Menehune Food Mart may not look like much from the outside. The greyish-blue shop sits discreetly alongside Kauai’s main road and has a subtle tinge of red dirt covering its faded exterior. The words MENEHUNE FOOD MART stretch across the front in plain red lettering. Typical laid-back, low-key Kauai style.
Driving by, most would mistaken the mart for just another 7-11 convenience store. After all, it does sell the usual convenience store stuff, like chips and sodas. But it’s the freshly-baked goodies that really set Menehune Mart a part from the rest. Manju, mochi and malasadas sell out almost as quickly as they’re made. The bentos are quite the hit, too. These grab-and-go style lunches fit in well at any beach picnic.
To be honest, I had no idea the mart sold all these awesome treats; until recently, that is. We would drive past it almost every day while vacationing on the Garden Isle. A last-minute stop for lunch was the reason for this recent revelation. Now, we make sure to go here at least every other day. (Manju goes great with my mocha latte from Kalaheo Coffee.) I’ve also started pre-ordering manju and mochi to take back to my family on Oahu. They love me for it.
The best part about Menehune Mart’s manju selection is that there are lots of flavors. But my all-time favorites will always be the azuki bean and sweet potato flavors. I keep meaning to try the coconut one, but every time I go in, they’re already sold out of that flavor! It must be good.
Almost forgot to mention the peanut butter mochi. They are melt-in-your-mouth deadly.
If you’re dying to try an authentic manju (and not those oil-soaked stale ones sold at drug stores), then go to the Menehune Food Mart. You’ll not only be breaking in your taste buds to a true Kauai-style treat, but you’ll be supporting a local business that has become a mainstay in the islands for decades. Mahalo, for that!
MENEHUNE FOOD MART • 2-3687 Kaumualii Hwy., Lawai, HI 96741 • Opens Mon-Sun 6am-8pm • 808-332-8641
Posted by: Bruce Fisher