BY BOBBY COMMAND – It was 44 degrees outside the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Tuesday, but the inside has been transformed into a warm Hawaiian paradise, complete with waterfalls, palm trees and tropical flowers.
The theme of the 2012 Philadelphia International Flower Show is “Islands of Aloha.” A total of 11 vendors from Hawai‘i Island are participating in what is billed as the “world’s largest indoor flower show,” which runs through March 11. There are more than 150 Hawai‘i participants at the show. A list of Hawai‘i Island vendors is below.
More than 10 acres of displays will highlight the show, which will also include cultural events such as hula, lei making, a lū‘au, Hawaiian music and other aspects of Hawaiian culture. With temperatures hovering near freezing at night in the city, more than 60 downtown Philadelphia store windows call attention to Hawai‘i with tropical displays of flowers and produce.
The County of Hawai‘i is a sponsor of the event, chipping in $75,000 along with the state’s three other counties to defray the cost of shipping flowers to Philadelphia. It is expected that 300,000 people will attend this event, which is not just a display of flowers but a trade show that will strengthen Hawai‘i’s brand and distributor presence as well. The Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Hawai‘i Food Manufacturers Association, four Hawai‘i counties and their visitors’ bureaus collaborated on this event.
“This is a marvelous opportunity for participating vendors to market their items to a huge trade show audience,” said Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi. “This is also a wonderful chance for Hawai‘i’s visitor industry to show off the sights, sounds and smells of our beautiful state.”
For 182 years, the Philadelphia International Flower Show has enthralled visitors from around the globe with stunning displays celebrating the beauty of plants and the art of gardening.
Philadelphia International Flower Show General Store – Hawai‘i Island Vendor Information
Big Island Bees – Flowers are to honey, as grapes are to wine, and nectar from Hawai‘i’s rare blossoms produce some of the most unique and flavorful honeys. Big Island Bees beautifully packaged single floral Hawaiian honeys are a delicious way to share and explore Hawai‘i. Beekeeping has been in the family for four generations and Big Island Bees has been tending bees in Hawai‘i since 1971. Big Island Bees maintain artisan standards, never heating or filtering its honey, thereby preserving its flavor and nutritional value. www.bigislandbees.com
EMAP Hawai‘i – EMAP and Mera Pharmaceuticals jointly make and market Kona Sea Salt, a hand-made, sun-dried natural sea salt made from 2,200-foot deep ocean water in Hawai‘i. It is the purest salt in the world and treasured by chefs and gourmets alike. EMAP is also a distributor of other products including the popular BioAstin, an algae-based product made from natural astaxanthin, a powerful anti-oxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. www.bigislandpure.com, www.nutrex-hawaii.com
Hamakua Macadamia Nut Co. – Hamakua Macadamia Nut Co. takes pride in growing, processing, and marketing 100 percent Hawaii grown macadamia nuts. Part of their core mission is to support Hawai‘i’s workers, growers and their families as well as keep Hawai‘i green. The visitor’s center offers a variety of macadamia nut products including flavored, candy glazed, popcorn, and brittle. It also has chocolates, Ka‘ū and Kona coffees, preserves and other local products. www.hawnnut.com
Hawai‘i Island Gourmet Products – Atebara/Hawai‘i Island Gourmet, Hawai‘i’s first chip company, was founded in Hilo at the height of the Great Depression. In 1941, Atebara/Hawai‘i Island Gourmet became the first chip company in Hawai‘i to produce taro chips. The company specializes in value-added products including macadamia nuts, cookies, candies, and chips utilizing exotic tropical grown produce found right here on our island. In addition to operating its own farm, the company also works with 15 other island family farms. Hawai‘i Island Gourmet Products’ collection of “Made in Hawai‘i” and “Grown in Hawai‘i” products will tempt your palate with exotic and unique flavors. www.hawaiichips.com
Kampachi Farms – Kampachi Farms is a Hawai‘i-based mariculture company focused on expanding the sustainable production of the ocean’s finest fish. Through innovative research and application of the best available science, Kampachi Farms will remain on the cutting edge of healthy, environmentally responsible seafood. Kampachi Farms aims to further develop offshore technologies that will facilitate the expansion of responsible mariculture in the United States and globally, such as deepwater mooring and farm site automation capabilities. Ongoing research into alternative feeds is focused on reducing mariculture’s reliance on wild-caught fishmeal and fish oil, replacing them with more sustainable American-grown agricultural products. Kampachi Farms is showing that it is possible to responsibly grow delicious, healthy, high quality fish in the open ocean. www.kampachifarm.com
Kona Coffee and Tea – Coffee Review magazine rated Kona Coffee and Tea coffee a perfect 10 for both aroma and flavor. Why is Kona Coffee and Tea coffee unique? The perfect rich volcanic soil of our farm, perfect elevation, perfect clouds, rain and sun. And of course our perfect roasting by our master roaster, always by hand, and always in small batches, to create that perfect taste and aroma you expect from our coffee. Our family farm is located at the 2,600-foot elevation near Holualoa. Our retail showroom offers taste samples of our famous award-winning Kona coffee. You can witness coffee being roasted daily in our in house roaster- the aroma is intoxicating. www.konacoffeeandtea.com
Kona Joe – Here is the secret of Kona Joe Coffee: We grow our 100 percent pure Kona Coffee on a trellis using the same techniques as the world’s finest vineyards. The coffee tree is trained to grow along the wires of the trellis. This training requires years of meticulous pruning and tying to open the tree over the trellis system. The result is a coffee tree which grows sideways and upwards. The tree develops with more uniform sun exposure resulting in more even ripening of the coffee cherry. Dissolved sugars in the coffee bean and cherry are enhanced. Overall flavors are richer with better texture. www.konajoe.com
Paradise Meadows – Paradise Meadows is a 75-acre farm located in Nā‘ālehu. A truly diversified farm, it features cattle, aquaponics, beekeeping, citrus orchards, coffee and macadamia nuts. In striving to keep the farm organic, Paradise Meadows makes its own fertilizer using micro-nutrients gathered from the soil. Its products are marketed under “The Local Buzz” brand, and has been in business since 2007. www.paradisemeadows.com
Rusty’s Hawaiian Coffee – Rusty Obra had a big dream: Turn Hawai‘i’s Ka‘ū District into a celebrated coffee region. After his death, his wife vowed to fulfill his vision. In doing so, Lorie Obra has become one of the world’s leading artisanal coffee farmers. She is the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe’s 2010 Outstanding Producer, as well as Grand Champion of the Hawaii Coffee Association’s 2011 and 2010 cupping competitions. www.rustyshawaiian.com
South Swell Bakery – South Swell Bakery, DBA Kona Gold Rum Co., produces Macadamia Nut Rum Cakes, Macadamia Nut Kona Coffee Cakes and Macadamia Nut Pineapple Rum Cakes. The cakes are all made with 100 percent Macadamia Nuts from Hawai‘i Island. They are drenched with either a premium dark rum sauce or a coffee liqueur made from 100 percent Kona Coffee. The cakes are vacuum sealed to maintain freshness. This family-owned company takes pride in the quality of their rum cakes which many consider are “broke the mouth.” www.konagoldrum.com
Volcano Island Honey – Volcano Island Honey Company is a small artisan apiary in Hawai‘i. We produce the world famous Rare Hawaiian Organic White Honey. National Geographic Traveler magazine said Rare Hawaiian Organic White Honey is “…some of the best honey in the entire world.” Hand-harvested at precisely the right moment, it is smooth, thick and creamy… with the delicate, tropical flavor of Hawaii’s kiawe tree blossom. Prized by chefs the world over, it was featured by Wolfgang Puck on his cooking show. All of the honeys produced by Volcano Island Honey Co. are certified organic, unheated and unfiltered, leaving all natural enzymes intact. www.volcanoislandhoney.com