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Buying Local Maui Produce for All Tastes and Needs

Buying Local Maui Produce for All Tastes and Needs

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.

Maui Costco in Kahului - Get all you need: from clothes to local food to guidebook
Buy all your heart desires in Maui Costco

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.

Kumu Farms, Maui - rows of planted vegetables
Kumu Farms at Maui Tropical Plantation

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.

Maui Farmers Markets in Upcountry - photos of fresh produce and food
Fresh produce and food at Maui farmers markets

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.

So just remember, when visiting Maui, definitely take advantage of the local resources while you are here.  Take the opportunity to consume produce grown from nutrient rich, volcanic soil on an island with farmers that are dedicated to the best farming techniques possible.  Food that is grown, harvested or caught by individuals who continue to push practices that will benefit generations to come.  When supporting local Maui produce, we are supporting those individuals, their beliefs, the island and all that it has to give.  Aloha!

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