By Lyn McNeff, CEO, Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc.
This year Maui Economic Opportunity (MEO) celebrates 50 years of service to the people of Molokai and Maui County. MEO began in 1965 as nonprofit grass roots Community Action Agency chartered to fight poverty in Maui County.
For more than two generations MEO has been engaged in this effort through community advocacy and by providing needed services such as transportation, early childhood development, youth services, inmate reintegration back into the community, and micro loans and business development services to low-income entrepreneurs.
Continuing with efforts to expand upon our work in the community, on March 21, MEO will host our 50th anniversary fundraiser dinner “Dancing with Our Stars.” The event is at the King Kamehameha Golf Club and it promises to be an exciting night of fun as local celebrities compete before judges to win the prize of best dancers of the night.…
KBC News Release
“I don’t have enough time!” How often have we said this? What tasks need to be done? How am I ever going to wade through all this “stuff?” The Kuha`o Business Center (KBC) is presenting a workshop on Time Management on Thursday, Feb. 19 at 10 a.m. as a way to answer these questions.
Each of us has tasks we need to accomplish for self, work, and family. Some of the subjects to be discussed are: How to organize your day, how to set priorities, and the importance of information storage and its retrieval. The workshop will be based on the work of David Allen, who has written three books on the subject. …
Molokai residents have the hots for an ice-cold hybrid treat: a flavored dessert called snow. It’s the feature of new business Sweet Evie’s Snow Factory, which opened on Molokai last Monday.
Maka Augustiro (middle) with wife Kalehua Sproat-Augustiro (far right) and Evie (far left), for whom Sweet Evie’s Snow Factory is named. Photo by Colleen Uechi.
“Snow ice is not ice cream, it’s not shave ice, it’s not frozen yogurt. It’s like frozen cotton candy,” said Kalehua Sproat-Augustiro, who opened the shop along with her husband Maka Augustiro.
Unlike shave ice, which is ground into fine granules, snow is shaved into thin slices that, when layered, have the appearance of wrinkled tissue paper.…
ONABEN News Release
Our Native American Business Network (ONABEN) looks forward to returning to Molokai to work with entrepreneurs and provide free training. This small business development workshop will be provided in Kaunakakai at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs/DHHL Conference Room, across from Coconut Grove, at the Kulana Oiwi Building D, on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 1 to 6 p.m. and Wednesday, Jan. 14, 9 a.m. to noon.
ONABEN provides training and technical assistance to the Molokai small business community as part of a three-year grant with the Administration for Native Americans, and Veronica Hix, ONABEN’s Executive Director, is “Thrilled to return and revisit with so many amazing entrepreneurs on Molokai.…
How local retail stores are staying afloat in a small market
On a typical day, you can cruise through Kaunakakai’s main street in less than a minute. With three compact blocks of stores and eateries, owners must do business with a special delicacy. As the local retail industry grows, they’re navigating new challenges of unexpected competition but are mining their talents and aloha spirit to survive.
In Molokai’s economy, many customers “live paycheck to paycheck,” explained Michelle Hiro, who opened Molokai Cellular in 2008. Business owners said the key to co-existing in a compact, slower-paced setting is respecting each other’s corners of the market.…
Photo by Colleen Uechi.
Growing up, Leilani Kadowaki was bewildered by beauty salons. In her hometown of Maunaloa, there was a salon called Sheer Delight, and when people went in and emerged with new hairstyles, it puzzled her.
“[I said,] ‘What are you guys doing in there, getting your hair all permed up in those curly things? The lady looks scary,’” Kadowaki remembers with a laugh.
More than 20 years later, hairstyling is one of her passions, and she and her family are bringing the beauty business back to her hometown. Michelle and Raymond Hiro, Kadowaki’s aunt and uncle, helped her open a salon on 100 Maunaloa Highway, in the same spot as the salon of her childhood, which was converted into a Molokai Ranch security office and later went unused for more than a decade, according to Raymond.…
A group of Molokai farmers were looking to cultivate something beyond bananas and broccoli on Nov. 20: their business and marketing abilities. About a dozen local farmers and ranchers gathered at Hikiola to attend the Agriculture Business Development Training workshop to refine their skills at winning customers and securing funding.
With the county moratorium on genetically engineered crops currently on hold, many farmers are uncertain about the possible effects on their businesses. Although the workshop’s guest speaker, Nicole Milne, didn’t have concrete answers, she said laying out and following smart plans will keep farmers on the right path.
“I feel like people’s goals for their businesses and their farming ideals are fairly secure,” said Milne, associate vice president for programs for The Kohala Center, a Hawaii Island-based research and education organization.…
Sisters and business partners Leimana Ritte-Camara, left, and Kala`e Tangonan, right, silkscreen a tie in the studio behind their new shop. Photo by Colleen Uechi.
Sitting in her brand-new work studio, local business owner and artist Kala`e Tangonan talks about the Hawaiian mamo. The long-beaked bird, which ali`i prized for its feathers, went extinct more than 100 years ago, a fact that both saddens and inspires Tangonan.
“I thought, ‘I’m gonna make me a mamo,’” Tangonan said, gazing at a line of hanging pareos freshly silkscreened with her hand-drawn mamo. “People can wear him and he can come back alive.”
The desire to weave cultural heritage into art is reflected in the motto of the new business that Tangonan shares with her younger sister Leimana Ritte-Camara and friend Miki`ala Pescaia.…
Tante’s Island Cuisine’s contract with Hotel Molokai has been called off. Tante’s owner Tante Urban and Hotel Molokai Manger Micheal Drew both confirmed the Maui-based company will no longer be responsible for management of the hotel’s bar and restaurant, though neither would give a reason. Both called it a “mutual agreement.”
Tante’s at Hotel Molokai had been operating the bar and offering a small grill menu while the hotel’s kitchen is being rebuilt after a fire destroyed it two years ago.
Management deal or not, Drew said kitchen construction is still on schedule to be completed in early 2015.
“We hope to open doors to the public on or before Valentine’s Day,” Drew confirmed.…
Kanemitsu’s Bakery at the Festival. Photo courtesy of the County of Maui.
The owners of 12 Molokai businesses came home from Maui earlier this month with new customers, sales leads, county-wide fans and a great experience. They attended the first-ever Made in Maui County Festival, an event that showcased locally made products from more than 130 vendors at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center.
The positive response to the festival astounded everyone.
Jennifer Hawkins, small business advocate at Molokai’s Kuha`o Business Center, said about 8,000 attendees were anticipated at the event. Yet despite pouring rain throughout the day, more than 9,000 people came.…