Supporting local farmers has been an integral part of our commitment to Local Mo’ Bettah, our internal campaign to promote local farmers and produce across the state.
To provide the best of what is grown in the islands, we seek local growers across the state, from sweet potato growers on Molokai to dragonfruit farmers in Kona, to persimmon growers on Maui, to hearts of palm growers on the Big Island and asparagus growers on Oahu.
In addition to distributing and promoting local produce, we visit our farmers regularly to educate them on food safety practices and elevate their operating procedures. We are humbled to work with these dedicated farmers on a daily basis and through our Local Mo’ Bettah initiative, we’re able to support small farmers.
Located in the middle of Mililani is an 18 acre aquaponic/hydroponic farm owned by Fred Lau and his family. They grow varieties of lettuce along with cucumbers, swiss chard, radishes, baby carrots and orchard crops. Huge fish tanks, with tilapia and other fish, allow the Laus to conserve water and eliminate the use of synthetic pesticides through the use of recycled water from the fish tanks to the crops.
Alberto Belmes, a local grower from the Big Island and originally known for his papayas, is now a producer of local navel oranges that you can now enjoy in the markets. He currently has about 100 acres of papayas and about 45 acres of navel oranges. He has grown macadamia nuts in the past and has also planted some avocados. Originally from the Philippines, Mr. Belmes started farming in Hawaii in 1983 and as a conscientious grower, is always concerned about quality.
On the North Shore of Oahu, tucked away in Wailua where two rivers meet on the makai side of two bridges, Twin Bridge Farms brings fresh asparagus to consumers year-round.
As the largest producer of asparagus in Hawaii, growers Al Medrano & Milton Agader utilize the nutrient rich soil and ground water from their own springs to grow their prized asparagus. Their asparagus has become a highly sought after specialty product for local chefs and gourmet shops.
Twin Bridge Farms is expanding their asparagus operation in Waialua to incorporate several varieties of potatoes. The popular Yukon Gold and Red potatoes are now available. “Quality is our first priority in everything that we do," says Milton Agader.
Grant Schule owns Kumu Farms with multiple locations providing organically grown eggplants, carrots, cabbage, green and yellow beans, papaya and more. His farm on Molokai is just south of the airport on the Ho'olehua plains. His Maui farm sits on the foothills of the West Maui Mountains in Waikapu at the Maui Tropical Plantations.
Organically certified, the Chris Robb Farm is located in Waimea on the Big Island. Graduating from the University of Hawaii’s College of Tropical Agriculture in 1982 in Horticulture, Chris Robb has been in Agriculture for over 30 years. On his 20+ acres, Chris Robb Farm grows romaine, red & green leaf lettuce, Shanghai Pak Choy, as well as his specialty items like fennel, leeks & kale.
Grown by Mokuleia Farms, Neal Bashford’s mango harvests include large Manzanillo, Keitt & Tommy Atkins varieties. Possessing a sweet, tropical taste, all his freshly grown & picked mangoes offer different textures and flavor profiles—try them all! Farming for well over 25 years, Neal Bashford now grows mangoes on over 200 acres on the North Shore of Oahu.