Popup Market at Warehouse 3540
Warehouse 3540 is a new Kauai farmers market that’s more like a popup. A popup market may sound weird, but Warehouse 3540 is only open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. And there are many reasons to make a special trip.
You’ll see the warehouse as you drive through Omao, just as you reach Lawai. If you’re headed west, it’s a huge tin warehouse on the left. Half of it is dilapidated, but the other half is a quaint shopping mall with a concrete floor. Stalls line the circumference and a set of couches and tables are tucked in one corner.
Three food trucks park out front, including Kickshaws, Scopracciata and Tropical Tiki Pops. Cru, a small shop that’s run by the owner of Warehouse 3540, sells everything from children’s books and perfumes to paper goods and candles. Ivy & Co. sells hand-sewn clothes for adults and children as well as headbands, and everything is made from vintage cloth.
Every Friday the warehouse turns into a market where more vendors set up shop. You’ll find fresh fish, preserved items and handcrafted soaps as well as fresh-cut flowers and eggs. There’s coffee, superfood tea, salsa, honey products, and Tommy’s Sharpening Service.
Tom Renaltner’s knife sharpening shop is in the back of a small trailer. During the week, he drives across the island to sharpen the knives at restaurants and residential homes. Besides knives, Tom sharpens cleavers, serrated knives, mandolines, food processor blades, shears and scissors. When Dan and I went to the Friday market at Warehouse 3540, we left our knives with Tom and went inside to shop.
Naikela Botanicals includes six superfood powders, which can be added to hot water, smoothies, pastas and baked goods, or just about anything to add extra nutrition. You can even sprinkle it over a round of goat cheese for a tangy snack with crackers. I like to fill my Hydro Flask with warm water, drop in a half teaspoon, and sip it throughout the afternoon. Farmer and blender, Aaron Moeller, grows the herbs organically at a ranch in Kilauea, then dehydrates them and grinds them into a fine powder.
North Shore Punch ($13.95 – makes 1 gallon) is super zesty because it’s made with dried fruit including java plum, coffee cherry, strawberry guava and surinam cherry. I’ve been enjoying Wahine, ($29.95 – 30 servings), which is made with peppermint, cacao, moringa, Polynesian spinach, hibiscus, chaste berry, yarrow, turmeric, Naikela basil/tulsi blend, shantavari, angelica, ashwagandha, stevia and fo ti.
Mauka Girl Creations, owned by Kristine Vallandingham, offers a large variety of preserved items such as Spicy Banana Ketchup, Lilikoi Curd, Mango Honey Butter and Pineapple Coconut Jam. Kristine and her husband, Jay, met in Portland when they attended the former Le Cordon Bleu culinary school. After owning a successful cafe in Montana, the couple moved to Kauai. Kristine is a certified Hawaii Master Food Preserver and makes many of her products from ingredients grown in her home garden and well as from local farmers.
Kahanananea Soaps, owned by Deborah Tuzon, offers deliciously scented handcrafted soaps. I was intrigued with Deborah’s felt-wrapped soap, so I asked her about it.
“The idea probably comes from Europe,” says Deborah. “I pull variegated yarn to make it really sheer, then I put the soap in it. The whole process takes about 15 minutes per bar. The felt acts like a loofa or washcloth and when the soap is gone, you can reuse the felt and put new soap scraps inside.”
My Kauai Honey is owned by Michael and Kristine Yulo. Michael maintains 60 hives at Kauai Coffee and Kealia Farm. Besides honey, he makes honey infused jams and spreads including Mango Spread and Kealia Cacao made with macadamia nuts as well as chocolate and honey from Kealia Farm. A vat of ice holds mason jars full of herbal tea sweetened with honey. “This week our tea is made with rose hips, hibiscus flowers, mint, ginger, calamansi, lemon and soursop leaves,” explains Michael, who also makes beeswax candles and skin care products. “Bee.Itch Soother takes the itch from rashes as well as flea and mosquito bites,” says Michael. “And Bee.U.Tea Balm has everything. If you get sunburned, you won’t feel it the next day.”
3540 Koloa Road, near the intersection of Koloa Rd. and Iwipoo Rd. Open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Ivy & Co.
- Food trucks
Kid’s Story Time, Tuesdays at 9:15 a.m.
Friday Market, Fridays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Naikela Botanicals
- Mauka Girl Creations
- Kahanananea Soaps
- My Kauai Honey
- Tommy’s Sharpening Service
- Dark Roost
- Ivy & Co.
Second Saturday – 5 to 9 p.m. – live music, beer garden and food trucks.
Tuesday – Friday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Wednesday – Friday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tropical Tiki Pop
Wednesday – Friday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
*As of this post, the market does not have any farmers and is actively seeking to replace the ones that moved back to the Mainland.