South Shore Market in Honolulu opened up about a year ago, but I just went last week for the first time. I was blown away by the quality of the boutiques, the large selection of locally handmade items, and the passion of all of the people who work to bring these locally made products to us.
Composed of 18 merchants, South Shore Market was created to embody and kindle Honolulu’s creative scene, while providing local entrepreneurs and shoppers a gathering place.
And, if you ask me, South Shore Market has met and exceeded that goal.
After years of living here, I am always on the lookout for new gifts to give to my friends. I always want to get my friends who live here something unique, something they haven’t seen before. And that can be hard when you live on an island!
I also want new things to send back to the mainland. My dad has received coffee and macadamia nuts from me more times than I can count — not that he’s complaining! But at South Shore Market, I found new, innovative, and unique items for sale. Many of these items are handmade by local artists. Come here to find quality, locally made items to bring back home. And maybe get something for yourself, too!
Getting there and parking
Nestled next to the small shops at Ward Village and bigger stores like TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack, you might not know that South Shore Market is there unless you are looking for it. In fact, I have been to TJ Maxx many times over the last year, but I had never heard of South Shore Market until about a week ago.
Parking is notoriously difficult – and expensive – in Honolulu. But there is free self-parking in the Ward Village Shops parking garage. The parking garage directly connects to the mall.
As we walked into the Market from the parking garage, the first thing I noticed was how bright, clean, and elegant the look of the market it. Unassuming and simple, I didn’t know where to go first! We got there around 10:30 am on a Wednesday, and there was hardly anyone there.
The first store that I was drawn to, and the one that I ended up going back to later on to make a purchase, is Flotsam & Co. I’m not one to spend money on myself, or even to buy myself jewelry, but I loved their jewelry collection and ended up buying a necklace for myself. I love that all of their jewelry is handmade and on Oahu. And, the prices were extremely reasonable.
I collect sea glass, and I loved that many of the necklaces looked like sea glass. “Flotsam” means wreckage from a ship, and so Flotsam & Co. incorporates found material into its jewelry, giving new form and life to objects which may otherwise be considered debris. I love their passion and their ability to reuse items that we thought were long gone. The shopkeeper spent a lot of time with me to help me pick out the perfect piece.
All of the shops in South Shore Market tell a story. There is something more to them and their mission than just making money. There is a passion for their products, for their families, for their art, and for their community. Here are just a few examples that I found last week.
Big Island Delights is a family-owned company that sells everything from locally grown coffee, cookies, and chocolates to jerky, gift baskets and so much more. They take pride in their high-quality ingredients, and they say they owe their values of generosity, respect, and honesty as key to their success over the years.
Twin Islands sells casual island wear for both men and women, with clothing that represents the laid-back lifestyle of living in Kailua. A man named Mike created the line to honor his twin brother, Peter. The two of them who grew up here in Hawaii, but Peter tragically died in a plane crash. Their logo represents the Mokes, the most famous landmark in Kailua, with a bird flying overhead. Mike and Peter grew up in Kailua surfing out to the Mokes every chance they got. So, the bird flying above the Mokes is said to be Peter, watching over us.
Eden in Love, which sells gorgeous dresses for women along with the cutest accessories, promote giving back to their community with a campaign called Gifts that Give.
While I did walk away from South Shore Market with a few new items, what I really took away was the passion, love, and creativity of all of the vendors here. All of the shopkeepers were eager to share their stories with me, to tell me about their products, and to invite me to their monthly event, New Wave Fridays.
If you need a break from shopping, there are a number of different food options available. This isn’t a regular mall!
Holoholo Market & Café is an unassuming little store, but don’t be fooled. This is a gourmet specialty store featuring local food products from Hawaii. This is a must-visit place for unique food items that you can bring home in your suitcase.
Lucy’s Lab Creamery is somewhat legendary in Hawaii, selling their unique flavors and crazy toppings. Come in to try something new!
Scratch Kitchen & Meatery is that hot new place that all of the locals are talking about. I’ve heard of my friends waiting three hours for a table on the weekends. But if you go during the week for breakfast or lunch, you shouldn’t have a problem getting a table. If you want to go for dinner, make a reservation.
Scratch serves homemade favorites with a twist, like their curried butternut squash soup, buttermilk fried chicken sammy, and creole shrimp ‘n grits. This might be just the thing you need to refuel while shopping!
Nalu Health Bar & Café is a quicker option that is opening soon. I am thrilled because I have been to their Kailua location many times. With healthy options like smoothies, salads, and wraps, it’s one of my favorite places to get lunch. Try their coffee, too!
New Wave Friday
New Wave Friday is a fun family-friendly event featuring activities, shopping exclusives, food, libations, live entertainment, and more. Their next event will take place on Friday, October 13, 2017, from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Held on the second Friday of every month, New Wave Friday features craft cocktails, a plethora of food options, special in-store sales, and pop-up shops. Shop at some of the best places on the island and have fun while doing it!