at our condos. I just love her fun colorful art!
By the way, if you can’t go this weekend – there are three weekends of artists to see. This weekend is Kihei and Wailea. February 18 & 19th Lahaina, Central, North Shore and Hana – although keep in mind, that’s also the annual Whale Festival in Kihei’s dates. February 25 & 26th is upcountry artists!
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.
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.
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).
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.
This year the County of Maui is hosting its 3rd annual Made in Maui County Festival. This event is a coming together of local vendors, showcasing companies with headquarters in Maui County (Maui, Molokai and Lanai). The products sold must have at minimum 51% value added in the County of Maui. This is Maui’s largest product show.
This year’s Made in Maui County Festival is being held Saturday, November 5th from 8-4pm on the lawn at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. Admission is $5 with kids 12 and under free. In addition to some great shopping (Christmas shopping anyone?), there will also be food demonstrations and a fashion show.
I attended the first one 2 years ago, it was amazing! Who knew we had all this talent on Maui?
Shop locally – online!
If you can’t make it or want a preview of what may be there, they have just launched a new website – the Made in Maui County Marketplace! All vendors who have a booth at the Made in Maui County Festival are eligible to be listed on this site. While you don’t purchase here, it links you back to the vendors’ individual websites where you can purchase, get more information and contact them directly. Pretty cool!
What are you shopping for? Do you have your Christmas lists put together? Maybe you’re looking for that perfect keepsake to remember your special Maui time by.
As you come to Maui and consider buying souvenirs, keepsakes and gifts, thank you for shopping local! It keeps money in our local economy, creates jobs, contributes to the community and encourages entrepreneurship! Mahalo!
As you return home, carry forward that aloha and consider supporting your local shops and entrepeneurs also. You will make their day!