Paris Baguette Brings International Bakery Franchise to Hawaii

Paris Baguette, the bakery café concept with 4,000 units worldwide including nearly 150 in the United States, has seen significant growth in the past year. After a remarkable 2022 and strong first quarter in 2023, the franchisor is continuing along an impressive growth trajectory with its most recent signing of its first four locations in Hawaii.

“We are thrilled to announce additional expansion to Hawaii. There’s a tremendous amount of opportunity in the bakery café space,” explained Mark Mele, chief development officer. “No other bakery café franchisors are doing what Paris Baguette is on the same scale. Our ability to stay true to our bakery café roots while embracing aggressive expansion has garnered attention, and that only serves to drive us forward.”

The Hawaii deal will bring the total number of locations within the state to four. The agreement was signed by Robert Kurisu, a Honolulu resident and local real estate professional who is pioneering the additional growth.

“When looking for the right franchise opportunity, Paris Baguette was the ideal fit because of its amazing product line, store design and proven response from communities throughout the United States,” said Kurisu.

Moving forward, the brand continues to eye the 1,000 unit mark within the U.S. by 2030, and as it continues to grow, Mele explained that Paris Baguette seeks passionate franchisees interested in serving people in a welcoming neighborhood establishment.

“We want someone who is going to take the time to put the right staff members in place in their store and ensure everyone understands the most important person is the guest,” he added.

Within the $17 billion bakery segment, Paris Baguette continues to differentiate itself by offering breads, cakes and pastries made fresh daily, unlike many other concepts that primarily offer soups, salads and other pre-made goods.


Paris Baguette is a bakery café franchise with more than 4,000 units across the globe. The brand first started franchising in 2015 in the U.S. and has since established nearly 150 locations in markets across the country, making it one of the premier franchise opportunities in its category. Paris Baguette’s primary mission, executed every day by its expert staff of bakers, cakers and baristas, is to share moments of joy with customers and help customers share moments of joy with their friends and family by providing world-class cakes, pastries, coffees, breads and other French-inspired bakery café fare.

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The Pupu House and Kiki’s Tiki Bar Open in Waikīkī

Located on Lewers Street in the old Moose McGillycuddy’s space, The Pupu House welcomes kama‘aina and malihini with their fun retro tiki bar vibe, and ‘ono grindz by Uncle Bo. Meanwhile, Kiki’s is the newest after-hours party hotspot, open til 3am on Taco Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays!

The Pupu House on the street level at 310 Lewers Street and Kiki’s (or ‘Kiki’s, short for Waikiki) Tiki Bar upstairs will both be open beginning Tuesday, May 16.

The Pupu House already soft-opened at the end of April, and has been serving dinner nightly from 5:00pm to 1:00am (last call for food at 12:45am). Now their sister establishment, Kiki’s Tiki Bar, located upstairs on the second level, will be open on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10:00pm to 3:00am. Kiki’s will kick-off their weekly “Taco Tuesdays” tomorrow with DJ Compose and beef or chicken tacos for only $5 each.

And this Saturday, May 20, 10:00pm-3:00am, DJ Collective Promotion Group launches “Sneaky Tiki” at Kiki’s with no cover charge! All three nights will feature top DJs and live bands to make Kiki’s the new hot spot to gather with friends for after-hours fun ‘til 3:00am. Kiki’s large and fun space is also an ideal spot for private parties and special events as a buyout for up to 150 guests with a full bar, multiple monitors, stage and sound system. There is also a private room upstairs for up to 20 guests.

The Pupu House on the first level is a family-friendly restaurant and bar that will transport you back in time to the “Golden Era of Waikiki” with its nostalgic and playful “tiki bar” vibe. It can accommodate about 60 guests on tables and at the bar. They offer a delectable menu of dishes to please every palate, from Uncle Bo’s favorites, which have gained thousands of loyal devotees in Hawaii and around the world, to his own twist on local-style dishes which pay homage to iconic local eateries and utlilize locally-sourced ingredients

In addition, the bar looks like something straight out of the set of “Blue Hawaii” with its thatched roof, bamboo, colorful glass balls, and shell accents, and the team of skilled bartenders offers a full bar including amazing signature cocktails. The Pupu House also features a Late Night Happy Hour/Industry Night from 10:00pm ‘til last call nightly with selected menu items at 50% off and the signature “The Sea Chest” cocktail for $12. A souvenir shop is also open at the entrance selling various logo merchandise like t-shirts and bags.

“We are super excited to have both The Pupu House and Kiki’s finally open,” said Ho Suk Lee, President and Managing Partner. “My partners—Chef Bo Pathammavong and my wife, Hokulani Lee—and I are so grateful because we have been busy since we opened our doors with both locals and visitors.

“We opened without fanfare as we wanted to get settled in first, but tourists passing by just wanted to come in to this fun tiki bar called ‘Pupu’ and loyal local fans of Uncle Bo’s found out we were here and started coming in and spreading the word,” Lee added. “Now we’re opening Kiki’s upstairs on three nights—and we’re available for parties, too.

Lee said he plans to expand the schedule upstairs and also offer breakfast and lunch downstairs at The Pupu House in the near future.


Hearken back to a simpler time when Waikiki was being discovered by travelers from around the world, Duke and his Waikiki Beachboys ruled the waves, and Elvis’ “Blue Hawaii” became everyone’s dream fantasy. Welcome to The Pupu House, featuring food the whole ‘ohana will love by award-winning Chef “Uncle Bo” Pathammavong, of Uncle Bo’s Kapahulu, Uncle Bo’s Hale‘iwa, and Yaya’s Chophouse & Seafood in Kaka‘ako.

Address: 310 Lewers Street, 1st Level, Honolulu, HI 96815

Hours: Dinner Nightly, 5:00pm – 1:00am (last call for food 12:45am); Late Night Happy Hour, 10:00pm – 1:00am (last call for food 12:45am)

Reservations/Takeout: (808) 784-8112

Parking: No parking available.


Social: IG: @the_pupu_house I FB: The Pupu House I #thepupuhouse 



The hottest new late night spot in Waikiki, Kiki’s Tiki Bar opens on Taco Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10:00pm – 3:00am, and features top DJs and live bands to dance or chill to while enjoying your favorite beverage and hanging out with friends – and making new ones! Kiki’s is also the perfect party venue for all of life’s celebrations. Contact us at for your next event for up to 150 guests!

Address: 310 Lewers Street, Upstairs, Honolulu, HI 96815

Hours: Tuesday/Friday/Saturday, 10:00pm – 3:00am; Every Tuesday is Taco Tuesday!

Reservations/Private Parties: (808) 784-8112 /

Parking: No parking available.

Social: IG: @kikis_tikibar I FB: I #kikistikibar 

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Tiki’s Grill in Waikiki Celebrates 20th Anniversary

The award-winning Tiki’s Grill & Bar is celebrating of 20 years in business, highlighting the talents of Executive Chef Ronnie Nasuti.

Tiki’s is a renowned festive, oceanside restaurant for Hawaiian cooking, cocktails, and live music.

Nasuti’s dishes include many new offerings that he has concocted to commemorate the restaurant’s major milestone.

Abiding by a farm-to-table movement, Chef Ronnie brings in island fresh produce and breads, as well as local grass-fed beef and local caught and/or raised fish, weekly. His casual American and Pacific-Rim menu offerings, such as the Teppanyaki Pacific Pink Snapper, Truffle-Yaki Salmon, and his own personal favorite, the Thai Shrimp Puttanesca, have all helped Tiki’s Grill & Bar win a multitude of awards including TripAdvisor’s “Travelers’ Choice” in 2020 and Honolulu Magazine’s “Best Restaurant of Honolulu” in 2018.

A beloved hot spot by both locals and tourists alike, Tiki’s Grill & Bar (located at The Twin Fin hotel) is the only Tiki bar within the Waikiki district, and features beachfront views and live entertainment every evening. Guests continue to savor Chef Ronnie’s food, as well a bountiful and tasty tropical drink menu, which includes Tiki’s Grill & Bar’s top drink of choice, the 1944 Mai Tai.

Launched in 2002 by three University of Hawaii graduates—Bill Tobin, Kelly McGill, and Michael Miller—the trio have since built up what is now known as the “busiest independent restaurant in Waikiki,” serving over 1,000 patrons a day, and with more than 150 staff members on payroll. 

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Former Sugar Workers Reinvented Themselves to Grow Award-Winning Coffee

The story of former sugar workers who reinvented themselves to grow award-winning Ka‘u coffee is captured in a new, 20-minute film available via YouTube.

Presented by the Ka‘u Coffee Festival and Hawaii Tourism Authority, “The History of Ka‘u Coffee” shares the pioneering spirit and challenges of coffee growers in the state’s largest agricultural region that sprawls windward to leeward on the southern half of Hawaii Island. Videography is by Ruslan Kuznetsov and Hawaiian music is provided by the Keaiwa band of Ka‘u. 

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Short interviews with Ka‘u coffee growers and those who helped them achieve success share what it took to create an award-winning coffee while establishing Ka‘u as a premiere coffee region. Those featured include Trinidad Marques of Ali‘i Hawaiian Hula Hands Coffee, Merle Becker of Aikane Plantation, Joan Obra of Rusty’s Hawaiian and Isla Custom Coffees, Brenda Iokepa-Moses, former land management analyst of Ka‘u Agribusiness; John Cross, former manager of Ka‘u Coffee Mill and Chris Manfredi, Ka‘u Coffee Festival organizer. 

Using historic photos, the film opens to illustrate how Ka‘u sugar plantations laid the framework for everyday life in Ka‘u, providing the community’s economic engine and infrastructure for decades. When the last plantation closed in 1996, some residents decided to grow coffee, and the film reveals why through interviews. The prospective growers got USDA grants for seed money, which helped them transition from a plantation system to private enterprise, where farmers were in charge of their own success.

The compelling documentary chronicles the early challenges faced by Ka‘u growers. However, a turning point in the fledging coffee industry was when 15 samples of Ka‘u coffee entered the 2007 Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) Competition. Two entries placed sixth and ninth in the worldwide field of entries.

“Ka‘u coffee became front page news and talked about within the international specialty coffee scene,” says Manfredi on camera. “This success brought a resurgence in community pride.” Manfredi details how farmers rolled up their sleeves and returned to their abandoned fields. “We hired consultants who taught Ka‘u growers best farming practices, how to ID bean defects and store coffee.” He adds the collective goal among the growers was to offer a higher volume of Ka‘u coffee to attract buyers.

The film conveys how five subsequent SCAA Coffee of the Year Awards put Ka‘u on the world-class coffee map. The Ka‘u Coffee Festival debuted in 2009 to promote and celebrate the now famous brew, its premium coffee origin and the Ka‘u District as a visitor destination. Footage reveals how the festival offers opportunities to meet the growers and sample coffee, take a farm tour, learn how to brew coffee a variety of ways, and immerse in the community over 10 days of activities like stargazing, a ranch tour and an indoor-outdoor ho‘olaule‘a celebration with local hula, Hawaiian music and local non-profits selling broke-da-mouth food.

The film is dedicated to the spirit of hard-working Ka‘u coffee growers—past, present and future—and ends with a message of hope for Ka‘u coffee farming to successfully continue in the verdant valleys of Ka‘u while keeping Ka‘u families connected to the land. Watch it at 

For info and additional 2022 virtual Ka‘u Festival offerings, visit and follow K’au Coffee Festival on facebook and @kaucoffeefest on Twitter and Instagram. Support is provided by Hawai’i Tourism through the Community Enrichment Program.  

About the Ka‘u Coffee Festival:

Founded in coffee traditions dating to the 1800s—Ka‘u coffee burst onto the specialty coffee scene by winning numerous coffee quality awards. These accolades highlight the unique combination of people and place that makes Ka‘u coffee a favorite across the globe. Held annually, the mission of the Ka‘u Coffee Festival is to raise awareness of Ka‘u as a world-class, coffee-growing origin.

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bb.q Chicken Opens Second Location in Aiea Shopping Center

Korean fried chicken chain bb.q Chicken has opened its second Hawaii location in Aiea Shopping Center. Located next to Aiea Bowl, this restaurant has a large following both locally and globally for its authentic fried chicken wings and sides. bb.q Chicken began in South Korea in 1995 and since then, the brand has grown to more than 500 stores in 57 international countries.

bb.q Chicken’s first Hawaii location opened in Kahala last November in Kuono Marketplace. This fast-growing franchise is known for its ultra-crispy and deliciously juicy fried chicken that’s popular even among mega K-pop superstars like BTS and Bae Suzy. Each menu item is made to order using authentic imported ingredients from Korea to keep the taste and quality of Korea. The chicken is fried in traditional Korean methods where it is hand brushed, hand battered and fried at 165-degree Celsius for a longer period of time, creating an unforgettably crispy texture with a juicy and tender bite.

Whether it’s a quick lunch takeout, a potluck dish to share for Thanksgiving or a casual dinner out with friends and family to enjoy chimaek (fried chicken and beer), bb.q chicken is a versatile dining option. Popular dishes include the Honey Garlic Wings, Golden Fried Wings, and Half & Half Chicken. You can also enjoy various K-foods such as ddeok-boki and mandoo.

“Our main goal is to provide the healthiest, most delicious premium chicken to the world,” says Chairman Yoon Hong-guen. “When we opened our first bb.q chicken restaurant in 1995, quality was our top priority and we continue to strive for the same high quality food for our customers today.”

bb.q Chicken Hawaii

•         Kahala Location: 4210 Waialae Ave. Suite 203, Honolulu, HI 96816 (Located in Kuono Marketplace). Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

•         Aiea Location: 99-115 Aiea Heights Dr. #303, Aiea, HI 96701 (Located next to Aiea Bowl). Open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

•         Online ordering and delivery options available


•         @bbqchickenhawaii

About bb.q Chicken

In 1995, Our Chairman Yoon Hong-guen founded Genesis bb.q Group in Seoul, South Korea with one simple mission: serve great-tasting, high-quality Korean fried chicken to the world. It’s safe to say that mission succeeded, as bb.q now operates in hundreds of stores across the globe. Our secret is simple: Under chairman Yoon’s idea that defines franchise business as education business, we established Chicken University to keep us on the cutting edge of quality and flavor, and all our stores—whether it’s in Korea or Kansas—champion Korean culture with authentic recipes, exciting flavors, and superior customer service.

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Kitchen Door Napa Lands in Hawaii in February 2023

The critically acclaimed restaurant to introduce dual concept at Wai Kai, a new Oahu recreation destination.

Kitchen Door Napa expands to Hawaii with its inaugural location within Wai Kai, Oahu’s first-of-its-kind waterfront recreation and entertainment destination. Set to open on February 10, 2023, the signature restaurant will feature a dual-dining concept presented by the trio of partners known for their hospitality and culinary expertise; Michelin-awarded Chef Todd Humphries, Maui-born restaurateur Richard Miyashiro, and Kitchen Door Napa Managing Partner Tim Seberson. 

The three partners have been eyeing the Hawaii market for some time and they found the most suitable opportunity through a partnership with the exciting Wai Kai project. The nine-acre Wai Kai development is located within Hoakalei Resort in Ewa Beach on West Oahu.

“We wanted an anchor restaurant that delivers a high caliber of culinary techniques, harmonious flavors, and an excellent level of consistency,” said Larry Caster, director of retail development for Wai Kai Commercial Development, LLC. “With its impeccable reputation, Michelin-awarded chef and beloved fan following, Kitchen Door Napa will be an excellent complement to the dynamic offerings at Wai Kai and we’re elated to be the home of the first and only Kitchen Door in Hawaii.”

The synergistic restaurant concept, housed in a two-story, 7,200-square-foot establishment at the heart of Wai Kai, will bring a sophisticated yet approachable menu that caters to broad-ranging appetites. On the upper Plaza Level is the premier restaurant, the Plaza Grill, a family-friendly restaurant and bar in a contemporary setting. The venue will boast a full-service dining room, lanai seating with lagoon views as well as a private dining room ‘parlor’ for intimate gatherings and celebrations. The dining room is sophisticated yet inviting, highlighted by a wrap-around bar offering front row seats to the open kitchen. 

A spiral staircase connects the Plaza Grill to the second concept located on the Wai Kai Lagoon level—the Boardwalk Cafe. Perfect for a quick dine-in or grab-and-go, this interactive yet intuitive counter-service restaurant will feature an all-day menu of eclectic yet traditional favorites, elevated and prepared a la minute by classically trained chefs. 

“It’s been our long-held dream to establish a location in Hawaii. Being chosen as the signature restaurant at the next unprecedented immersive experience on Oahu is more than we could’ve imagined,” said Todd Humphries, chef and co-founder of Kitchen Door Napa. “We aim to honor and celebrate the local culture by creating a beautiful space that brings family and friends together to share a memorable meal.”

Designed by Studio GOGA, Kitchen Door Napa at Wai Kai presents a “destination-forward” restaurant aesthetic that seamlessly integrates the Hawaiian landscape and underscores the balance of form and function. Open floorplans, generous natural light and complementary tones and textures create an inviting atmosphere on both levels. Upon entering the dual dining venue, guests will be delighted with a feast for all the senses, starting with the warmth and energy of the space followed by the aroma emanating from the Humphries kitchen. 

“Hawaii is an ideal destination to carry out our culinary and hospitality philosophy. Our mission is to create a sense of community where we locally source ingredients and serve flavorful dishes that are meant to be shared by a caring culture,” said Richard Miyashiro, restaurateur, and co-founder of Kitchen Door Napa.

Maui-born Miyashiro plans to continue honoring his Hawaii roots at this new location much like he has at the Napa restaurant which features several island-inspired dishes and the ever-popular Aloha Friday happy hour.  

Designed to satiate and entice, the menus are designed with the active Wai Kai visitors in mind— whether engaging in water activities, entertainment events, or simply gathering with family and friends. Drawing on his 30 years of experience which includes cooking at notable restaurants in Hawaii, NYC and San Francisco, Chef Todd Humphries’ eclectic menu reflects the diversity of local and seasonal ingredients and global flavors.  

Guests can expect favorites such as a variety of fresh salads, wood-fired pizzas, Asian-inspired noodles, local seafood, steak, house made desserts and a craft beverage program of spirits, beer, wine and sake. Future plans include curated tastemaker events with celebrity guest chefs, wine tastings, and other exclusive culinary experiences. 

“Understanding that Wai Kai is meant to be a destination where people can find all they love about Hawaii in one spot, we conceived this restaurant to be a gathering place for locals and Hawaii visitors. We’re excited to offer a new space where everyone can come together, relax, and indulge in an incomparable dining experience,” said Tim Seberson, managing partner at Kitchen Door Napa.

Currently hiring, Kitchen Door Napa will create more than 75 new jobs for the local community. 

Plaza Grill will be open for lunch Monday-Friday, dinner daily, and weekend brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Boardwalk Cafe will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. For more information, visit

About Kitchen Door Napa

Kitchen Door Napa, originally located at the Oxbow Public Market, was co-founded in 2011 by Michelin-awarded Chef Todd Humphries, restaurateur Richard Miyashiro and managing partner Tim Seberson to deliver a menu that is always ingredient-driven, prepared by classically trained chefs celebrating eclectic flavors from around the globe. Since then, it has grown to become a beloved brand for its warm hospitality coupled with sophisticated cuisine bursting with flavors that showcase local and seasonal ingredients. In summer 2022, it relocated to First Street Napa. The same hospitality and level of cuisine that epicureans have come to expect of Kitchen Door Napa is carried over to the dual-concept restaurant at the heart of Wai Kai, the nine-acre development poised to become Oahu’s first-of-its-kind waterfront recreation and entertainment destination. Opening February 10, 2023, the dual-concept features the signature restaurant, the Plaza Grill, on the upper level, while the casual counter-service concept, Boardwalk Cafe, is located on the ground level. For more information, visit

About Wai Kai

This exciting waterfront recreation and entertainment destination is set to open February 10, 2023 at Hoakalei Resort on West Oahu. The LineUp at Wai Kai will serve as a dynamic social and activity hub featuring the Wai Kai Wave powered by citywave® along with stand-up paddling, kayaking and other water activities on the adjacent Wai Kai Lagoon. A dual-concept restaurant presented by Michelin awarded Chef Todd Humphries of Kitchen Door Napa sits at the heart of the property with the Plaza Grill and the Boardwalk Cafe. Other dining venues include The LookOut Bar & Restaurant offering a front-row view of the surf action and Foam Coffee & Bar. The upscale Nalo Kai Club Lounge will also be available along with Sessions Lifestyle & Apparel. Events International will curate a robust schedule of engaging events and experiences for all ages across multiple onsite venues. For more information, visit: Wai Kai Experience and The LineUp.

Haseko Family of Companies

As a developer of residential, commercial and resort properties in Hawaii since 1973, the Haseko Family of Companies have built a solid reputation for high-quality projects and a genuine commitment to the community. Among its most prized hotel, commercial and residential projects are the award-winning, master planned communities of Ocean Pointe and Hoakalei Resort, Kauai Beach Villas and Kauai Hilton Hotel, Kaanapali Shores resort condominiums on Maui, The Courtyards at Punahou and Ocean View Center in Honolulu. The Haseko Family of Companies are separate and independent companies which include Wai Kai. For convenience, these companies are referred to as the Haseko Family of Companies. 

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Inaugural Culinary Institute of the Pacific food conference to convene in September

Tickets are available now for the “Near and Far: Cool Ideas, Hot Food” conference on September 21 at the Queen Kapiolani Hotel. The theme for this inaugural food conference, hosted by Kapiolani Community College (KCC) and Culinary Institute of the Pacific (CIP), is “Resetting the 21st Century Table,” focused on catalyzing the connections between food, culture and technology in creating healthy and economically diverse communities.

Celebrated chefs, culinary thought leaders and local food producers from near and far will gather for a day of interactive sessions, panel discussions, a lineage-inspired lunch and a farm-to-glass pau hana reception to share how they are helping to drive a new economy and shift towards regenerative models of community and tourism.

Some of the guest speakers scheduled to present at the 2022 conference include:

Tu David Phu

Alyse Whitney

Eric Kim (Photo by Jenny Huang)

Rich Shih (Photo by Catherine Dzilenski)

Jeremy Umansky (Photo by Angelo Merendino)

Helena Norberg-Hodge (virtual) author, documentary filmmaker and founder of international non-profit Local Futures, a pioneer of the new economy movementTu David Phu, chef and filmmaker of Emmy-nominated BloodlineEric Kim, New York Times staff writer and the author of Korean American: Food That Tastes Like Home (Clarkson Potter, 2022)Kūhiō Lewis, CEO of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) which was recently awarded a $100 million multi-year contract to boldly transform Hawaii’s chief economic driver, tourism, towards a regenerative modelRich Shih and Jeremy Umansky, co-authors of Koji Alchemy: Rediscovering the Magic of Mold-Based FermentationAdam Watten, Director of Food Systems for Common Ground Kauai and Culinary Manager for CG Ventures, whose expertise in vertical supply chain integration is evidenced in his founding of Hanai Market, a local food retail outlet that exclusively sells Kauai-grown and Kauai-made products to the local marketAlyse Whitney, editor, writer and video host who was formerly the managing editor of Cravings by Chrissy Teigen.

Tickets for the Near and Far 2022 conference are $225 per person and available for purchase at

Discounted Early Bird registration priced at $195 per person ends on August 31. Lunch and Farm to Glass Pau Hana reception are included in ticket price. Pau Hana reception starts at 4:30 p.m., immediately following the conference; attendees must be at least 21 to attend.

For group ticket purchases contact Linh Hoang Poe at or call (808) 734-957.

The Culinary Institute of the Pacific (CIP) is a state-of-the-art culinary center offering academic and non-credit programs in the culinary arts and food science. The CIP is a statewide network and part of the Kapi‘olani Community College campus. Uniquely positioned to serve as a magnet for students, researchers and corporations from across the globe seeking the skills, knowledge and expertise in 21st-century food systems, CIP is located on the slopes of Diamond Head. CIP’s 7.8 acre campus includes Asian and Western food labs and a culinary innovation center. A 50-seat interactive tasting studio, culture center with dining facilities and a new culinary innovation center will open in 2023.

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With Rising Tourist Numbers, Localicious Pivots Marketing Priorities

With the state’s exploding tourist numbers, Localicious is changing gears from supporting Hawaii’s restaurants during the pandemic to mobilizing visitors to support local agriculture.

Localicious, a program organized by the Hawaii Agricultural Foundation, came to prominence during the COVID-19 pandemic with Food-A-Go-Go. The initiative helped keep restaurants, and the farmers, ranchers and fishermen that supply them, open for business. 

But with lockdowns and restrictions on eateries in the rear-view mirror (for now), the HAF is shifting the priorities of Localicious. The program will now urge tourists to support local agriculture. The HAF will market to visitors with search engine optimization, social media platforms, and digital advertising.

According to a press release from the Hawaii Agricultural Foundation, Localicious’ new priorities will be:

1) support local businesses that buy from our local farmers, ranchers and fishermen 

2) create an opportunity for visitors to contribute to our local economy

3) help create more demand for our local ag and fishing industries, and

4) provide credible information to the public on how they can help Hawaii in its efforts to support local ag and diversify our economy.

Localicious was formed in 2014 as a marketing campaign to support local restaurants and businesses, Hawaii’s agriculture and fishing industries, and to contribute to kindergarten to grade 12 agriculture education.

Photo courtesy of Localicious.

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Chubbies Burgers coming to Kaimuki

A food stand serving quality burger-fare in the Kakaako/Ward area, Chubbies Burgers, will be relocating to Kaimuki in the coming months.  Chubbies will be moving into the restaurant space at 1145 12th Ave. (The restaurant’s former occupant, Koko Head Cafe, just relocated across the street to a larger venue.)

“This location will be a great fit for the Chubbies Burgers brand. We love the neighborhood of Kaimuki and feel that Chubbies will be a great addition to the collection of small businesses in the area,” saidJeffrey Nedry, Owner of Chubbies Burgers. “We are so glad to finally graduate from our food trailer into a brick & mortar location.”

Melisa Preus at CBRE represented Chubbies Burgers, with Jo McGarry representing the former tenant.

Chubbies has been in business for nearly 6 years, serving burgers, fries, and milkshakes – using local and housemade ingredients. Weekly, the hardworking staff at Chubbies makes, by hand, thousands of Certified Angus Beef burgers and fresh-baked buns, hundreds of housemade veggie burgers, and countless batches of their fries and six delicious specialty sauces.

In 2021, Chubbies was recognized by reader votes as “Best Burger” in Honolulu Magazine’s “Best of Honolulu.” Also nationally recognized, Insider Food recently included Chubbies Burgers in their publication of “The Best Burger in Every State.”

The opening date of the Kaimuki location is scheduled for early May.

From left to right: Jasmyne Wood, Culinary Director, Jeffrey Nedry, Owner, and Todd Yokoyama, Manager.

The existing location at Ward has been scheduled for redevelopment for some time. Chubbies ownership is currently in discussions to secure a location in the Kakaako area, to open next year – in 2023.

“I want to thank Ward Village for our 5-year partnership. Giving our food truck a chance to operate with daily business hours and seating has allowed us the opportunity to grow,” said Nedry. “I also want to thank the Kakaako and Ward community, not to mention the people that make a trip into town to grab Chubbies, for your support and patronage. A hui hou!”

Chubbies plans to add a few new menu items, including a couple of beers and cocktails, while still maintaining a slim concept.

“The key is keeping the menu concise and consistent, so our guests can always expect the same great quality,” said Jasmyne Wood, Culinary Director at Chubbies Burgers. “We also plan to add more vegetarian options.”

“Meat alternatives are a growing category,” added Nedry, “I question how burger restaurants are going to be operating in the next 20 years. As our business grows, I want to ensure Chubbies is environmentally-conscious and thinking about the future.”

Chubbies expansion also includes plans to add key hires.

“We offer excellent benefits and promote from within the company,” said Todd Yokoyama, Manager at Chubbies. “At Chubbies, we’re trying to be a progressive food and beverage employer. Restaurant industry compensation has a complicated history. We’re doing our best to be part of the positive change that is happening to restaurant culture.”

The final date of service at the Ward food trailer will be at the end of April — exact date to be announced.The food trailer, which Chubbies Burgers currently operates from, will be for sale. Custom designed and built with high volume in mind, it’s only been in operation for 2 years. Interested buyers should contact Jeffrey Nedry (

Chubbies guests and fans are invited to follow Chubbies Burgers on social media to get updates on their location change and opening dates at @chubbieshawaii.

ABOUT CHUBBIES BURGERSChubbies Burgers is the burger joint Hawaii had been waiting for – high-quality and locally-sourced ingredients, always made to order, served hot & fresh every time. Chubbies strives to set themselves apart by making burger buns in-house, using premium Angus Beef, and providing unique but consistent menu offerings that can be prepared with efficient systems.

The company opened in mid-2016 and is the vision of owner Jeffrey Nedry. In their first year of operation, after driving around to various locations such as Sandy Beach Park, Chubbies then partnered with Ward Village to have a permanent location and consistent business hours.

In order to support the growing demand, Chubbies has had to operate a vigorous prep kitchen operation to keep the trailer “storefront” supported. The prep operations have grown from a shared prep kitchen space to larger and larger spaces. Three different dedicated prep locations within 18 months were required to support the growing demand.

As the company expands and volume grows, Chubbies seeks to find creative solutions that can ensure the quality standards remain high. This is a burger brand that takes their operation seriously – and aims to keep their reputation of the best in town.

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Big Island dispensary introduces cannabis-infused chocolates

Hawaiian Ethos announced this week that it has released the first legal cannabis infused chocolates on the Big Island of Hawaii. Called “Kokoleka” — the Hawaiian transliteration of the word “chocolate” — it will be available in retail stores in Kona, Hilo, and Waimea.

The company says its new chocolates are the island’s first edibles released under new regulatory rules allowing licensed dispensaries to manufacture cannabis infused beverages, baked goods and other edible product formats in the state of Hawaii.

“Cannabis infused chocolates and other edible formats have been available in other states for years, and Hawaiian Ethos is excited to finally offer our premium products under the state’s new rules,” said Hawaiian Ethos vice president of marketing Chris Whidden.

Starting from organic fair-trade cacao, Hawaiian Ethos chocolates are infused with premium ice water hash rosin made from fresh frozen whole flower, sun grown locally at their low impact production facility in Kamuela.

Later this year, Hawaiian Ethos plans to release a variety of creative new flavors using local, island-sourced ingredients and flagship cannabis strains, including a no-sugar added option for medical cannabis patients sensitive to sweets.

In addition to the medicinal benefits of cannabis, dark chocolate is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health. Made from the seed of the cacao tree, it’s one of the best sources of antioxidants and can lower the risk of heart disease.

To reduce the impact of plastic waste on the island, Ethos’ Kokoleka chocolates are packaged in 100% backyard compostable PHA containers, which return to the soil completely in as little as 16 months. 

As more cannabis infused products become available in the state, Hawaiian Ethos looks forward to new and existing licensed operators working creatively to put Hawaii on the map as a premium producer of world class cannabis edibles, made with care and found nowhere else on the planet.

About Hawaiian Ethos

Hawaiian Ethos is a licensed medical cannabis producer with retail dispensary locations on Hawai’i Island in Hilo, Waimea, and Kona. All Hawaiian Ethos products are sun grown on the Big Island, solventless, and packaged responsibly in recyclable, reusable or compostable containers. For more information, visit

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