Kakaako Farmer’s Market has found a new home! As of November 17, the market will be moved from its current location adjacent to Ross’ to a more spacious venue - the former Ward Warehouse space, on Ala Moana Boulevard and Ward. Visit the market at its new location every Saturday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and support local!
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The Kakaako Farmers Market has found a new, and hopefully long-term, home in part of the recently demolished Ward Warehouse space.
Ward Warehouse was previously supposed to be the new home to Howard Hughes’ mixed-use Gateway Towers, but that plan was put on hold. The space is now expected to be a central plaza called Victoria Ward Park.
This will be the fourth location for the Kakaako iteration of FarmLovers Market, which has three other markets on Oahu in Waimea Valley, Pearlridge and Kailua. FarmLovers first opened in Haleiwa in 2009 and is owned by Pamela Boyar, who bought out her business partner, Annie Suite, earlier this year when she moved to the Mainland.
The first Kakaako location was at Ala Moana Center before it moved to Ward Village. It currently operates next to Ross at the Ward Gateway Center.
“We did really well at Ward Warehouse and it was a challenge when we moved to our current space because of the lack of parking,” Boyar said. “We are now going to be right on Ala Moana and Ward, which is a great space because it is very visible, and is located right next to a parking lot with 360 spaces that empties right into the market.”
Boyar signed a one-year lease with the Texas-based landlord, and hopes to extend the lease for at least another four years. It is unclear how the development of the 1.5-acre parcel will affect the longevity of the market.
The market, located at 1050 Ala Moana, will open Saturday Nov. 17 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Next year, Boyar hopes to also open on Wednesday evenings, with plans for ways to engage the local community, like live music and beer tastings in addition to the 50 local vendors.
“The idea is to make this the community food hub in Kakaako for residents, visitors and farmers. We want to open it up for this new movement of sustainable farmers that is happening right now,” Boyar said, adding that she is very particular as to which vendors she lets in. “They must be true local growers, and if they are making food or value-added products it must be healthy without artificial colors or flavors.”
The vendors are comprised of about 40 percent farmers, 30 percent made-to-order meals, 20 percent value-added products and 10 percent artisan island retailers, selling things like jewelry and cutting boards. A new vendor is Hooah Farms, which will sell fish and vegetables as well as prepared meals at the market.
Boyar estimates it costs about $10,000 to relocate to the new space, including labor costs, advertising, modifying the facilities, and purchasing new products like large banners she plans to display on Ala Moana Boulevard. She has launched an online Go Fund Me campaign for the first time, and has raised about $1,600 of her $4,800 goal.
“There was a recent survey done in California that said for every dollar spent in a farmers market, $3 is spent in outlying areas,” Boyar said. “When people shop at farmers markets, everything is put right back into the local community. It’s great for economic development.”