Business

New Year, New Restaurant for Molokai

Wednesday, January 25th, 2023

New Year, New Restaurant for Molokai

By Jack Kiyonaga, Community Reporter 

In the center of Kaunakakai, a new restaurant, filled with color and flavor, has caught Molokai residents’ attention. 

Carol Rocha’s Pacific Eatery opened its doors on Jan. 7, located across from Friendly Market. Aiming for a fusion of different cultures and foods, Rocha’s restaurant offers new possibilities for dining on Molokai.  

“What I wanted to create was something that embraced this multicultural influence we have here,” explained Rocha. 

The Friday lunch menu with options like Shanghai pork with shrimp, udon noodles and local greens, Chinese chicken salad, and the carnitas super burrito exemplified this fusion of cultures and Molokai-sourced products.…

E-Bike Business Debuts

Wednesday, January 25th, 2023

E-Bike Business Debuts

By Jack Kiyonaga, Community Reporter 

Molokai has its first electric bike rental business, recently launched by Glenn Poller. 

Through Molokai E-Bike Rental, Poller is currently renting out five e-bikes. Electric bikes use a small battery-powered motor to assist when pedaling. Riders can choose between pedaling with engine assistance or just using the throttle, depending on how reliant they want to be on the bike’s 75-watt electric engine. 

Poller’s bikes are loaded up with puncture resistant tires, shock absorbers and lights, and come with a helmet, rear storage bags and lock. The e-bikes cover a range of 60-80 miles and top out at about 25 mph, he said. …

Gift Local, Support a Dream, Part 3

Wednesday, December 14th, 2022

Gift Local, Support a Dream, Part 3

By Sage Yamashita, Intern Reporter

This holiday season welcomes Molokai-made products to the gift giving list to support local and bring unique presents to others. This week, The Molokai Dispatch spoke with the owners of two small businesses that create and sell products on Molokai. These entrepreneurs, Chrissy Tancayo and Tapuilima “Tapu” Hanapi, are the owners behind Chrissy Makes It and Aunty’s Leis and Little Things. 

Aunty’s Leis and Little Things is located at the Ho’olehua Airport. It offers an assortment of goods from shirts and jewelry to lei and lauhala items for locals and visitors alike.  

“The store was about to shut down and there was a possibility that the lease was going to go away to another vendor,” said Hanapi.…

More Partnerships for Mokulele

Wednesday, November 30th, 2022

By Jack Kiyonaga, Community Reporter

As Molokai residents are well aware, flying to and from Molokai is expensive and unreliable.

Roundtrip flights to neighboring islands routinely cost well over $200. Molokai residents have been left holding the bag and wondering when flight service will improve.

Recently, Mokulele Airlines, owned by mainland company Southern Airways, entered into new agreements with Hawaiian and Alaska airlines. The agreements will allow the West Coast based airlines’ customers to book tickets directly to Mokulele destinations – including Molokai.

Southern Airways CEO Stan Little explained that he believes “our airlines working together will advance our shared goal to benefit the people of Hawaii.”…

Gift Local, Support a Dream, Part 2

Wednesday, November 30th, 2022

Gift Local, Support a Dream, Part 2

By Sage Yamashita, Intern Reporter

Shopping Molokai-made products will be the highlight of gift-giving during the holiday season. To give an inside look on Molokai gifts, a selection of local artisans, crafters and shops are featured for the next couple of weeks in The Molokai Dispatch. This week, we talked with the Molokai entrepreneurs behind Hulalei Designs and Buji-fied about supporting the island’s community, while keeping your money local this holiday season. 

Lehua Paris is the creator behind the brand Hulalei Designs and the terms “Eat more Veg’Aina” and “Making Mo’olelos.” These brand terms are frequently heard and seen on Molokai. …

New Kaunakakai Multi-Use Building Nearing Completion

Wednesday, November 16th, 2022

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

A prominent new building in Kaunakakai is nearing completion after construction delays following its controversial approval in 2017. The building, located on the corner between American Savings Bank and the current DreamTech Verizon store, will contain eight small studio units and three commercial spaces, according to owner Stan Wada of Oahu.

Wada said he is still deciding whether the units will be used as hotel rooms or longer term rental. Each unit will have a small refrigerator and bathroom, with six units on the second floor and two downstairs for wheelchair accessibility. Three commercial spaces will be available for business use.…

2 Wahine Entrepreneurs Showcase Molokai Success

Thursday, October 20th, 2022

2 Wahine Entrepreneurs Showcase Molokai Success

By Sage Yamashita, Intern Reporter

Two Molokai businesswomen are taking strides and making sales through their fashion companies. Iwi Nails and [Ep-ik] Style were recently selected to join five wahine-led businesses in the 2022/23 FoundHer cohort, a statewide business accelerator program, selected from among hundreds of applicants. 

Iwi Nails is an ʻaina inspired gel nail art and accessories company founded by Līhau Willing. 

“I discovered gel nail strips when traveling to Korea, and I thought that they were an amazing product. Though I loved the gel nail strips, there weren’t really designs that I loved or related to, so I decided to design some of my own,” said Willing, who is originally from Kona and now lives on Molokai, where her partner’s ʻohana is from.…

New Store at Hotel Molokai

Wednesday, October 5th, 2022

New Store at Hotel Molokai

By Sage Yamashita, Intern Reporter

A new store located at Hotel Molokai, operated by local excursion business Molokai Outdoors,  offers inventory for visitors and residents alike. Along with renting cars and running tours the business is now able to promote Molokai entrepreneurs with a wide range of products in the shop, open Mondays through Saturdays at 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

“Our main business philosophy is to create jobs and opportunities for our Molokai residents so having a store next to our activity desk made the most perfect sense,” said Molokai Outdoors owner Clare Albino.  

Albino said they are working on their own product line and meanwhile, offer a variety of essentials, snacks, gifts and locally-made items.…

Aloha Festivals Merchandise on Molokai

Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

Aloha Festivals News Release

Aloha Festivals, the largest Hawaiian cultural celebration in the U.S., is pleased to announce that apparel brand Hawaii’s Finest is producing its exclusive 2022 festival merchandise with designs inspired by the 2022 festival theme “Aloha ʻĀina, Love of the Land.”

“We have the pleasure of partnering with popular, local brand Hawaii’s Finest once again to celebrate the return of Aloha Festivals this year,” said Helene “Sam” Shenkus, co-chair of Aloha Festivals. “It’s an honor to be working with a home-grown brand that cares so much about Hawaii’s people and culture.”       

The exclusive release includes T-shirts, jackets, jerseys, board shorts, polo shirts, stickers and more.…

Business Conference Builds Entrepreneurs’ Toolbelt

Wednesday, August 10th, 2022

Business Conference Builds Entrepreneurs’ Toolbelt

By Catherine Cluett Pactol | Editor

From those with just a dream of a business to thriving entrepreneurs, last Wednesday’s annual Molokai Business Conference offered a learning opportunity for everyone. 

“It was a great turnout; we had business leaders, people interested in starting a business, we had people from the nonprofit sector, private and commercial sectors, we had bankers,” said Tylor Tanaka, small business specialist at Maui County’s Kuha’o Business Center on Molokai, which organized the conference.

A hybrid model brought classes both in person at the UH Maui College Molokai campus as well as virtually by Zoom for those who couldn’t be there, drawing more than 50 participants.…