Tuesday, July 31, 2012

App aims to make search for local produce a breeze

Nadine Kam photos
From left, YWCA of Oahu CEO Kimberly Miyazawa Frank, Café Julia chef Lance Kosaka and app developer Melanie Kosaka, at the beta launch of Lei Fresh.

The YWCA's new Café Julia was the setting for the beta launch of Melanie Kosaka's latest app venture, Lei Fresh.

The Hawaii-grown, interactive mobile app will help conscientious shoppers find and share local products as they pop up in grocery stores and farmer's markets throughout the islands.

The app will be available Aug. 15 as a free download in Apple's App store. In the meantime, you can take a look at a video posted at LeiFresh.com.

It was a no-brainer that the event take place at the cafe, where Melanie's brother Lance is the chef, who also represents Laniakea Catering. He was offering an array of artisan pizzas including one with butter, tomatoes and arugula, and others topped with smoked pork, and another with adobo and chicharrón.

Neighboring restaurants also serving their specialties included 'Umeke Market, Mix Cafe and Brasserie Du Vin.

Natalie Aczon of Whole Foods Market, with Stephanie Chang of Design Ink, who created the logo for Lei Fresh.

Laniakea Catering's adobo and chicharrón pizza.

'Umeke Market's kimchee meatloaf made with Big Island grass-fed beef.

Mix Cafe and Bruno's Forno chef Bruno Iezzi mixes his lemon rigatoni, with Wu Qin He.

The Whole Foods display included some of the misshapen carrots you don't get to see in their perfect in-store displays. This one looks like a claw or the bottom half of a grotesque doll. Natalie Aczon said the employees pull odd ones all the time that look downright pornographic.

This one looks like a pig's foot. After the event, the produce was available for the taking. I don't know who got these carrots.

Among the guests, Sean Morris and a homecoming Candice Kraughto, briefly back from Shanghai.

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