It all started with food.
That’s how the owners of Hippie Café @ Caffe Coco — a quaint, romantic, all-organic restaurant set in a “funky backyard” met 18 years ago.
Hollam Hamid was just a traveler to Kauai when she fell in love with her server — now husband — Haleem Hamid at a South Shore restaurant in Poipu.
The two foodies struck up a conversation and Hollam was sold on the idea of Kauai. The duo then branded Hippie Café food items and eventually purchased the 20-year-old Caffe Coco five years ago and have since rebranded the restaurant to be a place for health nuts to enjoy breakfasts and dinners.
Hippie Café by day and Caffe Coco by night, the couple serves those who are conscientious about their diets and looking for a little TLC for their bodies.
“Everyone thinks we’re gluten-free, vegan and it makes me want to be,” Hollan Hamid said. “I’m vegan and I’m a chef, but everything in the restaurant is vegan-based.”
Everything on the menu can be made vegan, she said. But she also serves organic chicken, fresh local fish, shrimp and of course tofu for protein option.
But Hollan wasn’t always vegan.
After analyzing her health, Hollan was inspired to change her eating habits eight years ago and converted to a vegan.
“I became conscious of food and ingredients,” said the California Culinary Academy graduate. “I had to relearn everything about all of the food I loved.”
Then a new challenge presented itself.
“I wasn’t impressed with the products that were offered,” she said. “We were missing a lot of flavor and the tastes that we were used. So it’s really about taking all of my comfort foods and making them as healthy as can be without comprising flavor. If I can have it gluten free and have it taste the way it’s supposed to, I’m in heaven.”
So she created her own and it inspired a restaurant.
Constantly growing and adding new healthier foods to the menu, Hollam said she wants people to know that Hippie Café in the morning is great place to get a healthy breakfast and Caffe Coco by night is a place to enjoy a relaxing evening and stay true to your healthy diet.
From 8 to 1:30 p.m. every day customers can enjoy Acai Bowls, smoothies, “drinky drinks”—including cold brewed coffee, Tahitian lemonade, hibiscus green tea, salads and baked goods.
Caffe Coco, hours are 5 to 9, is more to finish off the day right.
One of the most ordered items is the Coconut Mac Nut Local Catch or Tofu served over jasmine rice, made with their own crust of mac nuts coconut with ginger and garlic and herb infused oil with a side salad of Kailani Farm greens. Cost $30 with fish and $24 with tofu.
Hollan, also a YouTube chef, said she is working on a cookbook to help teach people to create healthy meals and wants to expand her restaurant business to the South Shore in the near future.