Meet the Little Wine Brand That Can, Brah
(Sponsored) Behind Haleiwa’s winery-café Mana + Pua is a bold brand packed with power, intention and goodwill.
Among the many delicious vendors joining us for our (now sold-out!) 2022 BrunchFest presented by American Savings Bank is Mana + Pua, a local winery-meets-café that opened one year ago in Haleiwa town. The brand specializes in wine, catering and delectable specialty cupcakes (including alcoholic varieties, which BrunchFest guests may just have the chance to try on April 3). At first glance, Mana + Pua may seem like a quaint North Shore café. But behind the Island coastal vibe is a brand with power—like its name suggests—with one fearless female at the steering wheel.
Ashleigh Hutchison wasn’t born and raised in the Islands—though she does have family ties here and spent much of her childhood visiting—but I can say with confidence that she’s a local girl in every way that matters. “’Mana’ is a word with incredible meaning and significance. I knew I had to put a lot of thought and cultural sensitivity behind Mana Wines,” says Hutchison. “By choosing that name I knew we needed to have great intention, ethics and morals behind us. I wanted to share the history of Hawai‘i, not exploit it.”
Launching the brand in 2017 with rosé, chardonnay and pinot noir, Hutchison started selling exclusively to Foodland, and, later, to Roy’s and Tamura’s. All in order to fund her nonprofit, Na Wahine O Kalani, the nonprofit scholarship fund she founded to support the spirit and success of Hawai’i’s young emerging female athletes.
She has faced a lot of challenges over her 25-some years in the wine business—both as a woman working in an industry dominated by men, and as a nonlocal who’s had to prove herself to a community that’s experienced its fair share of cultural identity theft—but now, as Mana + Pua starts to gain momentum, she’s beginning to see the fruits of her labor. As an entrepreneur who built everything from the ground up—no gifted money, no SBA loans, just a lot of long nights, moxie and fearless girl boss energy—that’s something worth celebrating.
View this post on Instagram
With a slew of new concepts on the horizon, including an expansion into town later this year, this is just the beginning for the brand. “Mana + Pua wasn’t meant to just be a little brand. It was always meant to be a brand for Hawai‘i, something for Hawai‘i,” says Hutchison. “With success, you have to give back.”
For more information on Mana + Pua, visit manapua.wine.