Skip to main content

Grove Farm News

From Farm to Fork: Supporting Local Agriculture with Kauai Kim Chee

A Family Affair: How Kauaʻi Kim Chee Supports Local Agriculture

Step up to the metal screen door outside of the commercial kitchen of Kaua‘i Kim Chee, and you’ll be greeted by the enticing aromas of garlic, ginger, vinegar, and pepper. Founder Ferdinand Dosono can be found organizing orders, while his three sons, Ashton, Isaiah, and Aaron, work diligently to cut, mix, and pack their delicious pickled and fermented products. Kaua‘i Kim Chee is not just a business; it is a family affair that includes extended relatives who all share a passion for supporting local agriculture.

A Delicious Journey: The Dosono Family’s Story

In April 2015, the Dosono family took a leap of faith and embarked on their kimchee-making journey. Inspired by a family friend’s mouthwatering kimchee, they decided to start making and selling their own. Initially, you could find them at the Kaua‘i Community College (KCC) Farmers Market. Their offerings expanded to include pork tinono, teriyaki chicken, and kimchee fried rice. Over the years, their recipes have evolved based on community feedback in pursuit of the perfect balance of spicy and sour notes. One thing that has remained consistent, however, is their commitment to avoiding MSG and sourcing produce directly from Kaua‘i farmers.

Supporting Local Farmers: The Importance of Fresh Ingredients

“We try to get our produce from Kaua‘i farmers,” says Dosono. “We get our daikon from Dang, ginger from Mayette, and other produce from Sengkom, Watchara, and Kurt from Tokabago Farms.” Kaua‘i Kim Chee also sources won bok cabbage locally when possible. The farmers have mentioned how difficult it is to grow won bok cabbage here in Hawai‘i’s tropical climate. Cooler temperatures are ideal for growing won bok, since the cabbage opens in hot weather, allowing insects to enter, and it is challenging to mitigate these pests without spraying pesticides.

Something for Every Taste: An Extensive Product Range

Kaua‘i Kim Chee today sells a wide range of products. In addition to their namesake, they offer pickled onions, daikon, pico de gallo, ghost pepper salsa, and namasu.Isaiah Dosono explains,“Kim chee is a dish with so many variations and each individual has their own preferences. We know we can’t please everyone, and we’ve expanded to offer other products so there’s something for everyone!”

Find Kaua‘i Kim Chee Near You

If you're craving their delectable creations and local plate lunches, you can find Kaua‘i Kim Chee at the Grove Farm Market every Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. . You can also find their products in Safeway, Foodland, Times, ABC Stores, Hoku’s, Papaya’s, Lawai‘a Fish Market, Kaua‘i Ferments, Kukui‘ula Local Market, Sueoka’s, and Wailua Country Store. You can even find their kimchee in restaurants like Kountry Kitchen.

Dream Big! Career Day Inspires the Next Generation

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” As children grow and explore the world, they start seeing the countless opportunities that await them.

Recently, the students at Wilcox Elementary School had the chance to broaden their horizons on Career Day. The event brought together a diverse group of professionals who generously shared their time to introduce the students to various careers available here on Kaua‘i. From police officers, firefighters, and dentists to heavy equipment operators, engineers, chefs, utility operators, flight attendants, and store owners, there was no shortage of inspiring role models for the students.

The event not only impacted the students but also evoked nostalgia among the participants, who were transported back to their own elementary school days. We kicked off the day with a hearty breakfast, seated at kid-sized chairs and tables, before morning announcements. Then, it was off to our classrooms for a fun-filledmorning of exploration.

The Grove Farm team had a fantastic time engaging with the fifth graders, showcasing the smorgasbord of jobs that can be found on the sprawling 37,000 acres of land we manage.

Casey Watabu, Vice President - Asset Management at Grove Farm, and Beau Acoba, Project Manager at Grove Farm, were among the many Grove Farm representatives who shared their expertise with the students. They shed light on careers in farming, ranching, golf course-related services (Puakea Golf Course), food service (Puakea Grill), engineering (Kodani & Associates Engineers), contractors, water system operators (AJAR),utility operators (Aqua Engineers), tour activity workers (Kauai Backcountry Adventures), and so much more

It was truly a memorable morning for everyone involved. The Grove Farm team felt honored to spend time with the fifth graders at Wilcox Elementary School and inspire them to dream big when it comes to their future careers.

Grove Farm Market Craft Fair

Join us at the Holiday Craft Fair at the Grove Farm Market and find the perfect gifts from local artists to finish (or start) your holiday shopping! The fair will be held from 9:30 a.m. until approximately 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2 at Grove Farm Puhi Park. Don’t miss out on this festive fun!

Happy Holidays from the Grove Farm ‘Ohana!