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There's so much to learn about this tropical paradise we call Hawai'i. Start your journey today by reading more about what makes this place so special.

More Hawai‘i Themed Virtual Activities to do While Social Distancing

Posted in: Culture & History, Environment, Events, People, The Arts, Things to Do

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve written about activities you can do while you’re stuck at home #socialdistancing, from the educational to the entertaining, and other unique virtual experiences. Now, we’ve got even more for you to check out while staying in, including aquarium visits, walking tours and music playlists! Though they're temporarily closed to the public, the Waikīkī Aquarium still has experiences to share online Waikīkī Aquarium, long known as a pillar of education, conservation and just inspiring awe and wonder, still continues its mission despite not being physically open ... Read More

Refuge at Sea Life Park­­­­­­—­­­­­­­­The Amazing Story of Niblet and Brawler

Posted in: Environment, People

By Kent Coules, Publisher Sea Life Park in Waimanalo has a long history of rehabilitating animals, but the rescue of two California sea lions, Niblet and Brawler, tested the expertise of marine mammal professionals from the West Coast to Hawai‘i. “We had to work with multiple agencies to get Niblet and Brawler here safely,” says Sea Life Park Curator Jeff Pawloski. “The regulations and logistics we had to negotiate were tough, but Niblet and Brawler arrived here safely on January 9.” Brawler and Niblet (pictured left to right) shortly after arrival ... Read More

Sky Riding—How Richard Schuman’s Magnum Helicopters Became a TV Star

Posted in: People, Things to Do

The Hawai‘i helicopter tour business has grown over the years, and there are several reputable companies to choose from on each island. But on O‘ahu, there’s only one helicopter to fly if you want to feel like a TV star. “Well, there’s actually four,” corrects Richard Schuman, owner of Magnum Helicopters and Makani Kai Airlines. “Our guests get to fly in the same helicopters they see on ‘Magnum P.I.’ and ‘Hawaii Five-O’ each week—doors on and doors off.” Does Stephen Hill, who plays Vietnam veteran and helicopter pilot Theodore “T.C.” ... Read More

It’s a Boat. It’s a Sub. It’s a ‘SemiSub’! Talking Story with CEO Curtiss Jackson

Posted in: People, Things to Do

By Kent Coules, Publisher The SemiSub One is a brand new, five-star, 149-seat semi-submersible watercraft that opened its galleys to the public on O‘ahu in November 2019. The vessel is the first of its kind in the world and has garnered major buzz both locally and worldwide for the unique experience it provides lucky guests. “The SemiSub One prototype has been in development for more than a decade,” says Founder and CEO Curtiss Jackson, “and has undergone rigorous scrutiny on its road to sailing openly in Hawaiian waters.” The SemiSub ... Read More

Sunshine Helicopters: Talking Story with Founder Ross Scott

Posted in: People, Things to Do

By Kent Coules, Publisher “We had a great life; we rented a little house on the beach and owned a sailboat charter business. We were good. And then my son got accepted into Chapman College in California.” Chapman College can take partial credit for starting one of the most successful air tour companies in Hawai‘i, Sunshine Helicopters. Except that the founder didn’t attend the school—he just paid for it. “I was in good shape financially, except for the $28,000 a year I was going to have to come up with. ... Read More

A Light in the Darkness—Local Institutions Stepping Up and Doing Good

Posted in: People

We’ve been reading a lot of bad news these days. It’s true, though, that when times are tough is when you’ll often see people at their best. The same applies to businesses who will often use their resources to help out others who need a hand. Ko‘olau Distillery CEO and partner Eric Dill, distilling alcohol for hand sanitizer [Image Ko‘olau Distillery] Normally in the business of producing fine spirits that can be found in restaurants, bars and grocery stores, Maui-based Hawaii Sea Spirits and Ko‘olau Distillery on O‘ahu's Windward side ... Read More

VIBE Bar Maui: From Vision Board to Reality

Posted in: Food & Drink, People

Brandon and Myline Dahle had it all. They married young and started a family. Their children were high school Valedictorians and graduated from Stanford and UC Berkeley respectively. They lived in a big house in Vegas, drove luxury cars and had a brand new RV resplendent with jet skis in the driveway. Myline. and Brandon Dahle “We had started writing annual goals on our vision board from the time the kids were in fourth or fifth grade,” explains Brandon. One unaccomplished goal on their board was to own and manage ... Read More

Jumping in with Dive Oahu’s Brian Benton

Posted in: People, Things to Do

By Kent Coules, Publisher “We started as a ‘dive club,’” says the Southern California native who first came to Hawai‘i as a U.S. Marine in the early 80’s. “It started as a couple of friends, then a few more type thing on the weekend. I’d tow my first boat (a 25-foot, 10-passenger Radon) from ramp to ramp, and people would meet me there.” At the time the dive club started in 1995, Benton was a full-time dive instructor at Tropical Ocean Sports in Kane‘ohe Bay. He was responsible for as ... Read More

Going Deep with Maui Divers Jewelry’s Cole Slater

Posted in: Environment, People, Shopping, Things to Do

By Kent Coules, Publisher Most successful jewelry companies don’t start out as a dive shop. But this is Hawai‘i, where unusual starts to local businesses are commonplace. With that in mind... Backstroke to 1958 when master divers Jack Ackerman and Larry Wembley took guests deep-sea diving off Lahaina, Maui. On that day, more than 200 feet below the surface, they came across something mysterious and never before seen—black coral. “Black coral is only found in waters between 150-300 feet deep off Maui,” says Cole Slater, executive vice president for Maui ... Read More

A Night Out at Tanaka of Tokyo

Posted in: Food & Drink, People

  Alison “Bo” Tanaka grew up at Tanaka of Tokyo. Literally. “One of my fondest early memories was going to the office at King’s Village with my dad,” she says. “I loved that. Today, I meet him in the office every Monday and we review the week and talk strategy.” Apparently that strategy has been extremely successful. Tanaka of Tokyo is consistently the top-rated teppanyaki restaurant in the state. “We have been in Waikīkī for 41 years,” says Bo. “Our goal was to have a restaurant within walking distance of ... Read More

The Boss Frog of Maui: The Story of Founder Phil Kasper

Posted in: People, Things to Do

A lot of people are called “boss” but only Phil Kasper has the distinction of being the “Boss Frog” of Maui. Kasper is the Founder and Owner of Boss Frog’s, with stores on Maui, Kaua‘i and the Big Island, and operator of the country’s finest snorkel boat, the Calypso. Over lunch at Mala Ocean Tavern, Kasper explains that his story isn’t one of overnight success. “Everything happened incrementally,” he tells me. “I came here on my boat in 1987,” his first catamaran, the Frog Man. “There was never a business ... Read More

CLIMB Works: A North Shore Zipline Adventure

Posted in: Culture & History, Environment, People, Things to Do

By Kent Coules, Publisher When Aaron Campbell bought Keana Farms with a partner over 13 years ago, ziplining wasn’t even on his radar. “We bought the land to create affordable housing. For a number of reasons that were beyond our control we had to back off from that goal.” Having been raised on the North Shore since he was a little boy, Campbell’s mission was still to use the land to help the local community. “I loved the fact that the 450 acres was a working farm that delivered a ... Read More

Zip and Slide! Koloa Zipline/Kauai ATV

Posted in: People, Things to Do

“If you put a barrier in front of me, I will find a way to get around it,” says Olie Rivera, owner of Koloa Zipline and Kauai ATV. Those words seem to drive every step of his career path. The 64-year-old Colombia native has only been employed for six months of his entire life. “I worked at a print shop when I was a student at Cypress College, in California. Other than that job, I’ve always worked for myself.”  Olie's business started with just one ATV. Which quickly became ten. ... Read More

A Shelluva Business: The Shell Factory

Posted in: People, Shopping

By Kent Coules, Publisher It is always fascinating to learn the back story of how someone ended up in Hawai‘i, or how they started their business. Todd Crawford of Kaua‘i’s The Shell Factory is no exception. “My parents started The Shell Factory as a retirement business in 1982,” says Crawford. “They had a jewelry store business in San Jose and vacationed regularly on Kaua‘i. They loved it so much they started thinking about retiring here. That was the start of our business.” Some of the beautiful creations you'll find at The ... Read More

A Conversation with Cool Cat Cafe’s Sean Corpuel

Posted in: Food & Drink, People

By Kent Coules, Publisher One look at Cool Cat Cafe on Front Street and it’s hard to believe this all started from an 800 square foot hamburger stand making only $300 a day in Atascadero, California. “My dad Steve bought a place called Tubby’s with his last $15,000 in savings in 1989,” says Sean Corpuel, co-owner of Cool Cat. “I had dropped out of high school in Arizona, and my dad asked me if I wanted to come work with him. We had one employee then and hamburgers sold for ... Read More

Women Making Waves: Alma Tassi of South Shore Tiki Lounge

Posted in: Food & Drink, People

By Lauren LaDoux, Maui Sales Director This is our nod to the women who are standing tall, climbing mountains and making a difference on this little slice of heaven known as Maui. Whether these women are entrepreneurs, humanitarians, environmentalists or are just doing something really cool, they are making Maui a better place, every day.  I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Alma Tassi at Akamai Coffee in Kihei. If you don’t know who Alma is, she’s the inspiring and relatable co-owner of South Shore Tiki Lounge at Kihei ... Read More

Makani Golf Club—The Course Locals Don’t Want You to Know About

Posted in: People, Things to Do

By Kent Coules, Publisher “Makani” is the Hawaiian word for wind. You could be excused for thinking it means “spectacular views.” Indeed, when one first drives off Māmalahoa Highway onto Makani Golf Club’s 150 acres, your first view is of its signature 17th hole. It’s a par three with an island green that architect Perry Dye modeled after the “most terrifying tee shot in golf,” the legendary 17th at TPC Sawgrass. Looking at this hole on the drive in is anything but terrifying, however. On a clear day, like the ... Read More

The Pizza Man of Kaua‘i: Pietro’s Pizza e Pasta in Poipu

Posted in: Food & Drink, People

By Kent Coules, Publisher One of Tom Iannucci's mouth-watering concoctions, fresh from the oven When most people think of “pizza” and “Hawai‘i” they think of pineapple and ham. Tom Iannucci thinks about brick ovens and learning more from his peers at the Association of Verace Pizza Napoletana, who commissioned his pizzeria as their first certified pizzeria in Hawai‘i. It all started on Long Island, New York, where Tom grew up. “It wasn’t the best neighborhood,” says Tom. “A lot of my buddies were going to jail, so after the Beirut ... Read More

Chef Sheldon Makes a Splash with LINEAGE

Posted in: Food & Drink, People

By Kent Coules, Publisher What do the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award, television’s Top Chef and Hawai‘i’s ubiquitous ABC Stores all have in common? Sheldon Simeon, Executive Chef of the hot new restaurant LINEAGE in Wailea, Maui. Chef Sheldon, as he is known, was twice voted “Fan Favorite” during two separate appearances on the Bravo Network’s Top Chef. He opened LINEAGE in October 2018 in partnership with venerable ABC Stores and was nominated as a semi-finalist by the James Beard Foundation for Best New Restaurant in March. The James Beard ... Read More

Women Making Waves: Martha Haleakala of Kobe’s Japanese Steakhouse

Posted in: Food & Drink, People

By Lauren LaDoux, Maui Sales Director This is our nod to the women who are standing tall, climbing mountains and making a difference on this little slice of heaven known as Maui. Whether these women are entrepreneurs, humanitarians, environmentalists or are just doing something really cool, they are making Maui a better place, every day. Kobe's entertaining chefs and delicious food bring people back again and again, but Martha is the restaurant's secret treasure. Martha Haleakala is the owner of Kobe’s Japanese Steak House over in Lahaina, but that wasn’t always ... Read More

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