Kokua Market – Honolulu’s Health Food Haven – contributed by Jesse Cohen, New Vitality Qigong teacher
Nestled on the corner of King Street and Kahuna Lane, Kokua Market is Oahu’s longest running Cooperative business. Kokua offers a refreshing change of pace from the over-polished pretension of some modern health food mega stores. In the spirit of cooperation Kokua will be offering a 15% discount to all Still & Moving Center students who mention this newsletter during the month of August!
For many people, including myself, Kokua Market is not just our grocery store, but a social hub where we meet friends, engage in lively conversation at the picnic tables on the patio, or crack jokes with the many friendly employees. Kokua’s back patio also plays host to Sunday night barbecues featuring live music, to Friday tacos featuring fish from small boat fishermen, as well as many to other educational and entertaining events.
Kokua’s aisles overflow with local and organic goodies ranging from the island’s freshest produce, ethically-raised meats, small-batch kombuchas, breads baked in-house, and wholesome prepared foods. The deli section, with its highly acclaimed hot-bar (featuring both meat and vegan options), is a favorite with college kids from nearby UH, as well as co-op regulars who have been enjoying the market’s many offerings for over forty years.
Today the market boasts over 4,000 owners, and that number is growing every day as new members continue to join and participate in a business model that empowers and enriches the community. While the market has come a long way from the days when every member had to work a few hours a week at the co-op to be able to shop there, people are still able to volunteer and receive a generous discount for doing so. In a world overrun by sterile corporate commercialization, shopping at Kokua Market truly provides a breath of fresh air.