Maui is home to some of the most beautiful and flavorful produce in the world. With warm temperatures all year around and produce seasons that change very rapidly, one can always find something new and interesting to try. Many families vacation on Maui for extended periods of time or at least long enough to do a little grocery shopping. Here are some tips on where to buy some amazing Maui produce and products when visiting.
First and foremost, Costco is definitely everyone’s friend when it comes to buying great Maui produce, snacks and seafood. And yes, part of the reason is because you can buy large quantities for reasonable prices but, the Costco on Maui is a great place to find a lot of local produce, fish, Hawaiian and Japanese snacks. Some things you may find at Maui Costco include, shrimp chips, taro chips, macadamia nuts, smoked cuttlefish, ahi jerky, fresh poke, sashimi and sushi, fresh lei’s, japanese snacks, real Hawaiian sweet bread and Maui Gold pineapples just to name a few. More surprisingly you can also find frozen, whole suckling pigs and amazing quality fresh fish such as local opakapaka, ahi, monchong, maui mahi, shutome, aku, nairagi and ulua. Mostly local and all available at different times of year depending on the season. When I think Maui, I imagine barbecuing at the beach or poolside, backyard cookouts with friends at home or even at the park and Maui Costco is a great place to buy steaks, sausages, and all types of meat and seafood suitable for the best barbecues. Also, let’s not forget about all the delectable side dishes and snacks that every barbecue needs, all of which is also available at Maui Costco, and many are already pre-made.
Next, there are a few places to get local Maui produce and each place will have similar items and others more specific items. Let’s start with the farm stand at Kumu Farms located at the Maui Tropical Plantation. Kumu Farms itself is has over 60 acres of active farm land at Maui Tropical Plantation located in the heart of Waikapu. They are most famous for their non-GMO SunRise papaya. Kumu Farms grow over 35 different varieties of crops between their land on Maui and active farm land on Molokai. Some things you might find at the farm stand include, parsley, cilantro, eggplant, lilikoi, zucchini, taro, sweet potatoes, fennel, carrots, chard, kale, pineapple, bananas, green beans, corn, avocado, Maui onions and salad greens. You can also find coconut chips that are produced on the farm itself and are really delicious and have a crunch, texture and flavor unlike any other coconut chips out there. They have a selection of jams, dried fruit and trail mixes. The farm stand is open 9-4, Monday through Saturday.
Your next bet to find the best Maui produce available is to go to the bigger farmers markets. The first – Makawao farmers market – is located at Waipuna Chapel, 17 Omaopio Rd in Kula, and is open every Wednesday from 8 am to 1 pm. Here you will find some of the best farmers selling the freshest produce from all over the island. There are vendors selling fresh farm eggs, Maui grown and processed spices, citrus, ginger, sugarcane, guava, bananas and carrots. Two farmers specifically to visit are Oko’a Farms and Kupa’a Farms. Oko’a Farms posts regular updates with pictures on their Instagram and Facebook pages on what they have in season and available. The Upcountry Farmers Market, located at Kulumalu Town Center, 55 Kiopaa Street in Pukalani, is open every Saturday from 7 am to 11 am, rain or shine. This market has over 40 local farmers plus Thai and Indian food vendors, raw and vegan confections, pastries, miso and other locally made products and goods. One tip when visiting the farmers markets – get there as early as possible. The early bird always gets the best pick.
Lastly, if waking up early to get to the farmers market isn’t quite your thing, there are a few other options. You can often times find local produce at stores such at Foodland, Times, Down to Earth and Mana Foods. Foodland and Times are your typical, regular grocery stores and both also tend to carry local fish every now and then. Whereas Down to Earth and Mana Foods specialize in health foods and will have much more selection and usually higher quality products. When shopping around, keep in mind that there are definitely certain items that are significantly different from their mainland counterparts. Citrus for example on Maui tends to have a thicker rind and produce less juice, sometimes less flavor depending on the ripeness and if it is in season. Local citrus is also extremely expensive. Meyer lemons however, are particularly delicious and definitely a must if spotted at any market or store.
Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Rose started culinary school and cooking in professional kitchens at age 23. Upon finishing school and an inspiring trip to San Francisco, she decided to pack her things and move to the city that would ultimately be the start of an incredible cooking and lifelong journey.
For the next 5 years, she trained in some of the most celebrated kitchens in the Bay Area including:
– Benu (stagiaire) by Corey Lee, San Francisco
– Ad Hoc by Thomas Keller, Yountville, CA
– Boulevard by Nancy Oakes, San Francisco
– Mourad by Mourad Lahlou, San Francisco
In May of 2016 she became the Executive Sous Chef for The Mill House located at Maui Tropical Plantation on Maui, Hawaii. In these kitchens she developed a background in savory, pastry, baking and bread production.
An advocate of the slow food movement with a love for strong, bold flavors, fresh produce and rustic cuisine, she believes that food should be comforting and memorable, shared and soulful.
Currently, Rose works as a private chef in the Bay Area with a focus on plant based cooking.