Farmers: Our Partners
Buy fresh—buy local.As we near the end of February, I’m hoping all of you remembered to share your love and appreciation with the special person in your life. Telly and I have shared many, many Valentine’s Days together—and in our restaurant business, many times we are working but that does not mean that we do not appreciate the significance of Valentine’s Day.
As I’ve said many times over—and it needs to be repeated continuously—I owe a lot to Telly, the love of my life and my partner in business. Without her by my side, we would not have been able to succeed in all of our endeavors in business and in the community—here on Maui and on the Big Island. She really understands me and always has my back. I will always be grateful for her love, dedication, sacrifices and commitment.
As spring approaches, farmers prepare for the planting season. Farmers play a very important role in our community. Without farmers, there would be no food on our tables at home and yes, at restaurants. In Hawai‘i, we are dependent on a lot of our produce coming from the mainland. But there’s a significant amount of local farmers that grow vegetables that find their way to our homes and our restaurants.
As a restaurant owner, I like to use a lot of fresh vegetables in our recipes. Each week, I search for the best vegetables to use in our shrimp sari sari and dinengdeng. Our customers demand the freshest of vegetables to get that crunchy effect instead of soggy vegetables. It’s important to keep our customers happy so they will continue to return. The food must taste good and the service is also very important.
I consider farmers to be our partners in our restaurant business. Without them, we could not survive. We truly appreciate their dedication and hard work to grow vegetables for our use. There are many challenges facing farmers and we need to show our appreciation. Earlier this month, the Hawai‘i State Legislature featured Agriculture Day at the State Capitol, with a number of display tables from local farmers. I hope all of you will continue to support local farmers. Remember, “Buy Local, It matters.”