Couple’s business by Koke‘e, for Koke‘e

PORT ALLEN — Shaun and Dana Roberts have gone from selling their products out of their Kalaheo garage to receiving this year’s U.S. Department of Commerce Export Achievement award for Hawai‘i.

And now they’re taking their unique business model to try to help drive funds toward Koke‘e State Park.

The couple has come a long way with the 3-year-old company, Malie Kauai — no, that’s not a typo, it’s mah-lee-ay — which began out of their home but quickly outgrew its surroundings.

The company focuses on capturing the essence of a sampling of crops exotic to foreigners, involving a process that is particularly unique, Dana Roberts says: hydrosol distillation.

The method captures the essence by engulfing the entire plant, including the root and leaf.

“Every cell is collected and used for the benefit of the product,” she said.

Malie Kauai has partnered with small businesses and sustainable farmers on-island for “home, body and spirit,” but launched a brand specifically for Koke‘e one month ago.

For the Koke‘e Conservation Program, Malie Kauai will use the maile vine as the signature feature of the Koke‘e fragrance, to help evoke Koke‘e which its Web site describes as “lush and teeming with vibrant life.”

Purchases from that collection have already put the program into action, as Roberts said she wrote her first check — $410 — to the Koke‘e Conservation Program as a result.

Each month she will continue to make donations from 1 percent of the proceeds, she said.

Other Malie Kauai products use taro, pineapple, coffee and guava, as well as organic pikake, Amy gardenias, mangoes, Singapore plumeria, Kaua‘i coffee, Samoan coconuts and gardenia, to market the island’s “essence.” The Roberts hope the company will be completely certified organic within the next couple of years.

• Amanda C. Gregg, assistant editor/staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.