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In Brief | Island Inc. | 11-3-14

November 3, 2014 - 12:05am

Logan wins cooking competition

Vincent Logan, Coast Grille Chef de Cuisine, was crowned the champion of Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel’s Grilled and Chilled Showdown Oct. 24.

Logan competed against Food Network Star finalist Nikki Martin, also known as the Grill Next Door, and Peter Abarcar Jr., Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel executive chef. He recieved a commemorative kiawe wood plaque carved from a tree harvested in the Coast Grille garden.

Logan regularly uses ingredients from Coast Grille’s garden in the nightly menu. Coast Grille’s monthly Locavore Series, developed by Abarcar and now continued by Logan, features a singular Hawaii Island grown ingredient in a three- or four-course prix fixe menu.

Big Island retailers honored at luncheon

Retail Merchants of Hawaii hosted its annual Hookela Awards luncheon Oct. 23 at the Sheraton Waikiki in Honolulu, bringing together more than 350 retailers.

The Big Island winners of this year’s awards were: Longs Drugs (Retail Business of the Year); Hawaii Island, S. Tokunaga Store Inc. (Retail Business of the Year); Quiksilver (Resort Retail Business of the Year); Flip Flop Workshop LLC (Best New Retail Business of the Year); and Big Island Bees Co. (Fastest Growing Retailer of the Year).

Michael Tokunaga accepted the award for S. Tokunaga Store, which honored the company for its contribution to the success and vitality of the retail industry in Hawaii County. S. Tokunaga Store Inc. is a third-generation retail operation catering to Hawaii’s sporting enthusiasts since 1920. The business has grown since opening its doors 94 years ago. The company has maintained its edge by providing excellent service, knowledgeable staff and unique services like custom fishing rods. Other offerings include a large variety of guns, accessories and ammunition.

Whendi Grad accepted the Hookela Award for Big Island Bees, which honored the company for more than doubled its growth in the past three years. Grad started Big Island Bees in 2004 to create a retail product for the unique organic Hawaiian honey produced by her husband’s company, Captain Cook Honey Ltd. Products include raw honey, honey mustard and jellies as well as lip balm, soaps and candles. Big Island Bees also educates customers about the worldwide plight of bees and how bee pollination is responsible for one-third of the foods in our diet.

Workshop, guide helps hotels protect reefs

A new publication by the Coral Reef Alliance explains how protecting coral reefs and the natural environment can help hotel’s grow their business. Ecotourists have higher incomes than regular tourists on average, and they tend to spend more money while traveling. Attracting this growing market could help hotels increase their bottom line.

The alliance’s new Hawaii Hotel Reef Stewardship Guide is designed to help hotels adopt practices that protect coral reefs and attract this growing number of tourists interested in supporting environmentally-friendly businesses. The guide can be downloaded for free at It outlines steps hotels can take to become coral reef stewards, such as reducing land-based pollution and engaging and educating their guests.

Those within the South Kohala accommodations sector, including property division managers, maintenance and facility personnel, and elected homeowner association board members, are invited to a free workshop to learn more about reef stewardship. Participants will learn about attracting eco-friendly travelers, becoming a certified environmentally-friendly business, saving money through reef stewardship, and the history of the local shoreline and Hawaiian culture.

The workshop will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 12 at the Kaupulehu Interpretive Center in Kailua-Kona. Reservations are due today to Erica Perez at or 494-5770. Lunch, refreshments and guide provided.

Under the Bodhi Tree receives HDOA Seal of Quality

Under the Bodhi Tree in the Mauna Lani Resort was added as a member of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture’s Seal of Quality program in September. It is the first restaurant to qualify and be added as a member in the program’s eight-year history.

Most program members are farmers, cattle ranchers, coffee farmers and value-added food companies. Under the Bodhi Tree was added because of its continued belief in supporting local farmers and businesses in its purchasing habits and being able to deliver quality products to its guests daily. After a Department of Agriculture inspection of the restaurant, its produce inventory and invoices, Under the Bodhi Tree was determined to meet all the strict requirements needed to hold this honor.

Under the Bodhi Tree partnered with local businesses and farmers to maintain its quality level and its membership in the Hawaii Seal of Quality program, including Adaptations Farm, Hawaii Kombucha, Sunset Hill Farm, Turnip Wagon and Kailani Surf Co.

PBS Hawaii gets $10K from Aloha Petroleum

PBS Hawaii recently received a $10,000 gift from Aloha Petroleum Ltd. for the public television station’s future home on Nimitz Highway and Sand Island Access Road on Oahu.

Construction of PBS Hawaii’s new home at the site of the former KFVE Newsplex will be underway by year’s end, with completion in 2016. The existing one-story structure will be renovated and expanded to include a second story, for a total of 30,000 square feet under one roof. The building will house a main television studio, as well as a smaller interview studio, an emergency broadcast center and a media innovation center.

Title Guaranty employees help Puna residents

In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Iselle, Title Guaranty challenged employees to bring in their spare change to create real change for Puna residents. Pennies for Puna began as a fundraiser and grew into spirited competition between floors and the 18 statewide branches.

Change collected from Pennies for Puna generated $5,360 – nearly 29,000 pounds of pennies – toward the relief effort. Proceeds were donated to the American Red Cross for distribution to Puna residents.

The Title Guaranty Hilo branch also provided aid to those who needed it most, clearing roads of debris and delivering ice, water and supplies to residents unable to leave their homes.

Business First Pau Hana slated Tuesday

The monthly Business First Pau Hana is from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Red Water Cafe in Waimea. This is a casual, no-host networking gathering to meet and exchange news and develop new opportunities. No reservations are required.

Participants are welcome to bring friends and colleagues. Also bring business cards and printed materials to share and be prepared to speak very briefly about your business or projects you think others will be interested in.

This monthly event is co-sponsored by the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of North Hawaii. For more information, call Penny Pagliaro of Panalea Corp. at 315-7776.

Free workplace skills training offered

Free iCan Training is offered from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the Kanu o ka Aina Learning Ohana on Hiiaka Street in Waimea. Participants can brush up on their reading, writing, math and workplace skills to prepare for the job market and working toward a National Career Readiness Certificate.

This training is sponsored by the University of Hawaii Community College and U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration.

For more information, call Estee Nathanson at 934-2700.

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