The partnership between Megan Childers and Jackie Goring extends beyond their business, these two ladies and dreamers that created the Wailuku Coffee Company. Like most small local business owners they have had to grow with the demands of customers, their original concept to supply Wailuku with affordable food when they opened two years ago has changed a bit.
“People wanted the upgrades!” says Childers, “They were willing to pay a bit more to have extras. So our menu has changed and we have fancier cheeses, vegan, gluten free, and plenty of options for those that want that.”
Their self explanatory build your own sandwich ($6.95) is probably one of their most popular items where you can select from gourmand ingredients like pesto aioli spreads, exotic veggies, chevre, feta, turkey, kalua pork and several bread options.
They have also had to put on aprons and get baking. A couple of months back Cake Bakery which had been supplying their baked muffins, scones and sweets, gave them two weeks notice that they would not be providing that service .
“We knew we wanted to bake our own stuff, but that deadline really put us in action,” says Goring. “It was a lot of trial and error in our test kitchen at first, really trying to figure out the recipes that worked.”
Now the cafe boasts a daily selection of fresh baked goods, like TuTu’s harvest, a fourth generation recipe that has been passed down from chef Naki Kanekoa’s family (Childers husband). When I ask Childers what is in it she says, “everything goes in it. Pumpkin, chocolate chips, walnuts, craisins. It was originally a loaf recipe but we love it as a muffin.”
The girls business philosophies are firmly rooted in creating a legacy cafe and coffee culture in Wailuku for Wailuku. In order to keep up with their new baking schedule they installed an oven they bought from the closed Aroma D’Italia kitchen, and are focused on providing more Maui grown goods into the menu. They also hold monthly art exhibits with 15% of the proceeds going to local charity, this month Arts for Education Children’s Group. This month the Wailuku Coffee Company ohana got together and created an eclectic collection of paintings for their “Ohana Art Show” with their BYOB reception this Friday.
“We replaced the medium roast Sumatra with %100 Maui grown coffee,” says Childers, “Its been an adjustment for those who loved the Sumatra but its a good change. We have Hana Bay coffee, its grown in Kula, the yellow caturra or the red catuai.”
Their scones are simply irristible, they use an amazing recipe that creates a light creamy crumb in this morning fruity biscuit wannabe. Quiches are made in house, with a veggie and meat option daily. Local vegan soup company Maui Vegan Soups supplements their healthy menu options along with their addition of 100% organic fresh pressed fruit and veggie juices for $5.
A plate with their papaya turkey salad comes out and Goring fusses over the placement of cilantro and garnishes. “Jackie is the food stylist, and the mastermind of our recipes,” says Childers. “She is quality control around here. Muffins have to look as good as they taste.” Goring just smiles as she adjusts the plate of pastries.
Their teamwork has paid off. The cafe has become a hub on Market, and extended its hours to monday through Friday 7 am to 5 pm and saturday and sunday 8 am to 3 pm. Bring your own coffee cup and get 25 cents off your coffee.
“We have lots of things about to blow up in our second year,” they chime in together, listings dinner shows, food education stunts, events, art and more menu expansions and changes in June. “We want to help build that foundation that helps people reclaim their food and keep it sustainable here. We are absolutely passionate about feeding our community healthy food.”
46 N. Market St.
Wailuku HI 96793
About Jen Russo
I write lifestyle and culinary columns for MauiTime. I love being a Maui girl and adore my big family. Dedicated food taster, blogger, internet fanatic, and Maui and Hawaii specialist.