Every day after school the carpool kids pile into my minivan and announce that they are hungry. I have a couple of standby treats, but yesterday I was craving something different… something cool and refreshing – and to be honest, ever since I saw someone walking around town with a big mason jar, filled with the most delicious looking juice, with the words ‘no ka oi’ emblazoned on the side, I’ve been craving Wow Wow Lemonade.
Now here’s the strange part – I’d never even tried it before. But I’ve been following them on Facebook for a while, and the combination of local, freshly hand-squeezed juice, plus a classic mason jar in a limited edition design, was just more than I could resist. So I brought my kids down to do some product testing, and I also used them as models. They even took some pictures. As recommended by the very friendly staff, the strawberry lemonade with just a touch of mint was a hit! But I can’t wait to bring my mason jar back for more!
Once the lemonade was kid-approved, we checked in with Todd of Wow Wow Lemonade who so kindly answered a few of our questions…
Maui Made: When did Wow Wow Lemonade open?
Todd: We opened our lemonade business in Hawaii about 2 years ago. We started in local farmer’s markets, and we do the Wailuku 1st Friday and Kihei 4th Friday, and then we opened up our lemonade stand (at 415 Dairy Road in Kahului – adjacent to Hawaiian Island Surf Sport and across the street from Kmart) in September 2013. We have also expanded to Oahu and have partnered with Maui born and raised native, Kawika Drummond, to expand our lemonade business on Oahu.
MM: What was the inspiration?
Todd: We started the business a few years ago, after going through a loss of one of our children. Our family wanted to start a business where we could spend more time with each other, and with the people in our community. We have always been very inspired by creating a sustainable, organic lifestyle, that is centered around supporting other farmers and suppliers in our community. We wanted to make a gourmet lemonade stand that was fun for kids and grown ups alike.
MM: Where do you get your produce?
Todd: We buy as much produce as we can from local farmers and growers. We get the majority of our lemons from Hana, Makawao, and Kula from small family farms or growers. Other lemons often come from individual families that have a few trees, and they drop them by our stand. Our Tahitian limes come from a grower in Haiku. Our Lavender comes from the lavender farm upcountry. Strawberries come from the Kula strawberry farm. We get our sugar from the Maui sugar mill, and we get most of our other fruits from small farmers in Kula. Some of the herbs and smaller fruits we also grow ourselves. Many of the growers just drop the fruits off at the stand, and we prepare it in our commercial kitchen.
MM: What’s the best part of doing business on Maui?
Todd: We love the people, and we love working with the local farmers and suppliers. There is so much kindness and the people are so filled with the aloha of Hawaii. We love doing business with people in the community on a personal basis, where we know our growers, and where our fruit comes from. The growers have become our friends, and it becomes more about good relationships than just doing business.
MM: I love the mason jars, its great branding and the designs are really cute. Where did that idea come from?
Todd: I got the idea for mason jar lemonades from my wife, who grew up on a farm. They always drank lemonade from a mason jar. I used to work in the clothing industry, and I used a grommet press for clothing grommets, so I decided to try the grommet press on the mason jar lids so people could put their straws in them.
MM: Will you be offering different limited edition designs in the future?
Todd: Yes, we are working on a couple of new limited jars after the ‘No Ka ‘Oi’ jar that will be released soon. Stay tuned….
Todd: We are opening up another Lemonade stand in the next month. We haven’t announced the location yet, but will let you know shortly! We are also expanding our distribution of our bottled lemonades through local retail accounts and food trucks. Maui Fresh Streatery truck is selling our lemonades, as well as, Da Local Banana, Maui Greens market, and other small grocery stores.
MM: Do you have a kama’aina discount?
Todd: We offer a kama’aina discount of $1 off all new lemonade drinks. We also offer refills on any mason jar for $5.
MM: Anything else we need to know?
Todd: We often have special offers throughout the month on refills, new drinks, and specials, so stay tuned to our instagram (@wowwowlemonde) for more good deals.
Mahalo to Todd and the rest of the WowWow Lemonade Crew – we can’t wait to come back and try more flavors!