It felt strange participating in the Taste for the first time as an exhibitor instead of media!
Our Orchid Isle Traders company has been having 'soft openings' in the past few months as part of food festivals and events and last year at several Christmas Fairs...but this is the first time we have officially 'launched' it to let the rest of the foodie world learn who we are and what we do.
A bit over a year ago, friends and I were discussing that there was so much happening in the island's food world that was not known by the general public...like island grown spices, for example, and that it would be nice if 'someone' would act as a 'go-between', between the small farmer (or even back-yard farmer) and the customer and try to bring as much of these products to the public under one label...and before we knew it, we were the 'someone' doing it.
We at Orchid Isle Traders consider ourselves as 'Purveyors of Hawai'i Island Grown Spices, Comestibles & Imports."...the reason we added imports is because not everything we would like to carry under our label is grown or available on this island, but our main focus is and always will be, to find it 'local first.'
Our mission statement:
"Forging new connections between small Hawai'i Island growers, processors, and artisans, while creating a new outlet for markets beyond our shores"
Here is a post in the 'Taste It" blog of the Taste in the Hawaiian Range website
Orchid Isle Traders
Focusing on spices, flavors and value-added products by local food producers, veteran food journalist and cookbook author Sonia Martinez and retired engineer Kevan Kendrick have opened Orchid Isle Traders.
The product list ranges from kahili ginger-infused green tea to whole cloves, vanilla extract, naturally dried tropical fruits and locally made fruit butters. Some items are sold under the new Orchid Isle Traders brand.
“We buy local vanilla beans and make our own extract or sell a trio of ready-to-use beans,” shared Martinez, a Cuba native and co-owner of the former Akaka Falls Inn. “We also import items we can’t yet source locally but are valuable to culinarians.
The company’s mission is to create new connections between small Hawai‘i Island growers, processors and artisans, while creating a new, web-based outlet for markets beyond our shores.
Martinez shares Orchid Isle is “looking for local growers of cardamom, cumin and other select spices. Website is in the works, www.orchidisletraders.com.
and the following appeared in the Front page of the Food Section of West Hawaii Today newspaper last week:
Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range provides a venue for sustainable agricultural education, plus encouragement and support of locally produced ag products. It is supported by business participation, sponsorships and in-kind donations. Several participants have graciously contributed recipes to whet your appetite.
Orchid Isle Traders
Focusing on spices, flavors and value-added products by local food producers, veteran food journalist and cookbook author, Sonia Martinez and retired engineer, Kevan Kendrick have opened Orchid Isle Traders. Their product list currently ranges from kahili ginger-infused green tea to whole cloves, vanilla extract, naturally dried tropical fruits and locally made fruit butters. Some items are sold under the new Orchid Isle Traders brand.
“We buy local vanilla beans and make our own extract, or sell a trio of ready-to-use beans,” shared Martinez, a Cuba native and co-owner of the former Akaka Falls Inn. “We also import items that we can’t yet source locally, but are valuable to culinarians.”
The company’s mission is to create new connections between small Hawaii Island growers, processors and artisans, while creating a new, web-based outlet for markets beyond our shores. Martinez shared that Orchid Isle is looking for local growers of cardamom, cumin and other select spices.
Website is in the works: www.orchidisletraders.com.
Sweet sautéed corn with vanilla bean - By Sonia Martinez, Orchid Isle Traders
This side dish will work with just about any cut of meat. Number of servings can be customized. Shuck and clean fresh ears of corn; cut the kernels off the cobs. Sauté corn in a skillet with a pat or two of butter.
Add a vanilla bean that has been split; you can scrape the seeds and add them to the corn. If no vanilla bean is available, use a dash of vanilla extract. For the equivalent of about six ears of corn, use 1/4-/2 teaspoon of the vanilla and stir to blend well.
Add a couple sprigs of fresh thyme, if desired. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
The 'centerpiece' for The Taste is always a showcase of locally grown abundance in the beautiful displays staged by Kamuela Grown using donated produce and flowers from local growers. After the event, the display is dismantled and everything is donated to Hawaii Food Basket, our local food bank.
Just a few of the friends I had a chance to photograph during the evening...Chef Scott Hiraishi and Tracey Apoliona of The Feeding Leaf , Kristin Frost Albrecht of The Hawaii Food Basket and an assistant (so sorry, but it was so noisy I could not catch her name, but I think it was Stacy? - Noel Morata was tasting the Teriyaki Beef Heart Sushi Roll being served on the table right next to ours and Damon Tucker, our local news junkie and blogger of anything-concerning-the-big-island ;-)
Overall view of our table, with Kevan, Sonia and Anthony and a couple of shots with a bit of the crowds...I spy Nate Gaddis and his mom is half hidden behind him on the right hand corner.
Here is a short video shot last evening by Denise Laitinen, but for some reason, this blog site is not allowing me to post as a live link...Hope this works and you can link to it. I sound kind of sappy, but sorry, it is what it is.. ;-)
Our website will be officially launched for sales soon, but in the meantime, you can visit it and take a look at our products (photos of actual products will be added very soon) and if interested in more information, please e-mail us at OrchidIsleTraders@gmail.com and we can send you a list with all of our products and prices.
Other blog posts, articles and information about the Taste of the Hawaiian Range I have shared in the past: