Out on Kaua`i's sunny south side, Poipu, the Kaua`i Culinary Market brings the classic farmers market from the open field to the grounds of a high end shopping center, the Shops at Kukuiula. Located just a hop, skip and a jump from the ocean, each Wednesday the weekly gourmet farmers market draws visitors and locals from all over the island to taste, purchase goods, and socialize in the name of local culinary goodness. Here you'll find roughly half the vendors with loads of local produce, with the other half selling locally made packaged food - this adds up to leaving with a full belly and bringing enough home for a full fridge.
Shopping local at the Kaua`i Culinary Market — Photo courtesy of gonzo
The culinary market is the brain child of Veronica Lovesy, who helped with bringing an Arizona farmers market to life that featured a unique mix of farmers and chefs. The Kaua`i Culinary Market features live music, as well as a wine and beer garden to accentuate the food. And of course, before, during, and after the food market, visitors which usually number in the hundreds, have the option to shop or browse through the rest of the retail shops in the elegant shopping center. Exquisite and island style jewelery, food, home decor, surf and ocean gear, art, and accessories are all available at the village.
Although the idea is rather unique - bringing the farmers market from the field to the shopping center - it's no surprise that Kaua`i is doing an honest job of making locally grown food available to the public. Staking claim to the first island to have a sugar plantation, which changed the future for all islands, Kaua`i isn't new to the need to promote local and island farmed.