The Pacific Ohana Foundation Cultural Center in Purdy is expanding its offerings.
“We would like to welcome the community in and become a good neighbor,” Executive Director Gloria Nahalea said. “It’s what kokua, to help or aid, means and we hope to be of service to our community.”
The Aloha Marketplace is now open at the cultural center Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with in-house musicians, samples of their catered food and flower and seed lei traditions.
The marketplace is designed to support the foundation members as a vendor cooperative of local small businesses, most of whom are originally from Hawaii. Other members of the foundation include Bill Nahalea, TV producer of shows about Hawaii and other places, Neal Chin, a ukulele instructor from Kula, Maui, and Larry Kalahiki, a local insurance agent from Hawaii.
Happy Rooster Farm in Lakebay, with fresh chicken, turkey, duck and goose eggs. Fresh poultry will be available soon.
Shaka shave ice and grinds, plus pickled onions, cucumbers and mangos.
Oceana custom made ukuleles from Port Orchard.
Noeleen’s Creations makes jewelry from seashells and rocks found in the Purdy sandspit area.
Scented Ipu (mini gourd) sachets.
Books, CDs by Hawaiian artists and DVDs of Hawaiian authors who were WWII veterans in their 80s and 90s when they wrote.
Framed artwork prints by a Maui native.
The market will also feature dobash (chocolate frosted chocolate cake) and banana bread from a Hawaiian bakery owned by Nahalea’s nephew in Seattle.
Fresh Hawaiian leis can be ordered and picked up for Mother’s Day, birthdays, weddings and graduations.
The foundation also offers catering as a luau package with food, entertainment, site facilities or any combination. Traditional and local Hawaiian food is available including poke (po-key), a Hawaiian raw fish dish, Lomi Salmon, Kalua Pork and, when available, Spam musubi.
Children’s birthday parties are another specialty.
The Pineapple Jam Camps will be offered this summer.
Nahalea also serves as the hula artistic director and offers heritage cultural classes and workshops, teaching students to entertain at luaus, festivals, corporate events and farmers markets.
“We unfortunately are growing faster than we can update the schedule, but will get those dates up soon,” Nahalea said.
Wednesday classes currently offered at the culture center include Introduction to Hula, Beginning Ukulele, Beginning Adult Hula, Open Adult Hula and Tahitian Dance.
Students from the cultural center participated in the recent Daffodil Parade in Tacoma and performed for the University of Puget Sound in the annual Students Hawaiian Club luau in April. They will share more of their heritage May 4 at Purdy Elementary School for its literacy and diversity program.
The Pacific Ohana Foundation Cultural Center is located at 13720 Purdy Drive NW. For more information on events at the center, call 206-484-2511 or go to http://www.halauhulaonapualani.com.