“Over 700 pineapples were handed out from the float during the parade,” says Tracy Johnson, public relations manager. “We also had a food booth for tasting of Maui Gold Pineapple.”
In addition, Maui Gold Pineapple will be featured at the Upcountry Fair at Oskie Rice Arena in Olinda on Maui June 14 and 15. Attendees may sample chunks of the juicy fruit.
Restaurants here are eager to use the fruit and many in Kapalua utilize the organic version of Maui Gold Pineapples on their menus, which comes from the 150-acre Kapalua Farms.
“Kapalua Farms is only a stone’s throw from our restaurant and we buy produce from them on a weekly basis,” say Executive Chef Ryan Luckey of the aptly named Pineapple Grill. “Since opening in 2005, Pineapple Grill has always been committed to buying local first.”
In fact, 80 percent of Luckey’s menu is from locally grown and raised products. “Local definitely matters — our customers not only love it, they have come to expect it,” he says.
“We were one of the first restaurants to work closely with Kapalua Farms,” says Chef-partner Alex Stanislaw of the Plantation House in Kapalua.
“I personally chat with them about what works —custom veggies and fruits that we may want and that Kapalua Farms should try to grow. We are constantly expanding and adjusting our menu to incorporate their produce.”
Ululani Kalua, longtime Maui Pineapple Company employee, serves up bites of Maui Gold to Auntie Ella Makio, an obvious enthusiast, at a recent festival in Wahiawa.
KAREE CARLUCCI photo