Let's Talk story Category: Surfing
A bronzed Hawaiian named Duke Kahanamoku stands triumphant on the Olympic podium, a buttery-gold medal dangling from his muscled neck. Having just bested the world, the Duke is on Cloud 9. For this young Hawaiian, whom many have called the greatest swimmer of his era, this moment marks his fifth time standing on an Olympic podium, a feat that many never believed to be possible.
Tucked away beneath the foothills of the Waianae Mountain range stands the quaint town of Waialua and its iconic sugar mill. For nearly a century, this historic mill was responsible for producing a hefty bulk of the state’s sugar export. In fact, at one point, the mill produced almost 10 percent of the state’s sugar and was home to hundreds of plantation workers.
However, as the plantation days of old came to a close in the late 19th century and sugar production gradually moved away from the state, the plantation ceased operations in the mid 1990s. But in the wake of the plant’s shutdown, a new opportunity arose as more than 30 small businesses and manufacturers opened up shop, breathing new life into the mill and attracting leagues of customers searching for locally made products.