PO‘IPU — Tammy Pu‘u was just going to get her truck, Wednesday but brought her purse because she heard about the special pop up farmers market taking place in the mauka parking lot at The Shops at Kuku‘iula.
Instead of just getting her truck, Pu‘u ended up with dinner and a cooling beverage from the crew at Kiawe Roots, one of the 16 vendors participating in the market.
“I was just going to get the truck,” Pu‘u said. “But I had to get the apples from Veronica Lovesy, and my daughter loves prime rib, so that’s what’s for dinner.”
Lovesy represented Uncle’s Shave Ice, who along with Kiawe Roots were two of the three Shops tenants participating in the farmers market that required Personal Protection (face masks) and social distancing guided by special distance markings on the parking lot.
The market opened to an eager audience of shoppers who flitted through the parking lot seeking a range of fresh fruits and vegetables to meats offered by Rancher’s Daughter Reserve at Andrade Cattle Company, and fresh fish by The Dolphin Po‘ipu.
“This is good,” said Cody Libatore, the chef at Brennecke’s who took time to replenish items from his special COVID-19 menu where they offer curbside take out meals. “We’ve been getting some things from Esaki’s, but you can’t beat fresh.”
A lot of the farmers were participants in the weekly Kaua‘i Culinary Market that was held pre-COVID.
“Florrie’s been so excited about this market, she started planning on what she was going to wear, three days ago,” said Isobel Storch of Lanipo Farms. “Unfortunately, this market is limiting to produce and fruits so I’m doing the baked goods at the Puhi Park Produce. Florrie and her mom Bryna stopped by on the way down, and the excitement must’ve worn her out because she was napping.”
Florence was in the company of Nelson Ka‘ai who created fish and birds from coconut fronds that were presented as appreciation tokens to shoppers.
“Normally, I’m at the market at The Coconut Marketplace,” Ka‘ai said. “But they closed that market in March, and we don’t know when they’re looking at reopening.”
Terry Gordines of Tropical Flower Express had little floral pieces for shoppers’ Mother’s Day.
“We’re done for Mother’s Day,” Terry said. “We did all our heavy mailing up until this morning. We have just this market, and the Saturday Puhi Park Produce before Mother’s Day.”
Johnny Gordines, the president of the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau expressed his appreciation for launching the pop up market to help the farmers and community alike.
Based on the activity taking place, Wednesday, Stacie Chiba-Miguel, the general manager at The Shops at Kukui‘ula said they will continue the market with enhanced procedures for social distancing, protective personal equipment, sanitizing stations, and limited interactions on Wednesdays starting from 3:30 and running until 5:30 p.m. at the mauka parking lot.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.