The old Bank of Hawaii branch in Waialua will open its doors Friday morning as Waialua Fresh, a new grocery store owned by Moui Lo.
The 1,300 square feet will be bursting with 80 percent local produce, most of it Oahu-grown, as well as spices, rice, canned goods and household items.
"I am able to offer quality produce with no shipping costs," she said. "I purchase directly from the farmers, very fresh, like the same day. … Anything we need is within a half-an-hour radius of us."
Location: 67-071 Nauahi St.
Her family has been farming on Oahu for some 30 years, first in Waimanalo before the polo field was built, and since then on the North Shore.
Lo’s family still is farming, and some of her produce will be from her brothers but the rest will be from the network of farmers she built up over the past four or five years of selling produce at farmers markets.
Two supermarkets serve the North Shore, but Lo’s new market will fill a void in the Waialua community left when the venerable IGA store closed two years ago.
Six family members are involved in the store, and "everybody’s got little children"; and in true Waialua community style, neighbors have been helping set up the store, assisting with signage and other tasks. Many have told her how eagerly they anticipate the opening, and "ready or not, we’re going to be there."
"I don’t know that a person can actually have fun selling vegetables, but I do," she laughed.
Broadcasters, not beefcake
"I don’t know who nominated me," he said, though as a 10-year member he is happy to help the organization raise funds for AAJA programs. He and his morning show colleagues promoted the vote drive on the air, and Choi is among the top 13 — but one must be top 12 to get a month in the calendar.
Just as with "Dancing with the Stars,” people can vote as often as they like. However, each vote costs $1, given the fundraising goal.
Leading the race is George Kiriyama, a reporter for NBC Bay Area KNTV-TV, serving the San Francisco Bay Area, who also happens to be the AAJA national vice president for broadcast and is overseeing the calendar committee. Hmmm.
"Everybody loves George," said committee member Howard Chen, dismissing your columnist’s suspicions. Chen is sports director at WUPW-TV, the Fox affiliate in Toledo, Ohio, and also is a calendar candidate.
The TV guys won’t be posing for cheesy beefcake shots. They might have been "hesitant" had the mention of Speedos arisen during calendar planning, Chen said. The gentlemen will be photographed in suits.
Just about everyone can name an Asian-American female TV journalist, "but most people can’t name an Asian-American man," said calendar committee chairwoman Julie Tam, a reporter at NBC affiliate KXAS-TV in Dallas and owner of TheApplicationMasters.com, an editing services company. Except for markets with large Asian-American populations, Asian-American men are underrepresented in broadcast journalism, she said.
Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Advertiser. Reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.