Kauai News

Inaugural Event Showcases UH Alumni Small Businesses; Proceeds Address Food Insecurity

Posted August 14, 2022, 7:30 AM HST ·Updated August 11, 12:17 PM

Photos courtesy of University of Hawaiʻi

A recent event hosted by the University of Hawaiʻi highlighted more than two dozen UH alumni-owned businesses.

The inaugural Alumni Makers’ Market showcased products from about 30 alumni-owned/operated businesses. The event at The Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikīkī was attended by about 350 people. A portion of the proceeds will help address student food insecurity at the 10 UH campuses.

The event was presented by the UH Office of Alumni Relations in partnership with the UH Alumni Association.

“I am just thrilled to be here at the historic Royal Hawaiian Hotel, featuring some of our simply amazing alumni, the businesses that they’ve created, the economic vitality that exists in our community because of our UH alumni with the fabulous educations they got at UH,” UH President David Lassner said in a press release. “We’re celebrating here with other UH alumni and the community all that our fantastic graduates have accomplished.”

The inspiration behind the event came during the pandemic, when the focus turned to small businesses. The UH Alumni board wanted to host an event to bring together alumni and showcase their talent, according to UH Foundation Senior Executive Director of Alumni Relations and Community Engagement Maile Au.

“I hope the community saw what UH is to the community and who they are, and then on top of that, I hope they all received a little boost in marketing and just inspired the community to shop small and support our alumni,” Au said in the press release.

Participating businesses were:

  • Azure Restaurant
  • Beachhouse at the Moana
  • Beer Lab Hawaiʻi
  • Dolkii
  • Emi Ink
  • Jules and Gem Hawaiʻi
  • Keep it Simple
  • Kō Hana Hawaiian Agricole Rum
  • Komakai Jewelry
  • Lahaʻole Designs
  • Laine Jewelry
  • Mari’s Gardens
  • Market Advantage
  • Noho Home by Jalene Kanani
  • O’Kims Korean Kitchen
  • Old Queen Street Stadium
  • Pint + Jigger
  • Pono Potions
  • Pop Culture Artisan Pops
  • Ports + Paws
  • Premier Barbershop Hawaiʻi
  • Roots Roll Reggae
  • Royal Hawaiian Hotel
  • Sage Creamery
  • Square Barrels
  • Twiggy
  • Yireh
  • Wai Meli

UH alumni Justin D’Olier and Kyle Reutner are the sales manager and distillery general manager, respectively, for Kō Hana Hawaiian Agricole Rum.

“For us, getting to reconnect with the university, which was both such a wonderful experience for us, is just so nice to get to give back,” D’Olier said in the press release. “It’s also a fantastic opportunity for us to get to share and interact with all the alumni to let them know the wonderful work that we’re privileged enough to do out of the distillery.”

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