THE HISTORIC JOURNEY OF “HALI‘IMAILE GENERAL STORE”
Aloha! E komo mai and welcome to the Hali’imaile General Store, Maui’s favorite home town restaurant nestled in the pineapple fields on the lower slopes of Haleakala.
Among the many inquiries we receive, it is our name about which we are most often asked. The Hawaiian word hali’i means ‘a covering’ or ‘blanket’. Maile is a native twining shrub with fragrant, shiny leaves. History tells us that this area was once covered in the sweet-smelling vegetation and the moniker, Hali‘imaile, became a part of the oral tradition that describes this lovely hamlet today.
The pineapple boom in the islands in the early part of the last century is mainly responsible for the existence of this historic building. In the 1920’s, camp houses for plantation workers were needed to house the hard working immigrants that raised the crops that were the engine of island commerce. Construction of the camp store followed under the direction of Maui Agricultural Company’s Pineapple Department and in 1925 our legacy was born. The plantation store was not just for groceries. The original Hali’imaile Store was a butcher shop, fish market, post office, and had departments for clothing and household appliances. This building was the one stop shop for all necessities as well as the place to catch up on news and a depot for local gossip…a tradition we proudly encourage in the present day! The store continued operating over the decades in various formats until 1988 when all of that changed.
After operating my catering business from home for a number of years, Joe and I thought it was time to make a change. We were also strongly encouraged by the local authorities to move the business out of the garage and into a commercial space, I might add! We heard that “the store” (as I have always called it) would become available for lease at Christmas time in 1987. We knew it would be the perfect location for a gourmet take-out deli, catering headquarters, and general store. The first day we opened the doors there were over 100 people waiting for a bite to eat. We had five or six tables, no wait staff, and our new patrons wanted to know, “Where do we sit?” So, Hali’imaile General Store is a restaurant today because that is what you, our very dear customer wanted.
With the success of the Hali‘imaile General Store, Joe’s in Wailea followed in 1995. Our latest project, Gannon’s, A Pacific View Restaurant and the Red Bar are the newest additions to the Bev Gannon Restaurants family. We invite you to visit all of our fine establishments
From all of our staff here at the Hali‘imaile General Store and the entire family at Bev Gannon Restaurants, we thank you for dining with us and for your continued support, friendship and shared love of great food and all things fabulous!
With warmest aloha,
Chef Beverly Gannon