Kelvin Moniz of the Kaua‘i Independent Food Bank had a mission Monday — check out the kulolo being sold at the Pau Hana Market that reopened in the Kukui Grove Center parking lot fronting the former Sport Authority store.
“Not only is the kulolo good, their packaging is also good,” Moniz said. “We’re thinking of using this as one of the items for the county’s Kupa‘a food distribution.”
The kulolo created by Hanalei Taro was being offered by Daphne McClure of Moloa‘a Bay Farms, which marked their return to the marketplace with their appearance at the Pau Hana Market, the new name for the farmers’ market at Kukui Grove that closed when the pandemic hit Hawai‘i in March.
“Since we closed the Monday Market in March, we have received requests to bring it back,” said Melissa McFerrin-Warrack, KGC specialty leasing manager. “But we needed to do it in a way that is safe and socially distant to comply with the pandemic health and safety guidelines.”
Kumu Sabra Kauka officiated over the blessing that blanketed the market, including the site, the market staff, the farmers, the produce, the shoppers, and whatever else is connected with the market, indicating a fresh start of the former market in a new location and with the addition of new vendors to the core of original Monday Market farmers.
“When the Kaua‘i County Farm Bureau — Laurie Ho is the president — approached us for a cooperation, we saw this as a wonderful opportunity to partner with the farming community directly when the local support is needed the most,” McFerrin-Warrack said.
“The Kaua‘i Farm Bureau brings a level of quality to these value-added markets, and a connection with the farmers that is second to none,” McFerrin-Warrack said. “Opening with a market staff and social-distancing protocols in place is a vital first step, and we look forward to the future.”
The Pau Hana Market is Mondays from 3 to 5:30 p.m., through the cooperative efforts of KGC, KCFB and the Kaua‘i Grown program.
Participating farmers and vendors are subject to COVID-19 health and safety protocols that include temperature checks, sanitizing and social distancing.
Shoppers are reminded to wear face masks at all times and maintain social distancing of 6 feet from one another, limiting the vendors to one customer at a time. Shoppers are also requested to refrain from handling any produce. Hand-washing stations and sanitizers are also available on-site.
Ho, while pleased with the 20 vendors who started the Pau Hana Market, said the event will grow as more vendors become available.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.