Menehune get prime rib for graduation

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Keiko Napier of Japanese Grandma’s Cafe gets help with her aquaponically-produced leafy greens from Dylan DePue of Kaua‘i Roots Wednesday at Puhi Park Produce.

PUHI — Keiko Napier of Japanese Grandma’s Cafe in Hanapepe estimates it’ll take about 15 pounds of greens to enhance the prime-rib meal with a small salad.

Japanese Grandma’s, in collaboration and partnership with other community benefactors including Kalaheo Cafe, Ron and Teri Kurstin, and the Mark &Eddie Donor Fund, will be preparing 150 meals for graduating Waimea High School seniors Saturday.

“I’m not asking for myself,” Napier told Dylan DePue of Kaua‘i Roots Wednesday while she picked up her order of aquaponically-produced assorted lettuce. “This is for the graduates who this year have nothing because of the COVID-19 and the closure of the schools.”

DePue, whose Kaua‘i Roots lettuce supplies a greater part of the Japanese Grandma’s leafy needs through the Puhi Park Produce farmers’ market, said he is working toward creating a more-efficient ordering system by having shoppers visit and order through the Kaua‘i Roots’ website, app.barn2door.com/e/QAGM9, or if shoppers are familiar with the aquaponically-produced leafy products, email at kauairootsllp@gmail.com.

“This is just a more efficient way of marketing,” DePue said. “Customers place their orders, and that way I know ahead of time how to pack for the market. The customers with orders simply come to pick up and pay.”

Napier said Japanese Grandma’s and the community benefactors will be preparing a dinner that includes prime rib, sushi and trimmings, and a desert provided by Kalaheo Cafe.

Pickup for the celebratory meal will start at 11:30 a.m. at Nana’s House, behind the Big Save Waimea store, and all students will have a virtual party hosted on Zoom so they can dine together and celebrate the occasion with an opportunity for some great prizes.

“This is not the first time we’re doing this for someone else,” Napier said. “We did a similar party for Mother’s Day, where we delivered meals to mothers and their families. People were so excited, they were crying with happiness. One mother had me crying when she told me about her daughter’s passing, and this was the first Mother’s Day alone.”

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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