East Oahu Magazine
Kailua Chamber of of Commerce
Renewable Energy Solutions
Windward Community College:
A Continuing Legacy of Education
Engaging Environment for Seniors
Building for the Future
Good Samaritan Society
Caring for Kupuna
UFC Gym Kailua:
State of the Art Workouts
Kailua Chamber of Commerce is honored to work with Hawaii Business on this issue of East Oahu Magazine.
The Kailua Chamber of Commerce inspires individual civic responsibility, encourages commerce and promotes the prosperity of Kailua. With over 180 members, small business owners, nonprofits and community members, we are honored to work across all sectors to make Kailua a thriving place for businesses, organizations and residents alike.
We continue to see impressive growth within Kailua’s commerce. At the heart of fueling the economy are the small businesses that provide opportunities to connect with peers, residents, current and prospective clients and partners to ensure our Windward community is the best it can be. These connections bring people and organizations together to support one another and advance our collective interests.
Kailua is an excellent place to do business and an excellent community in which to live. We all strive to improve the quality of life in Kailua for everyone through our diverse and thriving business and retail base, the active stewardship of our residents and a burgeoning tourism trade.
The Kailua Chamber of Commerce appreciates the opportunity to partner with Hawaii Business magazine to share inspiring stories of successful businesses and the unique attributes of our Windward community, an integral part of East Oahu. Enjoy.
Catherine Sato, President
Kailua Chamber of Commerce,
Vice President & Market Manager
Preserving East Oahu
Just beyond the rush hour traffic on the Kalanianaole, Kahekili, and Kamehameha highways are some of East Oahu’s answers to how we can live sustainably to preserve the island’s natural resources and its history for future generations. From Hawaii Kai’s fertile farmland to Windward Community College’s rich course offerings, from harnessing the sun’s energy to creating stewardship for the area’s abundance of natural resources, the preservation of place and culture is happening on multiple levels, supported by both non-profit organizations and private enterprises.
East Honolulu Farmland
Located in the ahupuaa of Maunalua, Kamilo Nui Valley is the only Hawaii Kai valley where homes have not been developed. 87 acres encompass family-run nurseries and farms that grow a wide range of landscaping plants, from herbs to hibiscus. Established in the late 1960s, Nii R&S Nursery is run today by Richard Nii and his wife, Judy. In 2010 Nii R&S partnered with other valley business owners to establish a Kamilo Nui farmers alliance. By joining forces the alliance successfully negotiated a new 15-year lease with landowners Kamehameha Schools.
The Aloha Aina O Kamilo Nui farm is owned and run by a volunteer non-profit organization with the mission, as their website states, “to restore the Kamilo Nui Valley watershed as a sustainable, cultural and community-based model for agriculture land use and management, inspired in part by the Hawaiian traditional values of ahupuaa for the benefit of future generations.” Spokeswoman Elizabeth Reilly, who has been involved with the organization since 2004, says, “These farms are a community asset. We are working toward master planning to take into account the flow of water from the ridge to the farm lots to the marina and to the bay.”
A Continuing Legacy of Education
Since 1972 Windward Community College, located mauka of Kahekili Highway, has been inspiring students to excellence with a “special commitment to support the access and educational needs of Native Hawaiians [and] provide the Koolau region of Oahu and beyond with liberal arts, career and lifelong learning in a supportive and challenging environment.” The college’s five core values are in line with preserving and supporting the communities of East Oahu:
- Ka lama ku o ka naauao. Creating meaningful curricula and diverse learning experiences.
- Aohe hana nui ke alu ia. Working collaboratively and inclusively.
- He punawai kahe wale ke aloha. Serving and supporting with aloha.
- Kulia i ka nuu. Striving for excellence.
- He alii ka aina, he kauwa ke kanaka. Caring for Hawaii and the planet.
The campus features the first Silver LEED certified library in the UH Manoa system. Repurposed 4×6 Douglas Fir planks from the original building’s roof were recut to create the library’s benches and its circulation desk. The college’s Spanish Mission Revival architecture’s red tiled roofs are striking against the Koolau Mountains that stand tall in the background, waterfalls cascading after frequent rainfall.
Chancellor Doug Dykstra shared that, “The fall semester of 2018 saw the largest incoming class of first time students to Windward Community College, mirroring UH Manoa’s largest fall enrollment.” 41% of those enrolled are Native Hawaiian students. The average age of the student population is 23-26. The Early College program brings college level classes to students at Castle and Kailua High Schools and the Senior Citizen Visitor Pass for learners who are 60+ makes continued learning available to students across a wide spectrum. WWCC also offers study abroad programs with opportunities for theater students in London and music students in New Zealand.
Windward Community College is well known for its 366-seat Paliku Theater. Continuing Ron Bright’s legacy, the theater brings a Broadway show to windward audiences every fall as well as programming across the arts throughout the year. Windward Community College also boasts visual arts programs of note with its ceramics studio, Gallery Iolani, screen printing that utilizes all non-toxic materials and Hawaiian wood carving classes that use salvaged wood.
Kawainui translates to “the great freshwater,” a fitting name for the Kawainui-Hamakua Marsh Complex, the largest existing wetland in Hawaii. Located in what was formerly the center of the Koolau volcano, Kawainui became a lagoon by collecting freshwater from the Maunawili watershed. Hawaiian settlers used the 450-acre lagoon to farm fish and to plant loi kalo (taro fields). Alii inhabited the Kailua Bay shoreline and three large heiau were built, including Ulupo and Pahukini. By A.D. 1600, the Kailua ahupuaa was an aina momona (rich land) of political and religious importance. Western Contact saw the conversion of loi kalo to rice and eventually the lands around the marsh shifted to pasture use. Today, Kawainui is a wahi pana (storied place of cultural importance) and a wildlife sanctuary for migratory and water birds.
The Kawainui Marsh Trail spans 1.5 miles of the marsh from Kailua Road to Kawai Nui Neighborhood Park. It’s popular with dog walkers, cyclists, families pushing strollers, walkers and joggers.
The community-based non-profit organization, Hikaalani, was founded in 2010 to preserve the places and practices that once defined Kailua as a land of abundance. Hikaalani organizes second Saturday community workdays at Ulupo Nui to preserve the site of ancestral importance and educate the public on its relevance today.
Building For The Future
With time comes change, rebuilding, and building smarter. Archipelago Hawaii’s Tiare Pinto was born and raised in Kailua. Since 2007 Archipelago Hawaii has been designing whole homes, interiors, kitchens and baths in collaboration with architects, structural engineers, general contractors, and other specialists. Located in Kailua’s Kapaa Industrial Park, the company reuses materials whenever possible. Archipelago designs living spaces to take advantage of natural ventilation over installing air conditioning. They select products free of off-gassing, products that use recycled content, LED lighting with sensors, and water sense fixtures. Pinto says, “There are so many ways to make a home more sustainable without breaking the bank today. I think sustainability has become mainstream and the pricing is reflecting that now.”
Kailua-based Sunetric provides energy-efficient home and commercial solar systems to clients across the state of Hawaii. With an increased demand for renewable solutions to maintain power during grid outages, such as in a hurricane, Sunetric advises customers on solutions to meet their individual needs. In addition, their service department fulfills requests from customers whose original installation company is not available to extend the life of existing systems.
Caring For Kupuna
For those who wish to age in place, Wilson Homecare provides nurse aide in-home health care to individuals, including companionship, meal preparation, medication reminders and light housekeeping. Skilled nursing home care is also available. In addition to homecare solutions, Wilson Homecare has a 22-resident home in the Aikahi neighborhood of Kailua for individuals in need of around-the-clock assistance.
For seniors aged 55+ another living option is Pohai Nani in Kaneohe. The land was purchased in the 1960s on what was formerly farmland. Pohai Nani offers a full spectrum of care from independent living for those 55+ to assisted living, skilled nursing, and rehab. Memory care will open in 2019. Sonja Guy, Director of Marketing, says, “The Kaneohe Bay and Koolau views draw residents to Pohai Nani from both the islands and the mainland.”
Go Holo Holo
The variety of East Oahu businesses offer an abundance of opportunity for residents and visitors alike.
Waimanalo Wood is a full-service sawmill, lumberyard and woodworking shop that specializes in turning native Hawaiian hardwoods and downed trees into furniture and other useful wood creations. Their professional woodworkers create Norfolk Island pine biodegradable wooden caskets. All the wood used at Waimanalo Wood is 100% reclaimed including ironwood, Norfolk, kamani, mango, milo, ohia, koa, monkeypod and tamarind. Waimanalo Wood promotes sustainable resource management by keeping trees that are downed out of the landfill, instead transforming the wood into something useful. The company welcomes donations of felled trees for their lumberyard.
Hawaiian Island Creations
Brothers Stephen and Jimmy Tsukayama opened the first Hawaiian Island Creations surf shop in Kailua in 1971. Now with fourteen stores across three islands, the shops feature local and national brand surf wear, skateboards, signature T-shirts and accessories. For those not in the islands, HIC has an online store. HIC also partners with other companies to sponsor events like Ocean Sports and Fitness Day at Kalama Beach in Kailua and the HIC Pro, the Official Qualifier of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing on the North Shore. 354 Hahani Street, Kailua.
Located in Kaneohe Bay, Coconut Island is also known as Moku O Loe. Once used as a base for local fisherman and shepherds, the 12-acre island was purchased by Christian Holmes, heir to the Fleischmann yeast fortune, for use as a tuna-packing factory. Holmes expanded the island to 28 acres by using material from the Kaneohe Sand Bar and built the fish ponds that are still in use today. He installed a movie theater, outdoor bars, a bowling alley, and a shooting gallery, imported a baby elephant, giraffes, monkeys and donkeys, animals that later became the basis of the Honolulu Zoo. After changing hands again, in 1965 Coconut Island became the Hawaii Institute for Marine Biology. Today, scientists perform research in the institute lagoons and labs. Walking tours are open to the public with prior reservation. School group visits and overnight camping can also be arranged. On the third Sunday of the month families are invited, first-come-first-served, to tour the island.
Since 2010, Manoa Chocolate has grown to become the largest producer of chocolate in the state. All Manoa Chocolate is made from sustainably sourced beans from Hawaiian farmers in Waiahole, Maunawili and Haiku in Windward Oahu and from Hamakua on the Big Island. If you grow your own cacao here, Manoa Chocolate states in their website FAQ that they may be interested in buying it from you. Manoa also sources sustainably farmed beans from cacao growers in off-island locations including Peru, Madagascar, and the Dominican Republic. The Kailua factory and tasting room offers free mini tours daily where visitors learn how chocolate is made and taste samples.
UFC Gym Kailua
Rain or shine, residents on the windward side can get their workout done on the second floor of the Lau Hala Shops, in the former Macy’s. With a 20,000 square foot gym opening by the end of 2018, the enrollment center on the ground floor has been welcoming sign-ups since the summer. People seeking a full-service gym with amenities such as a kids’ club and group fitness eagerly await opening day.
District Park Pools
Both Kaneohe District Park and Kailua District Park offer lap swim, aquatic classes, and free swim year-round at their respective swimming pools. Hours vary and can be confirmed by contacting the pools directly. Kailua District Park Pool, 21 South Kainalu Drive, Kailua, (808) 266-7661. Kaneohe District Park Pool, 45-660 Keaahala Road, Kaneohe, (808) 233-7311.
This year saw the construction of clearly marked bike lanes along Hamakua Drive between Keolu Drive and Kailua Road, providing safer bicycle access to and from residential Enchanted Lakes and the Keolu Drive neighborhood to Kailua Town. The project is a part of the Complete Streets Program with the goal of calming traffic without increasing travel times and increasing safety for bicyclists.
East Oahu Eats
From Aina Haina to Kaneohe, there’s something to please every palate whether you’re in the mood for shave ice, a cold brew, breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Since 2016, Over Easy has served brunch all day and lunch every day after 11 a.m. except Monday. Offering island fare like kalua pork hash and a classic fried chicken sandwich, there’s something on the menu to everyone’s liking, including keiki options. With indoor and outdoor seating on Kuulei Road, Over Easy is a fantastic eatery option.
Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha
Tucked into Aina Haina Shopping Center you will find all natural, homemade, handcrafted delicious shave ice served in bowls and topped with original syrups made without any artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners. Uncle Clay’s sources ingredients that are Hawaii grown or Hawaii made for their ono treats that come in 3 sizes: tiny, small and regular.
Maui Brewing Company
What started in 2005 as a brewery and pub on the Valley Isle, Maui Brewing Company is opening its fourth restaurant in Kailua in December. By brewing all its handcrafted ales and lagers locally, the company supports ‘made local.’ By early 2019, the brewer’s HQ on Maui will be 100% operating with energy generated by photovoltaic panels.
Nico’s of Kailua
Nico’s proudly supports sustainable fishing by serving locally grown food whenever possible. The Kailua location opened in April 2017, offering fresh fish and local fare at both lunch and dinner. Just need to pick up some poke to take to the beach? Nico’s offers grab-and-go seafood.
Waiahole Poi Factory
The Waiahole Poi Factory, located on Kamehameha Highway in Kaneohe, opened in 1905 as a poi factory but by the 1970s had transitioned to an art gallery. 2009 brought the return of hand-pounded poi and a menu where all dishes have roots in traditional Hawaiian luau fare. The poi factory’s motto is “Hanai ike ai hanai ike aloha (To nourish with food, to nourish with love).” As stated on its website, “This mantra is at the heart of the Hawaiian belief that traditional food and locally sourced ingredients which support local farmers aren’t simply for nourishment; they serve a deeper purpose in the spiritual connection to keep alive the culture and traditions of the Hawaiian people.” Visitors can further learn about Hawaiian culture by signing up for the Hawaiian nose flute workshop where participants create and design a nose flute made of local bamboo and learn to play it.