#Kaua’i: Getting Local With Costco

One of the things we love, love, love about Costco shopping here, on top of their prices, is the abundance of local products available. We have visited and shopped at Costco in many different places on the mainland but I don’t remember ever seeing so many things specifically geared to a certain location like they are here. Below are just a few of the many local products available year-round at our Costco:

(Warning: Lots of photos coming up!)

This is just one of many, many locally produced (Honolulu) baked goods and snacks. Brett loves Oahu-made pumpkin graham crackers, and you can also get lots of other kinds of cookies, and things like Kona coffee-macadamia brittle and other macadamia nut treats, wonton chips and much more, all made right here in Hawaii.

There are several Japanese and other Asian products that you would only find in an Asian market back on the mainland (and not in such big packages). Furikake is a seaweed based condiment that is eaten with rice.

Large utility-sized boxes of Asian sweets are also available. WenYu and Meiling LOVE Choco Pie (they’re sort of like a small Moon Pie) – they’ll both be taking boxes back to school with them. We enjoy being able to buy big boxes of traditional Japanese sweets like imagawayaki and dorayaki at Christmastime.

Good, good stuff!

Hawaiian “Winners” – the red color scares me, but these hot dogs are very popular here. Same for Portuguese sausages – you can buy large packages of those at Costco as well.

We like laulau (pork and butterfish steamed in ti leaves), but thought this brand was awful. It’s a very popular item though at Costco.

These barbecue pork buns are huge (and soft and fluffy when steamed). WenYu adores these.

Giant bags of dried skipjack tuna – a local favorite and very tasty. It’s often eaten with poi.

Big boxes of fresh poke, Hawaiian-style ahi sashimi (raw fish), come in several flavors. They sell out very quickly. YUM again!

The BEST granola I’ve ever eaten, made right here on Kaua’i. Our Costco also carries large bags of Kauai Coffee (grown and roasted on the island) and variety packs of Kauai Kookies, from Hanapepe on the west side.

POG – Passionfruit, Orange, and Guava juice – is a true local favorite. Mixed with champagne or prosecco it makes a tasty mimosa.

The following items may or may not have been made in Hawai’i, but they’re most definitely local, and maybe not something you’ll find at Costco in other locations, at least not in the amounts available here or not year-round:

You know there’s always going to be enough Spam available to feed an army.

Aloha shirts at Costco are just $19.99 for a very nice quality piece of clothing. Brett added two to his collection when we came over in 2012 to check things out.

Tommy Bahama chairs are THE beach chairs to have here – our Costco has them as well as beach towels, umbrellas and sun screen in stock all year.

Yes, you can even get your surfboard at Costco, all year long (this nice guy was buying this one for a friend).

 

12 thoughts on “#Kaua’i: Getting Local With Costco

  1. Tamara / My Retirement Project says:

    What a fun post! Am I correct remembering that there is a locals discount for residents, that visitors/tourists do not get? I remember it being pretty significant if so, which I would imagine helps with those steep Hawaii food costs.

    The granola and poke look like something I would love to have in my stockpile on a regular basis, but the Spam, all of it, can stay there! I appreciate the history of it on the islands, but just can’t go there, even if it is the ‘local’ thing to do. ☺

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      • Laura says:

        He hasn’t cut his hair for a year! For a while he had these crazy flips on the side, but they seem to be settling down. He’s going to cut it though before we begin traveling.

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    • Laura says:

      There is a kamaaina discount for Hawaii residents at many stores and other businesses, but Costco (and other food stores) isn’t one of them. Their prices though are the same or very close to prices on the mainland, which means it is the primary food store for many people here on the island. You just have to learn to deal with the large size packages.

      The granola is delicious! I discovered it on our first visit to Kaua’i and was hooked. We brought bags of it back with us, and will be packing a couple of bags when we head out on the Big Adventure. Even though I’m avoiding carbs these days, whenever I have yogurt and fruit for breakfast I always have a couple of TBSP of Anahola Granola sprinkled over the top.

      It is available by mail order, although I imagine it’s not cheap. By the way, the original flavor is the best, in my opinion. I’ve tried their other varieties but the simple goodness of the original is the most appealing.

      P.S. I cannot abide Spam either. Brett and the girls love it though, especially on musubi.

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  2. Laurel says:

    Wow! You have a lot of things I would be gorging on if I lived there. Well, maybe I would at first anyway. 🙂

    We actually have those Tommy Bahama chairs that we bought (in summer here, of course) a while ago. They’re our ‘go to’ chairs for a summer concert series we often attend where they measure the chairs for use on the lawn seating. They are ‘legal’, so a lot of people have them just for that purpose. Of course, they’re also useful at the beach.

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    • Laura says:

      We tried a lot of the local stuff when we first moved here (it’s no wonder I gained weight), but now stick to basics only, like the barbecue sauce. The bakery here used to also make some local items, but other than the Portuguese sweet bread rolls, I haven’t seen much of it for a while. What’s also wild here are the cuts of meat you can find, especially around the holidays. Massive beef roasts, racks of ribs, pork roasts, etc. When locals party, they party hard as well as feed everyone who attends.

      We bought four of the beach chairs when we arrived, as well as an umbrella and 7 or 8 beach towels. We look like tourists though whenever we head to the beach because of all the gear we carry. But we like to be comfortable.

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    • Laura says:

      Costco is THE place to buy food souvenirs if you visit! The only other local Kaua’i products I would recommend (and that you can’t get at Costco) is Monkeypod Jam, and Koloa Rum. Actually, you can get bottles of the rum, but we like to send/take the miniature sample set you can only get at the rum store at the Kilohana Plantation in Puhi.

      Walmart is another good location for affordable food souvenirs, but Costco is better.

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    • Laura says:

      Our Costco is unlike any we’ve every visited elsewhere. Although they have all sorts of locally popular items, other, more “regular” things (like decaf coffee beans) can’t be found. It’s both fun and frustrating at the same time!

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  3. JJ says:

    I spent a lot of time in the Costco when I visited Kauai. I couldn’t believe all the food souvenirs they had and also clothing. It was actually very interesting. I went to a Costco on Oahu and it was similar, but they had a local man selling something called Koele’s Ono Mochi. OMG, it was amazing!

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    • Laura says:

      Costco is just very, very different here. But, at the same time there’s all this wonderful local stuff, there are things we cannot get here that we could back on the mainland, which can be frustrating at times. Also, products disappear and never return again. It happens on the mainland too, but more frequently here.

      I love mochi! Wish they had been at our store. Once there was a vendor selling rum cakes – they were so good, and we bought a few for gifts, but never saw him or the product again.

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