Here’s my take on the Best places to buy Organic Veggies & Fruit on Kauai.
I was going to do a post about Farmers Markets, but the truth is that all the veggies and fruit available at Farmers Markets – sometimes called Sunshine markets – are not always organic. The good news is that being such a small island, the Health Food stores on island do get their fruit and veggies from the local growers; see my post on Organic Kauai.
The Waipa Foundation in Hanalei is an “Ahupua’a” which is the ancient Hawaiian way of taking care of the land and the people & life there. The Hawaiian word is “Malama”. To Malama the land, you care for it, you love it and all life therein. You can read about who they are and their mission here. Their ultimate goal is sustainability for the communities and are doing that by building community whilst restoring ancient ways and growing food, amongst other things. They grow Kalo (Taro), they educate and they are a model of how to live sustainability whilst growing community in a way that is Pono.
They have a Kale (Taro) and Mango festival every year and stage other events. They also sell their fresh produce.
Waipa have a self serve fridge and honor system. They have fresh kale and other fresh greens and veggies depending on the day. They also make amazing soups and the most incredible Lilikoi Poi Cheesecake. Just have some, trust me! I don’t think the ingredients are all organic but wow. They also on some days have fresh eggs. All reasonably priced. The selection may be more limited than stores but you are buying the produce right where it grows. I do consider this to be one of the best places to buy organic veggies and fruit on Kauai.
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Yes, Foodland has some organic produce but all the fresh organic produce comes from the mainland…. so how fresh is that? Sometimes they have a bag of salad from Kilauea farms, but not my first choice for organic.
Healthy Hut Kilauea
The Healthy Hut in Kilauea has a steady supply of local fruits and veggies grown on island. They buy from Wootens, Moloa’a Organica and others. They also import veggies such as broccoli, pototaoes and garlic from the mainland. One of the best places to buy organic veggies & fruit on Kauai.
I appreciate the fact that they open at 7.30 and don’t close until 9pm. They also have a smoothie & fresh juice bar. I just had the Anini Sundown the other day….excellent. They even have “shots” of Olena (turmeric), wheatgrass and other healthy shots to assist your well being. The salad bar is decent and they do provide cooked food daily; always a soup, a main course and either rice, quinoa or potatoes.
They have a great little area out the back to sit at tables in a grassy area. Gosh I remember when that place was a school……
True Leaf Farm Stand in Moloa’a
True Leaf is on the right hand side of the road about a mile past the Moloa’a Fruit stand when you are coming from the south. It’s a simple hut with a big fridge. They consistently have great kale, chard, bak choi and other greens, herbs. Reasonably priced. They have fresh eggs on a fairly consistent basis. Sometimes they will have bananas or other fruit or Avos.
Moloa’a Fruit Stand
Whilst this is mainly a smoothie bar & cafe serving in the mornings and middle of the day, they do have an area with local fruit on sale from the farms; usually bananas, papaya, mangoes, citrus, whatever is in season.
Hoku opened … maybe a dozen or so years ago now. They provide bulk organic dry food, regular groceries and a consistent supply of fresh produce from the local farmers so you can usually get greens, carrots, Avos, all the usual veggies here plus a good selection of bananas, mangoes in season, citrus, apples, other fruits in season. There are some salad bowls & wraps in the fridge and along with Healthy Hut, they also get a delivery of Midnight Bear Bakery organic bread (best on the island) on Wednesday and Friday afternoons. It sells out fast.
Papaya’s is the oldest surviving health food store on island which has been open for 25 years plus, though they have moved a couple of times. Currently in the plaza along from Safeway. As with Hoku they provide a good selection of fresh produce from local farmers, some dried goods and a good selection of everything else. They also have a smoothie bar and limited cafe menu.
Both of the above make the list for being one of the best places to buy organic fruit & veggies on Kauai.
Health to Go
This is owned by the Jeremy & Keli Hillstrom who own the True Leaf Farm stand. They recently moved location from Kalapaki Bay to Rice Street. They offer fresh sandwiches and wraps there as well as local produce and some other groceries. Their fresh sandwiches, wraps and healthy bowls are now available at other health food stores including Hoku in Kapa’a and Papaya’s.
Vim and Vigor
Until Health to Go opened, this was the only health food store in Lihue…small and does not really have fresh produce but if you need something else, it’s there.
Costco has “organic” but none of their fresh produce is from the islands except sometimes pineapples and I’m not sure they are organic. Why would you buy organic salad from Costco when you can get fresh grown with all the nutrients vital and alive?
Living Foods is a relative newcomer to the Kauai Health scene. They have a cafe serving healthy food all day. They have a market with fresh fruit which is local but no greens.
Stands on the side of the road
So there are a number of locals who park on the side of the road, set up a table and sell what they have. Can be anywhere on the island. You have to have cash for those of course. Most are genuinely organic but if someone has a variety of fruit and other stuff, I would double check and use your intuition. If someone is there in Rambutan season selling a bunch of rambutans…. it’s local and organic. Same with mangoes.
Of course you also find people selling fresh fish caught overnight – lucky if you get some Ahi and sometimes other products such as Leis or baked goods. You decide. Personally I think it’s great to support locals who are doing this for a living.
Yes, you can get organic food at farmers markets, but choose your vendor. There are some unscrupulous souls who I believe bring produce that is not organic and pitch it as such because they know how popular the markets are and people want organic. Talk to the vendor and see how you feel. If you see a sign saying any of the following, you’re good to go: Wootens, Moloa’a Organica, Strong’s. There are other smaller ones too many to mention.
The Farmer’s Market scene has changed in the last couple of years so I’m doing another post on that soon but they are some of the best places to buy organic fruit & veggies on Kauai.
So that’s it for the roundup of where to buy the best organic food ~ Kauai is blessed with an abundance of greens, fruits and more. Enjoy!