A Picky Eater Tours Whole Foods

I’m a picky eater. Organic when I can. Grass Fed over mass-produced feed. Fresh, local produce. Gluten-free as much as possible.

Hooray to Whole Foods for opening their newest store in Hawaii. It’s in Kailua, on the Windward side of Oahu and today I toured the store before its grand opening on Wednesday.

Wow! The store is huge! There’s a section for everything, starting with wine, beer and pizza. They’re having Happy Hours with $2.00 beer. Get a draft and a slice and sit with your friends in the cushy green seats in the “Bar” area.

My favorite is the coffee and juice bar. Twelve different coffees served daily. I swear I heard our tour guide say, “Twelve.” I hope I wasn’t imagining it.

There’s a bakery section with organic bread baked daily. The baker also said my favorite words, “gluten-free.” But it won’t be baked fresh daily. The gluten-free foods will be in the refrigerated or freezer sections.

Next we went to the butcher section. See the pattern here – bartender, baker, butcher. Like an old time village, where you stopped at each proprietor for your food, except here, it’s all in one store.

They talked for a while about a color-coded system of defining the level of meats by how they were raised. The couple behind me and I both honed in on the beef coming from Maui. Not too far, when considering we are the metropolis most-removed from another city in the entire world. As in, we are far from everything here in the Pacific Ocean.

The fish section has a poke bar. Typical Hawaii.

Across the way we went to the bulk section. Not only do they have bulk nuts and seeds, but bulk liquids. I saw metal containers that looked like coffee urns marked with “Macadamia Nut Oil”, “Raw Blue Agave”, and “Amino Acids”.

Finally to the fresh produce. They purchase produce as local as possible, which isn’t difficult here. Hawaii has excellent papaya, mango, pineapple, corn, lettuce and greens. Oh, the list goes on….

Maui Pineapples on Sale

We walked around the outdoor, gated area to listen to music, and sample foods. The tea with sorbet was excellent. I tried both the Lychee and the Ginger Passion Fruit. Once Whole Foods is open for shopping, I’m buying some.

I can’t wait shop here. Thank you Whole Foods for opening up a much larger store and on the other side of the island.

A Blustery Easter Day

Last Easter, we sat on the beach under a warm Hawaiian sun, while blue skies beckoned us into the turquoise water. This Easter, we had windy, rainy, grey skies.

Inclement weather didn’t stop Oahu residents from celebrating at the beach. Saturday morning, I met some friends for a morning get together. In the wind-blown park adjacent to the beach, I watched a group set up for a party. Tarps were hung from pillar to pillar under the gazebo area, in order to block the wind and potential rain from their cooking area. A truck pulled up loaded with tables and chairs. Someone was having a luau at the beach.

Every weekend, but especially on holidays, large groups come to the beach areas. They set up grills, chairs and tables loaded with food. Then they line up coolers around the group’s area. There they sit all day, talking story with friends and family, eating ono (good) homemade food and watching the kids play in the ocean.  If there is no covered area, large canopy tents are erected to house the party and protect the food.

Everyone has a good time and when finished every remnant of the party is cleaned up and taken out of the park/beach area.  This happens all over the island.

Yesterday, I watched Ala Moana and Kapiolani parks fill up with families and friends gathering for the holiday.

South Shore sunset on Easter

The rain came crashing onto the island around 4:30, while the wind whipped the palm trees and tents. By 7:00, Mark and I were watching the rain from a restaurant. No luau for us, just a chef-made Easter dinner under a large tent, while watching the storm pass outside.

When it rains here, locals say we are being blessed. We had a blessed Easter Day on Oahu.