In the Hawaiian language our names, (Waimapuna & Kawaiolaokalani), are translated to mean Liquid Life. At first glance, our business appears to be a cold-pressed juice bar & health cafe, but in truth, we’re a strategy built to combat economic warfare and heal Hawaii. This is the purpose we venture to fulfill.
In 2015 we launched Liquid Life at a local farmers market selling our flagship product line of cold-pressed juice, healing teas & macadamia-nut milk. We then expanded to other markets across the island, diligently saving money to open our first Cafe in 2017. However, in 2018, the Rift zone Disaster hit us hard as many of our local farmers and customers lost their properties and crops. Being residents of Volcano Village, just miles outside of Kilauea Crater, we experienced exactly 90 days of earthquakes that broke dishes in our home several times. Being new to owning a cafe just fifteen miles away from the eruption zone, the economic hardship of these events was frightening. Yet when many small businesses who relied on the market closed, we survived.
The first step to health and vitality is through nutrition education. Puna and I enjoyed hosting a variety of field trips where teachers would bring their students to learn about health and nutrition at our cafe. We also were invited on several occasions by local schools, care centers, and community organizations to share our experience as holistic practitioners. We are one of the many health and nutrition small businesses owned by women or minorities.
Ever since I could carry cups and clean tables I’ve been working in the restaurant industry. Raised in a rural mom-&-pop gas station/cafe on the big island of Hawaii, all aspects of the grit/tenacity required for business management is a way of life for my family as well as a deep passion for serving people.
I married my best friend, Puna, who was raised on fresh vegetable juices and served her family business (house-cleaning), regularly scrubbing toilets and mopping floors, while attending Waiakea high school. There, Puna ran her own business of selling homemade lunches to save up enough money to attend pierce college in l.A. The normalization of hard labor we experienced as children gave us an edge in our approach to commitment and work ethic as adults. I attended Kamehameha schools where I won the Hawaii state history day contest and served as student body president. Later, I won the “Balanced man scholarship” as I went on to receive my B.A. in media design & arts from CSU Northridge also in l.A. In college, we set out for an answer to the depreciating health in our society. My great-grandmother was a Kumu la’au lapa’au(Hawaiian-healer) and Puna’s great-grandmother was a curandero(Mexican-healer). Unfortunately, their knowledge was lost to us and nearly all of our grandparents passed away far too early from cancer & other auto-immune diseases, generating a cycle of poverty in our families.
Consequently, after moving home from l.A., we founded liquid life as the solution to this global problem. Ola is head-of-operations and Puna is the executive chef who is studying digestive nutrition and ayurvedic medicine. We’re a proud millennial mom-and-pop shop and we endeavor to heal the world through holistic nutrition. From farmer’s markets to now three-cafe locations, our next goal is a global reach.
Fortunately, the resilience and strength we learned in 2018 are what made the opening of our second location in 2019 and the later opening of our third location in 2020 possible. Although heartbreaking to see hundreds of restaurants permanently close nationwide, we opened one in faith that it would remain stable and a year later we’re holding true to that resolve.