And Ended with an Oahu North Shore Exploration
A mainland guest of ours wanted to take back locally-grown coffee. Since we were at the North Shore farmers market, I knew just what to get, and went looking for Waialua coffee booth. Well, dern, they were sold out. So I got directions to the actual coffee mill where it was guaranteed to have plenty of coffee.
The Waialua Coffee Visitors Center is just a short drive outside of Haleiwa – just west of it. It was so close I was surprised I’d never been there before. The center is part of a complex that has taken over the old Sugar Mill, which closed in 1996, but is housed in original buildings over a century old, which are quite charming. The biggest building houses a shop that sells the coffee and chocolate that are grown and processed there. The very friendly shopkeeper gives out samples of the coffee and short tours of the chocolate processing area. The samples are very good, and the chocolate, though pricy, tastes high quality. The store has a wide variety of products, many from the island, and the rest from Pacific Rim countries. There certainly is enough to look at to spend a while there.
Also in the Center but housed in a tall cone-shaped building is the North Shore Soap Factory, home of Hawaiian Bath and Body products. They also offer tours and a window view of the soap-making takes up one whole side of the store. I can tell you, it smells wonderful in there, and I bought some coconut soap and a cute coconut shell soap dish for it. I used their sugar scrub and was very impressed with it. It made my skin really soft. This store was packed with tourists who were definitely fans of the products.
There were a few other stores in the complex, but they were closed on Sunday, but I did get a quick look at the Surflight Store. The owner opened the small showroom to show his wonderful selection of specialty surf boards. These are high performance boards, which can be custom made, that are soft, top and bottom. They feel wonderful and as he points out, are very safe, especially for young or inexperienced surfers. These can be shipped to the mainland and you’ll be getting a hand crafted board from Hawaii’s north shore.
Beautiful Hawaiian cacao beans + the soap and surfboard shop
When you are at the North Shore and have already seen Haleiwa, take a short drive to Waialua and check out the shops there. I think there is enough there to make the trip worth while.
Posted by: Bruce Fisher on Jan 31, 2011