S05E14 (BONUS): Tina Kekoolani, Creator & Owner, Haleakala Supah Shots, Hawaii

So Hawaiian chili pepper water is a very local Hawaiian thing. But the classic is too salty. Knowing nutrition and culinary arts, I wanted to create something new and vibrant and community tested. And my first batch, I put it out into the community and, they were sold out! 

tina kekoolani

Today’s final episode and bonus episode of Season 5 is with a food entrepreneur from Hawaii, Tina Kekoolani. Tina is the creator and owner of Haleakala Supah Shots. 

tina kekoolani haleakala supah shots maui hawaii food entrepreneur
Tina Kekoolani has a vision of turning her Haleakala Supah Shots headquarters
into a learning and education space for the community.

Tina lives as a teacher and farmer on the island of Maui, having moved to Maui from Oahu where she grew up. Tina moved to Maui in 2000 to work on a Kahoolawe bomb clearance project and has been on the island ever since. When the Kahoolawe project ended, Tina began teaching and connecting with her community. At school, she teaches Hawaiian Studies to local children. When she is not teaching, she is growing food and producing vegan elixirs. 

She calls herself the ”Hawaiian girl bringing good health and vibrance with some nutrition, foodie flair, and wisdom from our ancestors. Hot, Healthy, Hawaiian!”

Tina founded Haleakala Supah Shots in October 2016 and at the local community fair, sold out of her first batch of 40 bottles. In 2019, her elixirs were named the best new food product at the Made in Maui County Festival. She experienced a rush of orders during the pandemic lockdown in March 2020 because everyone was concerned about boosting their immunity. 

Growing up with a mother who loved chili peppers, she wanted to create something that enabled her to bring together her love for food, wellness and people. 

What Tina offers in her Haleakala Supah Shots is a healthy re-imagination of the classic Hawaiian chili pepper water. Her immune-boosting elixir is made with Hawaiian chili pepper water, fruit juice, vinegar, organic agave, and hand-harvested Hawaiian sea salt.

With four exotic flavours comprising lilikoi (passionfruit), strawberry, Thai basil and pineapple, and Surinam cherry with turmeric, she wants to help her community live and eat healthier by drinking her chilled, spicy and sweet vegan elixirs.

Every single batch, I pray [over them] and I put in these old prayers for strength and strengthening, protecting, healing, and all of this energy that life is about. Well, that’s the spirit. So every single batch that I make has these [prayers], I always recite these healing prayers and these strengthening prayers so that powerful energy is put into every single batch. You know, not everybody in the world understands that. But, we come from a culture of that.

Unlike commercial juices, her products are made weekly to ensure optimal freshness. She uses pesticide-free fruits and herbs that she grows or sources from other fellow farmers. As an environmentalist, Tina believes in reusing and recycling glass bottles for her elixirs despite the higher cost of using glass bottles.

We should be focusing our energies on making the place better than we found it. If we have skills and we have passion to make it better and more fun and more vibrant, our world is benefiting from each and every one of your talents and my talents.

She is most inspired by her father and mother, George and Leilani Kekoolani, her ancestors of the Hawaii and Pacific Island nations, and the generations to come.

Tina has a vision of turning her Haleakala Supah Shots headquarters into a learning and education space for the community.

Her favourite quote is “If I have courage, it is because I have faith in the knowledge of my ancestors” by Papa Mau Piailug who is a master navigator. The late Mau Piailug was a Micronesian navigator from the Carolinian island of Satawal, best known as a teacher of traditional, non-instrument wayfinding methods for open-ocean voyaging.

Tina counts among her favourite books, Eat to Beat Disease (Dr. William Li), Voyagers (Herb Kawainui Kane), ‘Olelo No’eau – Hawaiian Proverbs & Poetical Sayings (Mary Kawena Puku’i) while her favourite music genres are Hawaiian, Latin jazz, classical and Hip hop.

Her list of milestones include:

  • Best in Show & Best New Food Product at the Made in Maui County Festival 2019
  • Awarded business & new food product at the Maui Food Innovation Center -Xcelerator Cohort
  • Published business articles in a variety of media including a feature in Pacific Business News, Maui No Ka Oi magazine, community newspapers, podcasts and radio interviews
  • She is a graduate of the prestigious Changing Faces Women’s Seminar by the East-West Center and a proud promoter of food as medicine and she’s happy to be a builder of collaborations for local farmers

Connect with her: 
Instagram: haleakalasupahshots 
Facebook: Haleakala Supah Shots 

If you have enjoyed today’s episode, please rate, review and subscribe to the podcast on your favourite podcast app. Or share this episode with a friend.

This is the last episode of Season 5. I have had a fantastic season because I spoke to 14 women with such diverse life experiences and lessons to learn from! I love how exotic Asia is and how much of wonderful insights I can bring to you through my guests.  I have to date 72 published episodes. This year my podcast reached 13 countries in the world and I grew my listenership to 96%! Thank you for making my podcast what it is today!

Season 6 begins in March next year and I hope you will continue to share my podcast with friends who are on their entrepreneurial journey. Each of us needs that one story that lifts us and I hope my podcast gives you a buffet of stories that you can listen to over and over! 

Remember to rate, review and subscribe to the podcast wherever you are.  

And that’s it, my friend. I’ll see you in 2023. Be well, be happy, and appreciate your business journey! 

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