Maui Nei – Hali’imaile Pineapple Co.


Doug Schenk met the visitors with the kind of smile that radiates from a father showing off his newborn. In the background, Hali’imaile Pineapple Co. employees ate lunch after polishing off the morning’s work two hours ahead of schedule.

At the door of the old parts warehouse, two men who look younger than their years stood in dirty boots and T-shirts.

“These are the guys who run the operation,” Schenk said with affection. The company president is Darren Strand. Rudy Balala is the vice president. They are also partners in the farm, along with Schenk and Doug MacCluer. All are Maui Land & Pineapple Co. veterans. The other partners are Pardee Erdman and Ed Chenchin.

The aroma of plate lunches wafted out of the tin-sided warehouse. In the back of the picnic tables there’s a conference table.

“We meet every Monday to decide that week’s goals,” Strand said.

“All of our employees asked to come to work for Hali’imaile,” Schenk said. All were part of the work force when Maui Pine closed down Dec. 31, 2009. “We were still working out the details (of leasing ML&P equipment and fields) on the last day of the year. We took New Year’s Day off and were on the job the next day.”

“We’ve got the greatest people in the world,” Schenk said. “There’s no division of labor. Everyone does everything.”