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Articles about Hawaii

Hawaiian Gifts for the Coffee Lover – Made in Hawaii Kona Coffee

“The call for Kona coffee, which is said to be inferior to none in the world, is much greater than for any other kind, and it is a thousand pities, that beautiful district does not send more to market.”
The Sydney Morning Herald, 1854

The Best Coffee in the World

For over a century Hawaii Kona coffee has been known as the best coffee in the world.  Only coffee beans from the Kona region of the Big Island of Hawaii may be legally labeled “Kona coffee”.  In 1828 Samuel Reverend Ruggles brought Brazilian cuttings of Coffea arabica to Hawaii; Hawaii’s first coffee plant. Coffea arabica is believed to be the first species of coffee to be cultivated well over 1,000 years ago.

What’s so special about Kona?

Continue reading Hawaiian Gifts for the Coffee Lover – Made in Hawaii Kona Coffee

Hawaii Children’s Books for Toddlers – Favorites

“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”
~ Emilie Buchwald

When my 2 year old son asks me to read a story over and over as he perches in my lap, I call it the “downloading” phase. After he’s done “downloading” he will often sit independently and recite his version of the book to himself. Observing this practice is one of my great joys. Several of his favorite books are written by Hawaii authors and printed in Hawaii and it is my pleasure to share them with you.

Our Favorite Hawaii Children’s Books

Animals Sing Aloha Hawaii Childrens Book

Animals Sing Aloha


by Vera Arita
Illustrated by Ron Louie

This is a very interactive book that teaches reading and writing the alphabet. The author specifically designed this book to introduce young children to phonics. As we sing through the song we trace the letters. My son often recognizes the birds or gecko that we see around the island. The illustrations are vibrant and fun, similar to an Eric Carle book. As a parent, I feel that this is one of the best local books out there; educational AND fun!
Continue reading Hawaii Children’s Books for Toddlers – Favorites

3 Hawaiian Plants that are not Hawaiian

There are nearly 3,000 different kinds of flowers and plants in Hawaii. The Bishop Museum conducts the Hawaii Biological Survey to keep track of the many native and non-native plants and animals of Hawaii.  Nearly 90% of the native plants of Hawaii are endemic or uniquely found only in Hawaii.  With over 1,000 native Hawaiian plants to choose from, it is surprising that many iconic Hawaiian plants are actually not originally from Hawaii.

Fruit Salad Plant (Monstera deliciosa) 1

1. Monstera

This beautiful tropical foliage, originally from Mexico, has inspired many local products such as Hawaiian quilts, jewelry, and prints on art, clothing, and pillows.

It was brought to Hawaii in the 19th Century as a household plant.  In addition this exotic fruit is edible!  It is said that it tastes like a combination of banana, pineapple, and mango.   However, beware as all parts of this plant are poisonous  and may cause irritation due to oxalic acid except the ripe fruit. Continue reading 3 Hawaiian Plants that are not Hawaiian

Is this product REALLY hawaiian?

How many times have you purchased a product labeled Hawaiian and it’s not made in Hawaii?

As a consumer I like to find authentic products. When I search for Hawaiian products I want to find products that are actually made in the Hawaiian islands.

Made in Hawaii Defined

by the Hawaii Revised Statute Chapter 486-119

A product labeled “Made in Hawaii” must have at least 51% of it’s wholesale value added by manufacture, assembly, fabrication, or production within the state of Hawaii.

Businesses are responsible for using the “Made in Hawaii” label appropriately. To determine if a product qualifies for use of the “Made in Hawaii” label, a cost analysis must be performed using the following three components of wholesale value:

  1. Direct Material Cost – raw materials, distinguished by origin, imported or Hawaiian
  2. Direct Labor Cost – the cost of workers who add value through direct involvement in production in Hawaii
  3. Manufacturing Overhead Cost – indirect manufacturing costs incurred in Hawaii


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Where to find Made in Hawaii products

While Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture’s Quality Assurance Division tries to regulate use of the “Made in Hawaii” label, I have still found it difficult to identify businesses that are actually making products in Hawaii.

Find vendors that meet the Made in Hawaii law previously mentioned here:

  1. Made in Hawaii Festival
    An annual event on Oahu, usually in August, featuring vendors from all the Hawaiian islands
  2. The Made in Maui County Festival
    An annual event on Maui, usually in November, featuring Maui vendors
  3. Kauai Made
    A website by the County of Kauai, Office of Economic Development featuring Kauai vendors
  4. Molokai Made in Hawaii
    A website by The Molokai Chamber of Commerce featuring Molokai vendors.

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