HONOLULU Staff Picks Hawaiʻi Favorites: Local Farm Fresh Eggs
In our latest look at local products we can buy right now online, in stores or straight from the producer, we check out eggs from Eggs Hawai‘i, Petersons’ Upland Farm, Shaka Moa Eggs and OK Poultry.
Eggs, glorious eggs! Apologies to the musical Oliver, but our fresh local eggs inspire loyalty for their clear egg whites and bright orange yolks. Eggs remain a reasonably priced and versatile protein that easily keeps for weeks at home. And here in Honolulu, we found four local egg farms still sending eggs to market as well as selling direct to consumers.
Face it, local eggs are so much better than their pale cloudy counterparts that fly thousands of miles farther to get even close to our kitchens. Sure, striving to eat all-local can be a time-consuming and expensive endeavor. But eggs offer an opportunity to always choose local without going broke.
On O‘ahu, the largest operation is Eggs Hawai‘i, which runs a low-key retail store in a light industrial part of Kalihi best known for its constant road repair. Recent deals included two trays of extra-large white eggs, a total of 60 eggs, for $22, and $22.50 for the same number of extra-large brown eggs. The medium white eggs were priced at five dozen for $15. And the slightly cracked eggs are even cheaper. Manager Iris Shimabukuro says the easiest way to find out the latest prices is to check the company’s social media accounts weekly.
While some stores have set a limit on the amount of eggs, milk and other staples people can purchase at one time, Eggs Hawai‘i has kept up a steady supply for retail as demand plummeted from hotels and restaurants closed by the pandemic. The company is also donating regularly to the Hawai‘i Foodbank, Aloha Harvest and organizations working to provide meals to schools on the Wai‘anae Coast.
“Our goal is still to feed Hawai‘i,” Shimabukuro says. “We’re doing our best.” The company sells its products as both Ka Lei and Hawaiian Maid brands in supermarkets, neighborhood stores, restaurants, hotels and commissaries across the Islands. Right now, the company is also at the Mililani Farmers Market and may go to more markets as they open.
419 Waiakamilo Road, Kalihi, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, (808) 841-7695, eggshawaii.com
Petersons’ Upland Farm
The oldest O‘ahu egg operation is Petersons’ Upland Farm, started in 1910 in Wahiawā by Elias Peterson. It’s still being run by the family, including Sharon Peterson Cheape (fourth generation) and her nephew, Chris Peterson (fifth generation). The farm has made a name for itself by producing fresh eggs prized by Alan Wong’s, Chef Mavro and other restaurants. But now, as always, most of its eggs are sold to people who roll up to the rustic family farm. To serve customers and promote social distancing, Chris Peterson says the farm now offers drive-thru service.
141 Dole St., Wahiawā, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, (808) 621-6619, petersonsuplandfarm.com
Shaka Moa Eggs
Shaka Moa Eggs come from a family-run farm in Mā‘ili. In 1998, Mark Takaki opened Mā‘ili Moa with the help of his wife, Minda, and his father, a longtime farmer, They revamped the operation to cage-free chickens after Whole Foods Market told them they were searching for local eggs from a cage-free operation. Shaka Moa has continued to grow since then and is still selling fresh from the farm now. Minda Takaki says the company put up curtains near the counter to help with social distancing and has been able to keep up supply and regular hours. She says prices still range from $6 to $11 for a 30-egg tray.
87-102 Maliona St., Wai‘anae, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday, (808) 696-3823, shakamoaeggs.com
OK Poultry in Waimānalo cut its retail sales days to Wednesdays and Saturdays even before the coronavirus lockdown. The farm staff had explained to customers who were lined up as early as an hour before the 7:30 a.m. opening that the operation had new birds that weren’t keeping up with demand. Asked when they’d be up to speed, one staffer got a laugh when she replied: “Talk to the chickens!” The farm also told customers that it is transitioning to a cage-free operation. OK Poultry also brands its eggs as Waimana TKG and sells to Nijiya Market and Mitsuwa Marketplace. The TKG stands for tamago kake gohan, referring to the Japanese breakfast tradition of cracking a fresh egg over hot rice. Prices range from $3.25 a dozen to $7.50 for a 2.5-dozen tray of small white eggs to as high as $15 for a tray of 30 of the largest eggs.
41-656 Kakaina St., Waimānalo, 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday, (808) 259-7832, okpoultry.com