Mahi Pono to host festival with sales of first fall harvest – All pumpkin sale proceeds to benefit Imua Family Services

The Maui News

Mahi Pono will celebrate its first fall harvest with a drive-thru festival and sales of farm-fresh produce, the company announced.

The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Yokouchi Family Estate in Wailuku, at the entrance from the lower gate on Koele Street.

“The past seven months have been an extremely challenging time for our community, especially the keiki, and we wanted to create a fun activity for families to participate in fall traditions like picking out a pumpkin to carve and trick-or-treating,” Shan Tsutsui, senior vice president of operations for Mahi Pono, said in a news release. “We also wanted to make this event a benefit for Imua Family Services in recognition of the outstanding work they continue to do each and every day.”

The drive-thru festival will feature the following stops:

• Station 1: Drive-thru trick-or-treat stations. Keiki are encouraged to come dressed in costume and will be able to receive candy directly from their vehicle.

• Station 2: Pickup of preordered pumpkins to take home and carve for Halloween. The first 200 people who purchase pumpkins will receive a free carving kit. Pumpkins will cost $10 with net proceeds benefiting Imua Family Services.

• Station 3: Pickup of preordered product boxes featuring farm-fresh produce. Additional products available at this station will include Maui Cattle Company’s 5-pound ground beef, 5-pound papaya box, potato chips and farm-sourced honey.

Participants are encouraged to order pumpkins, produce, beef and other products online at PulehunuiFarmMarket.com. A limited supply of these items will also be available for purchase at the event.

Net proceeds from all pumpkin sales will benefit Imua Family Services and its community-based program that assists keiki with overcoming developmental learning challenges.

“In difficult times like this when businesses and nonprofits join together, we create a symbiotic relationship that enhances community and cultivates stronger interconnectedness,” said Dean Wong, executive director for Imua Family Services.

For more information on Mahi Pono’s Fall Harvest, pricing and to preorder, visit PulehunuiFarmMarket.com.

What’s Brewing? – Shaka Mamaki Maui Tea

World Tea News
By Aaron Kiel

Shaka Tea Expands Supply Chain to Maui

Shaka Tea – the first line of bottled iced teas on the market brewed with sustainably-grown, Hawaiian mamaki leaves – announced a supply chain expansion to the island of Maui with Mahi Pono, a Maui-based farming company, as an anchor partner. Selling their teas across the islands, the United States and Japan, Shaka Tea is committed to sustainable agriculture and economic abundance by connecting local supply chain to off-island demand, via the burgeoning mamaki industry.

“We are excited to expand our supply chain to Maui, launching with our partners at Mahi Pono, who will be planting mamaki seedlings this year with the goal to see a first harvest in mid 2021,” shared Bella Hughes, co-founder and president of Shaka Tea. “We believe in a resilient, agricultural future for Hawai’i that complements high-value and lightweight export crops, such as mamaki, to be grown alongside food crops for local use. “We appreciate Mahi Pono’s commitment to a vibrant, sustainable future rooted in community.”

Founded in 2016 by O’ahu born Bella Hughes and her husband Harrison Rice, Shaka Tea is an award-winning herbal tea company and the first line of Hawai’i-grown, RTD iced teas on the market brewed with mamaki, an ancient, adaptogenic superleaf that’s only found one place in the world: the Hawaiian archipelago. The company’s supply chain helps restore native ecosystem habitat through the planting of mamaki, which is the host plant for Hawai’i’s native and endangered pollinator butterfly, the Kamehameha Butterfly. Presently, Shaka Tea works with 16 small farms on Hawai’i Island who all handharvest their mamaki, which is then dried and processed at the company’s Hilo HQ.

“Within the next few months, Mahi Pono will start test trials of mamaki and we are very hopeful that it will thrive on the lands we steward in Central Maui,” said Shan Tstusui, Mahi Pono’s senior vice president of operations. “The initial mamaki crops will be grown in a polycrop style in our Chef’s Corner row crop project alongside other non-GMO crops including kale, sweet corn and green beans. We hope this will encourage other local farmers across the state to look at incorporating native and endemic plants, like mamaki, alongside their various food crops.”

By the end of 2020, Shaka Tea will have given away 25,000 mamaki seedlings on Hawai’i Island to get small farmers started and looks forward to giving away 5,000 mamaki seedlings to help small, independent Maui farmers who are part of the Ag Park get started in 2021.

To learn more, visit ShakaTea.com.

Mahi Pono Appoints Tsutsui as Senior VP of Operations

MAUI NOW

Former Hawai‘i Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui will join Mahi Pono, LLC, as its Senior Vice President of Operations and will lead the farming venture on Maui.

“Throughout his years of service, Shan has been a strong advocate and leader in supporting and promoting local food production and sustainable agriculture in Hawai‘i,” said Ann Chin, Mahi Pono president. “As a Maui native, he is sensitive to the needs of the community and embodies our commitment to being responsible stewards of the land and a catalyst for growth.”

As Senior Vice President of Operations, Tsutsui’s responsibilities will include business strategy, management operations, community leadership, and government relations.

“Mahi Pono’s farming venture represents a significant step forward in advancing agricultural opportunities on Maui,” said Tsutsui. “It is an honor to be part of this initiative and be able to continue working toward strengthening agricultural sustainability in Hawai‘i, so that we can make a lasting impact on our keiki (children).”

On Dec. 10, Mahi Pono announced the purchase of approximately 41,000 acres of former Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company (HC&S) lands on the island of Maui from Alexander & Baldwin. Mahi Pono is planning a full range of agricultural operations and related uses. There are no plans to convert any of the lands to non-agricultural purposes. Mahi Pono’s plans help ensure the continued use of the former HC&S lands for agriculture, the preservation of green, open space in Central Maui, and a consistent and long-term source of revenue for the local economy.

“We are committed to becoming a positive contributor to the local community. In the coming months, I look forward to working closely with the Maui community to discuss the best ways to support and strengthen local agriculture,” added Tsutsui.

Tsutsui joins Mahi Pono from Strategies 360, a strategic positioning firm, where he will continue to serve as managing partner.

During his terms as the Lieutenant Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, he created and oversaw various programs and initiatives that supported and promoted education, sustainability and sports, including the Resource for Enrichment, Athletics, Culture and Health (R.E.A.C.H.) initiative, ‘Aina Pono Hawai‘i State Farm to School Initiative, Sports Development Initiative, among other programs. Previously, Tsutsui served as a Hawai‘i State Senator and became the first Senate President selected from Maui. He is a former small business owner and financial advisor.

Tsutsui graduated from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics, and is a graduate of Maui High School. He resides on Maui with his wife Lyndelle and their three daughters.