News and reviews of made on Maui products and Maui-based companies and success stories. Also featuring island shopping guides

Posts tagged ‘Event’

Preview of Carden Jamboree Auction Items + Cocktails

carden jamboree auction items plus cocktails This weekend (Saturday, April 25, 2015) is the event we’ve been waiting all year for – the Carden Academy Jamboree!  (click here to see the pictures from last year’s event) Today’s post we give you a bit of a sneak peek into what will be special this year- including just a few of the Silent and Live Auction items (already over 170 items posted online – and even more not yet disclosed!)

The greatest thing about these auction items is that some of these things you CANNOT BUY!  For example, if you’ve lived on Maui long enough you’ve heard of The Poker Game, held at Don Nelson (former NBA Coach)’s house – and not to name drop here but let’s just say some of Maui’s more famous residents, like Woody, Willie and Owen, have been known to drop in to these games.  Want to get a seat at this game?  There will be two available to the highest bidder at the Jamboree…

maui celebrity card game - poker night - don nelson - owen wilson - woody harrelson - willie nelson

Another item that’s NOT AVAILABLE for purchase anywhere, is a Seat at the Judge’s Table for a Knife Fight at Cow Pig Bun in Kihei.  From the catalog description: “You’ll have the opportunity to taste all the food (and beverages also provided) as two local chefs battle it out in the Cow Pig Bun kitchen arena. Chefs will be given a featured ingredient to use in three rounds of food as you watch from your prime viewing spot. As one of the 3 judges that evening, you will help decide who is the best chef! Other judges include food critics, chefs and culinary school instructors, so you’ll be in great company!” 

cow pig bun knife fight judge


There are lots of hotel stays all over the country, including this awesome offering for anyone heading to the Big Apple this year – two tickets to see Late Night with Seth Myers and two nights at the Millennium Broadway New York Hotel

seth myers late night NYC hotel stay auction item

Many, many island businesses have generously donated restaurant gift certificates, activities, art, jewelry and much more!  A new addition to the silent auction this year are the Gift Baskets, assembled by the parents of each class (K-8) at Carden, and by some of our sponsors and donors as well!   Gift basket themes include Mother’s Day, Summer Fun, and what’s sure to be a huge hit – the Trader Joe’s basket!  This Mother’s Day basket (shown below – styled by RiverMoon Botanicals) includes a $75 gift certificate (in a silver frame) from Green Ti Spa in Wailuku, coffee, tea, a make-up/tote bag, a Bottle of Merlot and wine glasses, Mixing bowls, measuring cups, tart baking cups, spices,  Wrappily wrapping paper, Jasmine soap and a few air plants and succulents, a floral bucket and  wooden crate.  Mother’s Day is coming up on May 10! 

mother's day basket - auction gift basket ideas

The Mother’s Day Basket – filled with goodies for mom or grandma, and styled by Rivermoon Botanicals

I’d also like to personally thank Maui Ocean Center’s gift shop, Maui Ocean Treasures, for assembling a beautiful basket, and everyone who so graciously donated towards the creation of a Maui Made basket in honor of this blog! (all photographed below)  Mahalo to Wrappily (recyclable and eco-friendly gift wrap and accessories based on Maui), Rip Skirt Hawaii (an athletic and swim coverup designed here on Maui), Mana Sol (body products made on Maui), Backyard Juice by Two Chicks in a Hammock (chili water made on Maui), Beauty of Maui (Maui photography screensaver/flash drives) and Sailbags Maui (bags made from recycled kite surf sails!).


Deep Island Hawaiian Rum - Wave Rum - Made on Maui

Deep Island Hawaiian Rum – Wave Rum – Made on Maui

Two more baskets that will be popular are the baskets provided by our sponsor Ocean Vodka and Deep Island Hawaiian Rum, all created right here on Maui!

Other amazing auction items include a children’s birthday party package at the Kihei Firehouse  and a package of five horseback riding lessons at True North Equestrian, and a tour and lunch at O’o Farms   

Besides the auction items, another EXCLUSIVE to the Jamboree are the cocktails – created by Dazoo’s bartender Jimmy Shoemaker, two cocktails, featuring Ocean Vodka and Deep Island Hawaiian Rum (of course), were designed just for this event.  These cocktails also feature Dazoo’s house made shrubs.

Jimmy Shoemaker, bartender at Dazoo, will be mixing up cocktails all night long at the Carden Jamboree!

Jimmy Shoemaker, bartender at Dazoo, will be mixing up cocktails all night long at the Carden Jamboree! Photo by Jessica Pearl, Courtesy Ocean Vodka


Whipcracker - made with Wave Rum and Tangerine Shrub

Whipcracker – made with Wave Rum and Tangerine Shrub

High Noon - made with Ocean Vodka and strawberry shrub

High Noon – made with Ocean Vodka and strawberry shrub


Hope to see you at the event!

Carden Academy Jamboree – Tickets Now Available!


Tickets are now available for Carden Academy’s annual fundraiser, the Jamboree, to be held on Saturday, April 25!  This is a gala-style event, with live auction, hand-crafted cocktails, a buffet and dancing, but with a unique twist – its a cowboy theme!  Attendees break out their finest cowboy hats and boots, jeans and plaid shirts, and head upcountry to the polo field for this event with a great cause.  This year’s funds raised will go towards tuition assistance, the creation of a new Pre-K classroom, and the ‘greening’ of the campus – making it more energy efficient and healthier for all.

The evening’s activities include a BBQ dinner buffet by Three’s Bar and Grill, hand-crafted cocktails by Dazoo and Ocean Vodka, live music by the Country Knights, silent auction, live auction, and a pie contest!


Tickets range from $100 for a general admission ‘Paniolo’ ticket to $2,000 for a Spurs Sponsorship table for 10 guests, which includes 2 bottles of wine, wait staff at your table, preferred seating around the stage and dance floor, thank you gifts, website acknowledgement and logo placement in program.

Even with the event two months away, almost 100 silent and live auction items have already been donated!  Highlights so far include a private dinner in your home with Chef Dan Fiske, gift certificates to Fleetwood’s on Front Street, two nights in an ocean view room at the Four Seasons Wailea, two nights at the Grand Wailea including spa treatments and dining at the Molokini Bistro, and a children’s party at the Kihei Fire Station!

Silent and live auction items are still begin accepted, (click here to submit) and event sponsors are welcome as well (view contact information on this link)

Check out more on the Jamboree at these links : order tickets, donate an item or gift certificate, view the auction items, or join the Park and Ride shuttle courtesy of Hike Maui.

Highlights of last year’s events are pictured on this post, but read more about last year’s event, and see the rest of the pictures! 


Facebook Contest Details!  For a limited time, MauiMadeBlog is running a CHALLENGE – IF we can get 10 (ten) legitimate made or designed on Maui items or gift certificates (valued at $10 or more) donated towards a Maui Made Gift Basket for the silent auction by March 13, we will do a RANDOM giveaway on our Facebook Page, for one individual ticket to the Jamboree (valued at $100)  To enter the contest, you must comment or share any of the corresponding posts on the MauiMadeBlog Facebook Page.  Anyone donating an item will receive TWO entries.  And best of all?  If the basket comes together, all the items will be featured in an upcoming post!  I will coordinate the pick-up of items located centrally (Kihei, Upcountry, Wailuku) – for Hana or westside items, can meet in town possibly?

To donate, send me a message on the MauiMade Facebook Page 

What is a legitimate item?  One that can be purchased at a store or craft fair on Maui, and/or with an actual online or Etsy shop  (must be a REAL product or service)  You must have created or designed that product, or be an authorized re-seller of the product.


Feel Good Events on Maui for June 2014

There are so many great events coming up in June, so I decided to put together a list of all the events that have proceeds going to a good cause!  I selected these events in particular because they are something that anyone can join in – you don’t need to be a part of these organizations to help out, and they would be great events for visitors and locals alike!  Add your event to the list (or for upcoming months) by sending to the email at the bottom:

  • tipsy turtle maui event june 2014 drink fundraiser Event: Hawaii Wildlife Fund Benefit Night at Dazoo
  • Date: Monday, June 2, 2014
  • Time: 5-9pm
  • Location: 78 Baldwin Avenue, Paia (former Moana Cafe)
  • Event Website For More Info
  • Details: A Portion of the Proceeds from Dinner Sales will be donated to Hawaii Wildlife Fund. Includes live music, silent eco-auction and a signature cocktail, “The Tipsy Turtle”.  Benefit Night for HWF will be occurring the first Monday of every month.
  • What They Do: Formed in 1996, Hawaii Wildlife Fund (HWF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of Hawaii’s native wildlife through research, education and advocacy.
  • Event: Basketball Maui Fundraiser Night at Flatbread
  • Date: Tuesday, June 3, 2014
  • Time: 5-10pm
  • Location: 89 Hana Hwy, Paia
  • Event Website: For More Info: 
  • Details: 2nd Annual Flatbread Fundraiser: A portion of sales of each flatbread is donated to Basketball Maui.
  • What They Do: Basketball Maui is dedicated to providing hope to Maui County youth through education, leadership training, character development, and world-class basketball instruction. (see more basketball maui events below)
  • Event: Maui Upcountry Ag and 4-H Farm Fair Fair
  • Dates: Saturday and Sunday, June 7 & 8, 2014
  • Time: 8am – 4pm
  • Location: Oskie Rice Field, Makawao
  • Details: The 34th annual Upcountry Fair features music, food, games, exhibits, a rodeo- a true upcountry experience! This year’s event features the Cowboy Church, a beauty pageant, paniolo awards, and the best-dressed cowboy and cowgirl contests.
  • 4-H Livestock Show Saturday @8am – Followed by the auction – Bidding starts at 1pm sharp, continues 9am Sunday.
  • For More Info: 
  • What They Do: 4-H projects and activities help youth develop life skills through livestock projects includign feeding, managing and exhibiting their animals. Students acquire knowledge and skills in selection, production, processing and marketing.
  • Event: Used Book Sale by Maui Friends of the Library at Whole Foods
  • Date: Saturday, June 14, 2014
  • Time: 9am – 2pm
  • Location: Outside Whole Foods at Maui Mall, Kahului
  • Website:
  • Details: Summer reading ahead — at bargain prices! A large variety of donated fiction and non-fiction book selection! Each keiki will be able to take home a free children’s book from the designated selection, while supplies last!
  • What They Do: Everyday, Maui Friends of the Library sells used books, DVD’s, CD’s and more at their three book stores around the island, as well as new Hawaiiana items. All proceeds benefit Maui County’s public libraries
  • maui poker night celebrity tournament Event: Poker with the Pros – Fundraiser for Basketball Maui
  • Date: Thursday, June 26, 2014
  • Time: 6-10pm
  • Location: Grand Wailea
  • Event Website:
  • Details: 1st Annual Poker with the Pros charity poker tournament. Guests can play for a chance to bet against celebrity players including a lineup of NBA All Stars
  • What They Do: see above
  • Event: Night of Shooting Stars
  • Date: Saturday, June 28, 2014
  • Time: Doors open at 4pm
  • Location: Lahaina Civic Center
  • Website: 
  • Details: 4th Annual Night of Shooting Stars celebrity and professional exhibition games :  Last year more than 2,400 basketball fans filled the Lahaina Civic Center to watch professional players go head-to-head and local celebrities play basketball Maui’s camp all-stars. Family Friendly event.
  • Event: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui’s 27th Annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake Event
  • Date: Saturday, June 21, 2014
  • Time: 9am – 5pm
  • Location:  Maui Bowling Center in Wailuku.
  • Website:
  • Details: Bowl for Kids’ Sake is a fun and easy way for you and your company, friends, or family to support the life-changing work of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Maui. If you care about keiki and can spare an hour to have fun with your friends, then Bowl for Kids’ Sake is for you! Don’t forget that this year’s theme is a “Western Paniolo” theme so find a fun outfit to wear representing our theme. Dressing up is not mandatory but there will be prizes for the teams that demonstrate the most team spirit.
  • What They Do:  Since their inception in 1968, Maui’s BIGS, LITTLES, donors, corporations and other community members have been coming together to change the lives of children facing adversity for the better, forever.
  • Event: Relay for Life of Central and South Maui
  • Date: Saturday, June 28, 2014
  • Time: Starts at 6pm
  • Location: War Memorial Soccer Overflow Field, Wailuku
  • Website: 
  • Details & What They Do: Relay For Life – an overnight event – is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.  Monies raised will fund educational programs, research, advocacy and services to cancer patients.


To Submit your event : (must have a non-profit beneficiary) – For any month – will run if I get enough events listed: please send two weeks out from start of month if possible. Email to lizsmithonmaui (at) yahoo (dot) com

Please fill out:

  • Event Name:
  • Date:
  • Time:
  • Location:
  • Website (for the Event):
  • Details:
  • What They Do:

(Word count for ‘details’ and ‘what they do’ should be under 100 words combined) You may also send a small image.

Maui Open Studios – February 2014

Over 85 Maui-based artists and artisans open up their studios and exhibition spaces to show and sell their work during the 4th Annual Maui Open Studios, taking place on three weekends in February 2014.  The public can personally connect with the artists, something that doesn’t always happen in a gallery setting, and in some cases, the artists will even be giving live demonstrations. The entire event is free to the public.

Eva Roberts Maui Open Studio

Eva Roberts opens her studios and backyard with Maui Open Studios 2014. Photo by Randy Hufford

Visitors are also invited to join many of the artists at the Opening Celebration and Preview Exhibition on February 1, where they can enjoy a cash bar, no-host pupus, listen to live music, preview a few pieces of the artists’ work, and connect with the artists. This is also a great place to pick up a copy of the MOS Guidebook containing an artist directory and maps directing them to different studios and exhibition spaces around the island. Guidebooks are also available throughout the duration of the event at various locations around the island, which are listed on Visitors then design their own self-guided tours for each weekend of the month, either by referring to their printed guidebook or our online artist directory at

Maui Open Studios Dates and Locations:

  • Opening Celebration/Preview Exhibition

Saturday, February 1 from 5pm – 8pm • Maui Tropical Plantation

The Open Studio self-guided tours begin the following weekend. Hours for the Weekend Open Studios are 11am – 6pm.

  • rick strini maui open studios

    Rick Strini, one of Maui’s master glassblowers, demonstrates his talents – Photo by Rob Ratkowski

    Weekend 1: Upcountry Maui • Saturday and Sunday, February 8 and 9

  • Special Bonus Event: Tuesday, February 11 – “Georgia O’Keeffe’s Hawai’i – A Talk by Patricia Jennings”, will be held on from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm at Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center. Free but RSVP required:
  • Weekend 2: Central Maui, North Shore, Road to Hana and Hana • Saturday and Sunday, February 15 and 16
  • Weekend 3: West and South Maui • Saturday and Sunday, February 22 and 23

History of the Event: 

The Annual Maui Open Studios Event is the first of its kind in the state of Hawaii and was created 4 years ago by a former Maui artist who now resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. The mission of MOS is to connect the art community with art-lovers on Maui. Since it’s inception, the event has featured over 85 artists every year and generated over 6,000 individual studio visits by art collectors and art enthusiasts each year. $100,000 in art sales made directly between art-collectors and artists have been generated by the event each year since it’s creation.

The event is produced and organized by acclaimed fine art photo collage artist and former art gallery owner on Maui and Oahu, Carolyn Quan. She is now based in the San Francisco Bay Area after living in Hawaii for 9 years, while continually remaining connected to the islands and serving the art community there.

Follow Maui Open Studios on Facebook 

News and Events for November 2013

I’ll be posting more about November events and news as the month goes on – but there’s some great news in the restaurant scene for Maui, and some really special events taking place this month so I wanted to get this out quickly.  Once everyone gets over their Halloween hangover, puts all the decorations away, and changes the calendar, they will realize that Thanksgiving is coming faster than we can say ‘gobble, gobble’, and I’ll start getting lots of information on Thanksgiving lunch specials, Black Friday sales, etc!

Here’s your highlights for Maui News and Events for November, 2013.

Tour News:

maui ocean vodka tour tasting samples

Instead of just looking at all the vodka, you can now taste it. #awesome

Ocean Vodka Adds Tastings to Their Tours 

Starting today, Ocean Vodka Organic Farm and Distillery in Kula is now adding samplings of their vodka.  Tours are offered daily for $10 a person (12 years and older).  For those 21 and over, includes a sampling and souvenir Ocean Vodka shot glass.     Click to learn more about tours.

Restaurant News:

Morimoto Maui to Open November 7

Morimoto Maui, at the Andaz Maui in Wailea, is now taking reservations for their official opening date of November 7!

Masaharu Morimoto, best known for Iron Chef and Iron Chef America, is opening his newest Morimoto Restaurant in Wailea, featuring local ingredients and blending Western and Japanese traditions.  Enjoy hand-rolled sushi and sashimi made from locally-caught fish, as well as inspiring cocktails, in the laid-back, oceanside setting.  Will be open daily for lunch and dinner.  Call (808) 879-1234 for reservations.

Dazoo Restaurant Opens in Paia

Officially opening today, Dazoo is reinventing fine dining on Maui, using fresh, locally sourced ingredients prepared with an Asian-Pacific flair.  Combining their unique ambience, affordable tapas style plates and award winning cocktails, Dazoo is a welcome addition to the restaurant scene of Maui’s North Shore.  Open daily for breakfast and lunch, and Tuesday – Saturday for dinner.  Call (808) 579-9999 for reservations.

Shopping News:

One of the island’s best gift stores, Maui Ocean Treasures at the Maui Ocean Center, is set to be opening its long-awaited online shop on November 15.  More info coming soon!


Modern American Circus Comes to Maui

  • Location: Maui Tropical Plantation, Wailuku
  • Dates: November 8 to 10
  • Show Schedule:
  • Friday: 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday: 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday: 1 p.m.
  • Reservations: (808) 781-4773 or click here
  • Details: The “Modern American Circus” features a world- acclaimed troupe of more than 15 artists performing a star-studded show with a contemporary array of aerial, ground and stand-up acts utilizing the traditional circus center ring under the “BIG TOP”.

Huliau Food & Film Festival 

  • Date: Saturday, November 9
  • Time: 5:30-9:30pm
  • Location: Ocean Vodka Organic Farm, Kula
  • Cost: $75 (four course dinner, cash bar – 21 and over only)
  • Reservations: (808) 757-2100 or click here 
  • Details: Mana Foods and Maui Huliau Foundation will host a farm-to-table benefit dinner and mini-film festival under the stars at Ocean Vodka Farm.  Huliau is a nonprofit offering environmental education programs to Maui youth.  Makena Resort’s Executive Chef Mark McDowell will serve up the main course, and other local Maui chefs will face off in a pūpū competition using produce from local farms. Local food and beverage sponsors Whole Foods, Life Foods and Ali’i Kula Lavender will contribute ingredients, Pono Pies will serve up dessert, and Maui Brewing Company, Ulupalakua Winery, and Ocean Vodka will stock a 100% local bar.  The festival will also screen the teens’ videos about the chefs and farms as well as the music video, Barges, which went viral on YouTube. 

Pacific Cancer Foundation’s Holiday Gala

  • Date: Saturday, November 23, 2013,
  • Time:  5:30pm
  • Location: The Yokouchi Estate, Wailuku
  • Reservations: (808) 242-7661
  • Details: The 8th Annual Pacific Cancer Foundation Holiday Gala is always a favorite event to usher in the holiday season.  This year’s theme is A Great Gatsby Style Christmas! More event details coming soon!

Maui’s Newest Gem: Maui Fruit Jewels

Maui Wedding Party Candy Tray Yesterday’s post was about one of Maui’s oldest sweet treats, Roselani Ice Cream, and today’s post is about one of the newest – Maui Fruit Jewels.  Maui Fruit Jewels is a line of gourmet fruit candies, based on the French confection called “pates de fruits”.  They are produced and distributed by Maui Epicure LLC, a company founded in 2012 by Lin and Chris ter Horst.

Lin ter Horst, who holds both an MBA from New York’s Columbia Business School, and a diploma in pastry arts from London’s Le Cordon Bleu, answered some of our questions about the special confection, and about the birth of this new company.

Maui Made: How are the fruit jewels made?

Ginger Pineapple Candy Made in Hawaii

Ginger Pineapple Fruit Jewels

Lin ter Horst: We make our fruit jewels utilizing the traditional European method in small batches.  We cook all of the ingredients: the respective fruit or vegetable or wine, organic sugar, glucose syrup, pectin, and citric acid together for a long time, then we pour the mixture into a mold to let it set.  Then we cut the candy into individual squares.  Our candies contain no gelatin or carrageenan, no emulsifier, no added flavoring or color, and are gluten-free and vegan.

Hana Collection Made in Hawaii Candy Package

The Hana Collection

MM: What are your most popular products/flavors so far? 

Lin: All of the fruit varieties we use are intensely flavorful, slightly tangy and not too sweet, with some flavors spicy flavors including ginger and jalapeno.  The most popular flavors are lilikoi (passionfruit), ginger pineapple, followed by coconut, beet, guava, jalapeno.  We have a popular assortment called the Hana Collection which contains the six tropical flavors popular with visitors: guava, coconut, mango, pineapple, lilikoi, and papaya.

MM: How are the fruit jewels best enjoyed?

Lin: Our fruit jewels are enjoyed similar to how the best chocolate confections are enjoyed – without guilt, and preferably with a dessert wine and some cheese.  You may also sprinkle a small amount of diced pieces onto yogurt, ice cream or use as garnish on a dessert plate.

MM: Do you offer the fruit jewels for weddings or corporate events?

Heart Shaped Candy Maui Wedding Favors

Custom Wedding and Party Favors

Lin: Yes!  We can even make custom flavors or packaging with enough lead time.

MM: Where can people buy Maui Fruit Jewels? 

Lin: We are at the Upcountry Farmer’s Market in Pukalani most Saturdays, and they can also be found at  Tutu’s Pantry  in Kihei (inside Kihei Kalama Village) and Kula Marketplace, on online on our website.

MM: How did Maui Fruit Jewels get its start? 

Lin: We moved to Maui in July 2012 from China, where we were living for the five years prior, and where Chris and I met and got married.  I got my diploma in pastry arts from Le Cordon Bleu in London in 2008, after the financial downturn ended my short stint as an investment banker in China.

It’s funny how my pastry training at Le Cordon Bleu really changed my life.  One day in class, our chef instructor brought a bucket of cherries to the classroom and passed it around the room for us to sample.  It was the most incredible thing I’d ever tasted.  They were Griottines – Morello cherries soaked in kirsch (cherry liquor) from the moment they were picked from the trees in France.  We were there to make a black forest cake, but these kirsch-laden cherries turned an ordinary confection into something truly spectacular.

The Griottines website would tell the story about how these cherries were harvested and preserved.  In a chocolate confection class a month later, we’d come across these little treasures again, this time with the stalks still attached.  We dipped them in fondant and then dark chocolate, turning them into irresistible  chocolate bonbons.

Back in Beijing, I found a distributor for Griottines and started buying large jars of them,  I even incorporated them into pastry classes I was teaching.  I blogged about my addiction to the cherries on a Chinese microblog site and many curious locals would be turned on to the cherries because of my blog.

It was the Griottines that got me totally obsessed about the potentials of value-added products.  I studied all the value-added products that I came across wherever I went.  We’d be vacationing in southern China and I’d marvel at how people would just drink juice out of coconuts and then throw away the coconuts.  (After moving to Maui I’d learn that there are coconuts good for just drinking.) I’d be thinking, why couldn’t these guys make virgin coconut oil that the Malaysians are trying to import to China. Anyway, you get the picture, I was obsessed.

So after we arrived in Maui, I naturally began to look for all the value-added products.  Aside from the jams, jellies, and syrups, I didn’t find too many other food products that really took advantage of the abundance of fresh fruits, flowers, herbs and vegetables available on Maui.  This of course did not surprise me.  I did not expect to find anywhere outside of Europe where value-added food products would be an important industry.  This meant opportunity.

It took me two months to decide and finally find the courage to tell Chris that I was convinced that it was a good idea to start a company on Maui to make Pates de Fruits using local fruits.  Chris didn’t remember the taste of the confection we bought in Paris a few years ago at a confection store.  Happily, Chris has been very supportive in most things I’ve wanted to do, often with little understanding of what they actually are, so I had to quickly move to capitalize on the asymmetry of information before it was too late.

In September 2012 I started experimenting with making pates de fruits almost everyday.  It was really difficult.  Three months later I finally made a batch that came close to my idea of pates de fruits were suppose to be like.  This was by far the most difficult food product I’d ever made.

MM: You have been all over the world, what brought you to Maui? 

I’d been dreaming about moving to Maui since the first time I visited, about 12 years ago. I was working in financial services in New York City.  In 2006 I seriously considered moving to Maui.  But I was a single mom with a very young child and I didn’t have the guts to do it.  I also didn’t feel like I had much to offer to the community even though I had an MBA from Columbia with years of business experience.  In 2010 I took Chris and Lilah to Hawaii on a vacation, while we were living in China.  They both loved it.  Chris went on a tour to see lava flowing into the ocean on the Big Island.  He likes that kind of stuff.

In 2012, Chris and I decided to leave China, for a multitude of reasons – quality of life, Lilah’s education, career, the usual stuff. Chris wanted to move to a country in southeast Asia, as he is from the Netherlands and loves the tropics.  More importantly Chris was all set on pursuing a career as a professional triathlete and he wanted to be at a place where he could train all year round.   I had enough of third-world country shenanigans, and wanted to return to the US to start a business where I’d be able to leverage my fine pastries/confection-making skills and business experience.  For a long time we couldn’t agree on a place both of us would be happy to call home, until Maui came up as a potential destination.  We are still congratulating ourselves on making such a wise decision, on moving to Maui.

MM: Any tips for others looking to turn a passion into a business? 

Lin: When you are passionate about something, you want to do everything your way, according to your vision.  That’s why you are passionate, because it’s your baby.  When you go into business, you’ll quickly discover that market forces will take over, and your own ideas are less important.

For example, I’m passionate about creating an artisanal product that is free of food coloring and flavoring, that is as natural and authentic as it can be, using the most environmentally sustainable packaging materials.  This means my costs and therefore prices are high.  If there is not enough of a market segment to support our products, then we’d be at a cross-road.

I obviously believe that there will be enough of a market for our products.  But if I’m wrong, then I would have to decide between 1) lowering the quality and price points of our products in order to appeal to a bigger market segment so that I’d still have a business, even if it’s not producing the exact same product I set out to produce, or 2) folding the business.

If you are more passionate about your products than the idea of just having a successful business, and are willing to fold the business if your products are not immediately accepted by the market, you will do your everything in your power to find and even create markets for your products.

If you are more passionate about having a successful business no matter what it takes, you will be less hung-up on your products, and more flexible in adapting your products to the market.

Hopefully you will find the perfect balance between retaining the integrity of your products, and running a successful business.

MM: What’s next for Maui Fruit Jewels? 

Lin: We have so much work to do.  We are planning to place our products in several high-end specialty food-related retail store before the 2013 holiday season.  We also plan to make our products on other online e-commerce sites including

In 2014 We will be expanding our sales and marketing efforts to cover the other islands, the mainland, Europe, and Japan.

Mahalo to Lin and best of luck with this delicious venture!

Looking for more? Follow Maui Fruit Jewels on Facebook

Noble Chef 2013 – A Fantastic Foodie Fundraiser

noble chef ocean vodka maui wailea

There are a lot of great foodie events on Maui, and even more fundraising events.  And I mean the kind of events that visitors plan their trip to Maui around, or save their ‘dining out’ budget for the year to attend.  But in terms of really memorable food, this event really takes the cake  ballroom-sized dessert bar.  (ok, the year I attended their was a dessert bar the width of the entire ballroom)

This year’s Noble Chef takes place on Saturday, October 26 at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea.   The event serves as the largest annual fundraiser for the Maui Culinary Academy, part of the UH Maui College.

(Photos are from the 2012 Noble Chef, by photographer Peter Liu of Kaiscapes )

The Noble Chef features a mentorship program that pairs a culinary student with one of Maui’s celebrity chefs (and luckily, we have a lot).

photo 2012 noble chef by peter liu

Noble Chef 2012

This year’s event, which carries the theme of “The World on a Plate”, will begin with a celebrity chef-designed reception menu spanning the culinary “hot spots” of the world, including Japan, Vietnam, Morocco, Spain, Great Britain, India, Greece, New Zealand, and Mexico.

After the reception, guests will sit down for a multi-course gourmet French dinner and dessert prepared by MCA’s faculty chefs.

noble chef 2012 photo peter liu

An elegant display at last year’s Noble Chef

Wine and spirits throughout the evening are provided by Young’s Market Company of Hawai‘i, Ocean Vodka, and Maui Brewing Company.

ocean vodka noble chef

Ocean Vodka will make another appearance in 2013!

In addition to preparing the evening’s meals together, the celebrity chefs and the students they mentor spend several days together beforehand in an intimate learning exchange, providing invaluable hands-on experience for MCA students. This year’s celebrity “noble chefs” are:

MCA faculty chefs include Jake Belmonte, Tom Lelli, Craig Omori, Jeff Scheer, Theresa Shurilla and Christina Pafford.

The 2013 Noble Chef (the 17th annual!) is presented in partnership with the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui and Youngs Market Company of Hawai‘i.

The event begins with a VIP reception at 5pm, followed by a full reception at 6pm, and an elegant gourmet dinner with entertainment and auction at 7pm. Tickets are $250 for preferred seating and $185 for general seating. Table sponsorships begin at $3,000.

For more information about The Noble Chef event, visit:

To learn about the Maui Culinary Academy, visit

October Events on Maui – Full of Fall Fun!

I’ve spent 8 years of my life on the east coast, 4 in New England, but here are my reasons for not missing the ‘Fall’ while living on Maui

  1. You can make pumpkin pie anywhere
  2. You can drive up the hill if you want to be chilly/put on a sweater
  3. While you are upcountry, you can head over to Kula Country Farms to pick your own pumpkins
  4. There are Fall Festival events all over the island
  5. Maui does Halloween better than anywhere else…

This October happens to be chock full of awesome fall, halloween, and just plain awesome events… here are some of the highlights, (please feel free to suggest more in the comment section) with Fall and Halloween events in ORANGE.

  • Event: You Pick Pumpkins at Kula Country Farms – Opening Tuesday, September 24!!! 
  • Date: All Month Long (weather/farm dependent – call or check Facebook for updates)
  • Hours: Typical hours are Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm / Saturday & Sunday 10am-4pm (May change with the Pumpkin Patch…)
  • Description: This event grows every year, with corn mazes and lots of kid-friendly fun.
  • Location: Kula Highway, across from Rice Park
  • Admission: Fee for the maze and any other activities they may add…
  • Phone: Office Phone: 808-878-8381 or Farm Stand Phone: 808-357-3903
  • More Info: check their Facebook page
  • Event: Maui Fair 2013
  • Date/ Hours:   
  • Thursday, Oct. 3 – 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Friday, Oct. 4 – 5 p.m. to midnight
  • Saturday, Oct. 5 – 10 a.m. to midnight
  • Sunday, Oct. 6 – 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. (discounted admission)
  • Description: Rides, Food, Farm Animals, Games… typical fair fun!
  • Location: Wailuku, War Memorial Complex
  • Admission: Adults $7.00, Keiki (5-11) $3.00, 4 and under are FREE
  • More Info:
  • Event: Maui Ukulele Festival
  • Date: Sunday, October 13
  • Hours: 1-7pm
  • Description: Relax on the amphitheater lawn while listening to Hawaii’s best musicians, door prizes, crafters, food for purchase
  • Location: MACC Amphitheater
  • Admission: FREE!!!
  • More Info:
  • Event: Fall Festival at Carden Academy
  • Date: Saturday, October 19
  • Hours: 9am – 2pm
  • Description: A community-centered day with upcountry-grown pumpkins, food, entertainment, petting zoo,  kids activities, crafters, and more!
  • Location: Carden Academy, Pukalani (across from King Kekaulike)
  • Admission: $1 or a canned food (all donations go to Pukalani Backpack Buddies)
  • More Info: Click for the event Page or Check the Facebook Event Page
  • Event: Fall Harvest Festival at Haku Baldwin Center
  • Date: Sunday, October 20
  • Hours: 9am – 3pm
  • Description: Pony rides, petting zoo, haunted house, carnival games, food trucks & vendors, farmer’s market, silent auction and a costume contest at 1pm!
  • Location: Haku Baldwin Center, 444 Makawao Ave
  • Admission: FREE
  • More Info: See the Facebook Event Page
  • Event: Ghoulin Rouge at Montessori School of Maui
  • Date: Friday, October 25
  • Hours: 6-10pm
  • Description: Maui’s best Halloween costume party (21 and over, only) Gourmet food, handcrafted cocktails, live music and dj dance party.
  • Location: Montessori School of Maui, 2933 Baldwin Avenue, Makawao
  • Admission: Tickets range from $100-$200
  • More Info: Facebook Event Page
  • Event: Noble Chef – Fundraiser for Maui Culinary Academy
  • Date: Saturday, October 26
  • Hours: 5:30 – 9:30pm
  • Description: Maui’s premiere Food and Wine Event (look for a complete post on this event coming soon!)
  • Location: Fairmont Kea Lani, Wailea
  • Admission: $185
  • More Info:
  • Event: Halloween Trick or Treating and Underwater Pumpkin Carving at Maui Ocean Center
  • Date: Thursday, October 31
  • Time: 9am-5pm
  • Description: Keiki ages 3-12 visiting the Aquarium can ‘trick-or-treat’ in the Maui Ocean Treasures gift shop to receive candy and Halloween trinkets.  SCUBA divers carve pumpkins underwater in the Black Tip exhibit at 11:30am and Open Ocean exhibit at 1pm.
  • Cost: Included with Aquarium admission
  • More information:
  • Event: Halloween in Lahaina
  • Date: Thursday, October 31
  • Hours:  Keiki Parade starts at 4:30pm, Other activities go all night long
  • Description: The Keiki Halloween Costume Parade is sponsored by the Lahaina Rotary, Sunrise Rotary Club of Lahaina and the Soroptomist of West Maui. Front Street is closed to vehicle traffic for the keiki parade, then when the kids go home, the real party starts!  Always a scene.  
  • Admission: FREE!

There will be more information coming soon, as I’m sure everyone’s October event details are just now being finalized:  Look forward to fun information from Maui Ocean Center, Pacific Whale Foundation – including the possibility of  cruises to Front Street/Lahaina for Halloween and back…

A Maui Made Wedding- Nautical Theme, Part 1

Maui Wedding Nautical Ocean Beach Theme Wedding Ideas

A classic theme for any coastal wedding is nautical, or beachy, and Maui is of course a perfect location to carry out this theme.  A search of ‘Maui Wedding’ on Pinterest will lead to numerous jaw-dropping photos, but due to the perils of Pinterest, it may be difficult to contact the actual vendors for these beautiful weddings.  Here are some actual photographs of nautical and ocean inspired weddings and event decor options, with links to the proper purveyors.

For just about anything involving the written word, check in with Barbara Vanderpool from Miss B Calligraphy.  With a formal background in illustration and design, Barbara has a great appreciation for hand-drawn, whimsical art and the lost craft of letter writing. She specializes in custom-made large scale chalkboards, wooden signs, menu design, illustrations, place cards and envelope addressing.   Each piece is a one-of-a-kind, created out of a collaboration with the bride and groom, resulting in elegant and personal designs.

Surfboard Sign photos by Wendy Laurel 

And for anything involving flowers, Bella Grace Flowers can add the perfect touches to suggest a coastal theme in a natural, organic way.  For a recent wedding, owner and head floral stylist Mandy Grace combined driftwood and mercury glass with white, orange and pink bouquets set in vases with seashells in complimenting colors to create this elegant, yet relaxed table setting.  Mandy has been designing floral arrangements since 1999.  Her work has been featured on, The Knot and Destination Inspiration.

Floral Centerpiece photos by Kim Aihara of Aihara Visuals Photography

Maui Sweet Cakes is a special events bakery that offers beautiful and delicious wedding and special event cakes on Maui.  In addition to wedding cakes, they offer dessert bars, candy bars and cupcakes.   Each dessert is made with fresh, all-natural ingredients, with delivery available island-wide.  Maui Sweet Cakes does a limited number of events per day to ensure that the cakes are fresh & moist, and their clients have their full attention.


Looking for a few perfect finishing touches for your wedding?   Opihi Love provides brides, event planners, and photographers with one-of-a-kind props and furniture rentals. With the popularity of vintage items with nautical themes, owner and designer Melissa Padilla has been collecting a wide assortment of items, including ship wheels, anchors and sea fans.  Melissa also recently announced that she will be partnering with Dish Wish Hawaii, which offers beautiful fine vintage china, teacups and silverware for events.  She is also partnering with Blue Jane Maui to offer custom painted pillows for your wedding decor, which they’ll even ship home for you after the event!


And of course, once you have designed the wedding of your dreams, you’ll need the perfect photographer to preserve the event forever. Anna Kim Photography’s first priority is to provide their clients with beautiful images that they will cherish.  Anna also specializes in making sure her clients have a good time and feel comfortable being photographed.  Anna’s photographs feature different angles and creative composition, which capture moments filled with honest emotion and beauty.

Anna Kim Photography Maui Wedding

Anna Kim captures a magical Maui moment

With all these dreamy options, any couple can have their own magical Maui wedding, complete with honeymoon of sailing off into the sunset… (stay tuned for Part 2)

If you have a product that you think should be featured on Nautical Wedding Part 2, or have any feature blog written about of your Maui Made company, please email me at lizsmithonmaui (at) yahoo (dot) com . 

Maui Brewers Festival

This Saturday marks the 5th Annual Maui Brewers Festival at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, one of the Center’s fundraising events. This year, the event starts off with a Beer Fest Dinner at the MACC on Friday night. The five course meal by Chef John Memering of Oahu’s Cactus Bistro will feature locally sourced ingredients, and each course will be paired with a craft beer from Maui Brewing Company, one of the event sponsors. Tickets are $140 per person.

This year’s Brewers Festival takes place from 4-7pm.   Admission includes eight samplings (4 oz.) of over 30 craft breweries from around the country, and appetizers from many of Maui’s favorite restaurants and food trucks.  Tickets are $50 for general admission or $60 for that day.  Plus, live music of course!

Each of the breweries in attendance will feature two of their brews.  Maui Brewing Co, as event sponsor, will get four :


Other breweries in attendance will include Rogue, Stone Brewing, Dogfish Head and Lost Coast.

Some of the pupus include Buffalo Chicken and Veggie Flatbreads by Flatbread Co. and gelatos by Ono Gelato. Both of these companies always feature locally sourced ingredients and the freshness is always evident in every bite (and the lines out the door!)

I was unable to attend the festival last year but heard that there were so many last minute ticket purchases that the food vendors were unprepared and food ran out quickly.  Let’s hope that this year everyone plans a little better, and I’m not sure if it’s new, but this year’s increase in ticket prices for day-of purchases should help a bit.   Also, I asked on the MACC’s facebook page and they confirmed that there is a ‘designated driver’ ticket if you dont want the beers (there is root beer!) for $40, but not sure if its available online or in person or phone… but good to know!

Here are the breweries and restaurants in attendance this year (subject to change!)

Which Beers and Foods are you looking forward to the most?


maui-brewers-fest-2013-beer Maui Brewers Festival Menu 1 maui-brewers-festival-2013

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