Until recently, I was a full-time resident of Lahaina. I called the town my home for 10 years. Although I left the island a few years ago to start a family, Lahaina and Maui will always remain a significant part of who I am. I have a deep love, respect, and connection to the ‘aina and ohana of West Maui. The loss of life and property from the devastating fires have left me shocked and heartbroken.
I was considering ways to help the community when my wife suggested that we buy our Christmas gifts from local Maui businesses. I thought it was a wonderful idea, and others may want to provide their support in a similar way.
The local community and businesses make Lahaina special, and I hope supporting these business will help them survive this difficult period.
The following list includes some of my favorite and most frequented businesses of the area. However, this isn’t a comprehensive list. Like any local, I had my particular haunts. I’m sure I’m missing several. Please provide any other local businesses and ways to support in the comments below. Also, please keep recommendations to local (not overly corporate) businesses of Lahaina that were impacted by the fires.
Choice Health Bar
Choice was a hotspot for locals and after-surf grindz. I’ve devoured many Buddha Bowls and Chronic Smoothies from Choice. I remember the founders starting their business after working at the Lahaina Farmer’s Market in Honokowai. Then, watching the business grow into a fixture of the town. They have great merchandise that would make an excellent gift for the hippies and health nuts in your family.
MauiGrown Smokestack Coffee
A little hidden treasure of Lahaina. MauiGrown coffee operated a charming coffee shop at the historic Pioneer Mill, just outside of town. My business partner and I would often grab a drink from their establishment before starting our work day. They provide excellent, locally grown coffee for the coffee lovers in your family.
Banana Wind is my favorite gift shop in the Lahaina Cannery Mall — an old cannery that was converted into a mall. They’re essentially importers, but they don’t import cheap trinkets from China. Instead, they sell high-quality merchandise that has been hand-picked from craftsmen around the world. As a family owned operation, they travel to find the products that have distinct Hawaiiana charm.
I love Fleetwood Mac. I also love Fleetwood’s on Front Street. I’ve been lucky enough to see Mick Fleetwood drum here on multiple occasions. Although I consider Fleetwood’s a relatively new addition to Front Street, and even though it’s a celebrity owned restaurant, the atmosphere fit the Lahaina vibe perfectly. Fleetwood’s merch is a win for Lahaina and Fleetwood Mac fans.
Vintage European Posters
Lahaina is a town of arts. There were many special galleries along Front Street, and I’m sure countless original works were lost to the fires. Of all the galleries, the Vintage European Posters shop was among my favorites. They lost everything in the fire. You can provide support by donating to their GoFundMe.
As mentioned, I imagine countless works of art were lost to fire. However, finding information on “truly” local artists is not my area of expertise. However, if you know any local Lahaina artists impacted by the fire, please feel free to contribute, and provide their information in the comments below.
Another local gift shop that provides great and unique gift items. This shop was a regular stop for me when purchasing gifts for my family or wife.
A great artisan pizza joint impacted by the fires. I enjoyed many pizzas from this local restaurant. I was unable to find any merch, but they do have a GoFundMe.
Old Lahaina Luau & Star Noodle
Old Lahaina Luau is a Lahaina landmark. As a Hawaii local, attending luau attractions was never high on my to-do list. However, I did have the pleasure of attending one event here. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, and it’s a great loss to the community to lose such an establishment. On a side note, they are customer of Organic Themes, and use our Restaurant Theme for their website template.
Star Noodle was among my favorite local restaurants, and I ate there any chance I could. Both businesses have a joint GoFundMe to help aid their displaced employees.
Sophie DeLoria Foundation
Sophie DeLoria was my neighbor and friend. She passed away in a tragic event on Maui, and her parents founded an organization in her name in order to give back to the Lahaina community. The foundation holds an annual swim in Sophie’s honor, and proceeds from the organization support the local school and after school activities. I can’t say enough good things about the founders and the organization.
There are several other local establishments and people that are in need of support. As mentioned, this is not a comprehensive list. Please feel free to share more in the comments. Also, I will try to update this list when possible.
Maui and the Lahaina community need all the support we can provide. I hope in some small way this post will help. My thoughts are with all of those suffering. Aloha.