Eating Local: 6 Made on Maui Products You Need to Try
Guys, the island of Maui just continues to surprise me (as if you didn’t already know). The ecosystem is beautiful, the people are so friendly and welcoming, and the food is to-die-for. Obviously when you’re using the best and freshest ingredients, it makes for some great eats, but that isn’t just limited to restaurants! Over the last few years of visits to Hawaii, I have discovered some pretty cool products that are made locally on the island of Maui that are definitely noteworthy. Eating locally is not only sustainable and better for the environment, but I absolutely love supporting local businesses that are trying to make a name for themselves. Check out my list of a few local, Made on Maui food/drink brands that are killing it right now:
I discovered this brand this year actually. It was originally established in 2013, but I just recently saw their products popping up in more major retailers like Whole Foods and other grocery stores across the island. Valley Isle Kombucha offer more than a dozen different small batch flavours of Kombucha such as Blue Hawaii (vanilla & coconut), Local Lilikoi (passion fruit), and my personal favourite, the Upcountry Raspberry. I’ve mentioned before about the benefits of drinking Kombucha, but this brew is special due to the rich volcanic soil used to produce their indigenous fruit. There is no added sugar (4 grams of sugar or less), plant based, vegan, non-GMO, raw and unpasteurized. They also opened their own tasting room and bakery to showcase their products. Alchemy Maui features 14 on-tap flavours, alongside a farm-to-table lunch menu. It’s a Maui experience you won’t want to miss, guys.
A few years ago, we took a drive out to Kula on a hunt for strawberries. Of course, we went during off-season so there were none to be found. But on that adventure, we also stumbled upon Surfing Goat Dairy, a dairy farm that’s been producing award-winning gourmet goat cheeses for over 9 years. They offer tours of the farm, goat feeding and milking sessions, and tastings that are fun for the whole family. Sample from over 30 different gourmet goat cheeses, goat’s milk truffles, or goat’s milk soap, or pick up a gift set to take all of their delicious products home with you! Similar to Valley Isle Kombucha, you can also pick up Surfing Goat Dairy at participating grocery stores like Whole Foods or Safeway across the island.
If you’re a beer lover, Maui Brewing Company is a great local brand that you should try out. They’ve been brewing since 2005, and offer 6 Year-Round and 4 Limited Release ales and lagers. Opt for the clean, crisp and refreshing Bikini Blonde Lager, the rich and slightly malty Double Overhead Double IPA, or go a bit more exotic with the sweet and tropical Pineapple Mana Wheat. If you’re more of a soda drinker, they've got options for you as well. Choose from 3 different flavours - Cola, Ginger Beer, or Root Beer. On top of purchasing their products in grocery stores or sampling them on tap at local restaurants and bars, Maui Brewing Company also has their own restaurant chain with locations on both Maui and Oahu, and offer tours of their brewery in Kihei.
Listen guys, it’s actually impossible for me control myself when it comes to Hawaiian Heritage Farms Coconut Candy. It is SO addicting, and it’s only 3-4 ingredients depending on which flavour you choose to enjoy. They’re crunchy, naturally sweet, vegan, and gluten-free, how could you say no? Established in 2010, Hawaiian Heritage Farms has been nurturing and caring for their little piece of the island, all while growing food staples that are native to the area to share with you. Coconuts, dried tropical fruits, macadamia nuts and more, their delicious treats are offered in a number of different retailers on both Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii. Their products are delicious as stand alone snacks, or as added ingredients in some truly heart-warming recipes.
As a true Maui-Based brand, Ocean Organic Vodka has been supporting their local community, and producing an agriculturally based, non-perishable product since 2005. Their vodka is marketed in 50 different states, and is the exclusive vodka offered on Hawaiian Airlines since 2007. Both organic and gluten-free, Ocean Organic Vodka is the only vodka in the world distilled from organic sugar cane and blended with deep ocean mineral water to create a unique depth of flavour. Their ingredients aren’t the only thing that are sustainably sourced either, they used the safest and most eco-friendly production processes possible, using recycled shipping materials and all natural cleaning supplies. Tour their Organic Farm and Distillery or shop for Ocean Organic Vodka at a retailer near you.
Ever wondered how to turn an idea into a profitable food business? Well, Maui Preserved founder Anthony LaBua-Keiser is offering a class on just that. Dedicating to preserving Hawaii’s local fruits and vegetables, Maui Preserved prioritizes sustainability and food security while creating their products. From hot sauces, to preserved and pickled vegetables and fruit, they’re bringing you farm-to-table ingredients captured at peak freshness to enjoy year-round. On-top of producing their own products, they also offer a copacking program where other budding entrepreneurs and business owners can share their production facilities, and get advice on how to build a successful food-industry brand. So, be sure to support this local business that’s supporting other local businesses by picking up their delicious products at any of these locations, also available in Japan!
What are some of your favourite local food/drink brands? I would love to find some new faves to support, so share with me in the comments below!