LIHU‘E — The Alakoko is ready for growth on Kress Street.
“We’re looking for vendors,” announced Krystl Apeles, the Alakoko project and the Downtown Lihu‘e Night Market manager. “Alakoko is home to locally-made goods — a place where you can find authentic quality local goods all under one roof.”
Apeles likened vendors to those participating in pop-up events that sprouted during the pandemic when crowd sizes and social distancing are the norm.
“But unlike pop-up events, the vendor comes in, signs up for a space, and leaves the inventory here,” Apeles said. “Alakoko is open for business from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and closed on Tuesdays. Friday and Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The vendor’s inventory is available for shoppers to browse and buy. Alakoko is a community for small businesses to grow and expand.”
These operating hours places Alakoko to share in the activity of the weekly Friday Night Art and the once-a-month Downtown Lihu‘e Night Market held on the second Saturday of each month.
Some of the vendors already securing space in Alakoko, located on Kress Street across the way from Robert’s Jewelry, include Apeles’ own Puka Surf Co. Apparel &Swimwear, Tiny Isle Macadamia Nut Butter, Holly Ka‘iakapu aka H.K. Experience, Hawai‘i Peeps Skin Care, and Ha‘a &Co. Scents of Hawai‘i.
Several interested vendors got a taste of Alakoko during recent Downtown Lihu‘e Night Market events where they got an opportunity to experience the shopping and vending experience inside the walls of Alakoko that has been developing over the past several months.
Apeles’ blossom bloomed with her unique trailer that was solar-powered and featured other sustainable characteristics creating a workshop/display on wheels. That was garaged with the arrival of the pandemic, and her efforts moved toward working out Alakoko, a plan that sprouted about four years ago.
Ka‘iakapu, one of the Mo‘olelo Murals artists, started vending her line of contemporary clothing during the Friday Art Walk in Hanapepe. That event was shut down by the pandemic, and is working towards coming back. In the meantime, Ka‘iakapu found life in the Downtown Lihu‘e Night Market along with fellow Mo‘olelo Murals artists Bethany Coma (yes, she has her own line of cards, notes, more) and Bree Blake before settling into the weekly Aloha Market hosted by the National Tropical Botanical Garden South Shore Visitor Center.
She and Apeles will share the responsibility of keeping the Alakoko doors open during its operating hours.
Alakoko is a Rice Street Business Association nonprofit affiliate shop based on the idea of shared community space, states an advertising flier posted by the Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce. Alakoko is a membership-based store that services growing and locally-based entrepreneurs.
Membership includes space to sell products, brand promotion, and offers networking/resources that help stimulate sustainable growth.
For more information and membership registration, visit www.alakoko.com.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: The Garden Island
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