Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Maui no ka oi for Whole Foods 'ONO award

Whole Foods photos
Among Whole Foods ‘ONO Award winners are, clockwise from left, Maui Breadfruit Co.’s Pono Pies, Two Chicks in a Hammock’s Backyard Juice Chili Pepper Water, Hawaii Taro Co.’s Maui Taro Burger, and Kumu Farms produce.


Whole Foods Market Hawai‘i named the winners of its third annual 2015 ‘ONO Awards Sunday night at Maui Brewing Co., in Kihei.

The awards were created to honor local companies and growers that embody Whole Foods Market’s mission and core values, and the event took place on Maui because the island is the home of all of this year’s winners, though nominees came from throughout the islands.

“The fact that we have a Maui sweep is a real testament to the thriving and exciting local food community there,” said Dabney Gough, metro marketing field team leader at Whole Foods Market Kāhala, who created the awards in 2012.

To be eligible, products must be grown or produced within the state and carried at Whole Foods Market Hawai’i locations.

Winners were selected by the Whole Foods Market Hawai’i team, except for the People’s Choice award winner which was determined by a two-part nomination and final voting process that took place on social media channels.

Since opening its first Hawaii store in 1980, Whole Foods Market has partnered with local farmers and producers that currently number 300. Last year, the stores purchased nearly $12 million in agricultural and value-added products from local farmers and producers, and continue to seek additional local products and producers.

For more information, visit Whole Foods Market Kāhala, Kailua, and Maui, or @wfmhawaii on Twitter.

Maui Breadfruit Co.’s Maui Coffee and Chocolate Pono Pie, is one of several gluten-, dairy- and GMO-free products that earned the company a berth in Whole Foods Market.

Here are the 2015 winners:

Team Member Pick of the Year: Maui Breadfruit Co. Pono Pies
Sustainability Award: Maui Breadfruit Co. Pono Pies
Innovation Award: Hawaii Taro Co. Maui Taro Burger
Best New Product: Maui Brewing Co. Lorenzini Double IPA
Partner of the Year: Kumu Farms, grower of papayas, kale, and other produce
Hall of Fame: Yee’s Orchard mangoes
People’s Choice Award: Two Chicks in a Hammock’s Backyard Juice Chili Pepper Water

Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage is in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

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