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Lawai Market celebrates one year anniversary

LAWAI — Lawai Market owner Ethan Page said there will be free cookies while supplies last, soft serve and the house coffee will be on tap this Saturday at the convenience store located near the intersection of Lauoho and Lawai roads.

“Yes, it’s been a whole year since we opened during the time of you-know-what,” Page said. “We are a convenience store with a little bit of everything from breakfast, bento, egg rolls, musubi, to grab-and-go dinners and more variety.”

The store also stocks a good variety of wines and convenience goods, including snacks, beach accessories and more.

Open seven days a week, Lawai Market is a throwback to the old days of the pineapple cannery when small grocery stores offered everything from clothing and dry goods to foods and groceries took care of the community that was the cannery life.

“We don’t have tabis,” said Jodie Puata-Agena whom Page described as the person who makes the magic happen. “I know how they made it, layering fabric after fabric and sewing it together, and Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami had a proclamation for it when one of our relatives passed.”

Instead, Puata-Agena bakes the cakes, breads and donuts on weekends.

Tonya Gwin is the purchasing specialist on paper, but does a lot more, Page said.

“She does everything,” he said. “She isn’t here, but for what she does, she deserves to have the day off.”

Drawing from the heritage of the pineapple cannery era, the Lawai Market carries locally-grown beef from the Rancher’s Daughter Reserve and supplements the beef offering with more exotic offerings of elk, venison, imported wild boar and more with the emphasis being placed on locally-made or produced.

Using the pineapple as its logo, Lawai Market continues in the heritage of the Lawai General Store and the pineapple cannery days that were closed when Page opened it as the Lawai Market.

“I used to live right up the road when I moved here,” Page said. “I used to come here to shop. I liked how they had everything I needed and more. When I opened the Lawai Market, I wanted to keep how the Lawai General Store was. I even have their sign on the wall.”

Entertainment on Saturday is provided by one of Puata-Agena’s family with the Tsunami Taiko.

“They go on at 10 a.m.,” Page said. “Just find some parking and come enjoy.”

Lawai Market is open Mondays through Wednesdays from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Source: The Garden Island

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