Kaunakakai has an impressive (for its size) array of family-run general stores, groceries, and convenience shops. Sunday and evening hours are limited, though, with one exception: The surprisingly gourmet Molokai Minimart, 35 Mohala St. (tel. 808/553-4447), is open till 11pm daily.
The island’s other regions each have one compact option for groceries. On the West End, it’s the Maunaloa General Store, 523 Maunaloa Hwy., Maunaloa (tel. 808/552-2346; Mon–Sat 9am–6pm, Sun 9am–noon). On the East End, the “Goodz” (convenience store) half of Manae Goodz n Grindz, 8615 Kamehameha V Hwy., Pukoo, near mile marker 16 (tel. 808/558-8498), is open weekdays 8am to 6pm (till 5pm weekends). In the central uplands, Kualapuu Market, 311 Farrington Rd. at Uwao Street, Kualapuu (tel. 808/567-6243), is handy for picking up ready-to-grill seafood or a bottle of wine for the BYOB restaurant across the street (Mon–Sat 8:30am–6pm; closed Sun).
Gifts & Souvenirs
Shoppers of every stripe will want to schedule a trip to the bustling Saturday morning farmer’s market (8am–noon) in downtown Kaunakakai; among the couple of aunties sitting on the sidewalk with fresh papaya and other produce, you’ll find a dozen or more vendors of island arts and crafts, vintage and new clothing, handmade soaps, and specialty foods such as local vanilla extract.
Other Kaunakakai shopping troves are less visible: Follow the lane between the Imports Gift Shop and Friendly Market on Ala Malama to the Warehouse (www.molokaiartgallery.com; tel. 808/553-5734), which has the best selection of oil paintings, giclee prints, watercolors, and carvings by Molokai artists, among other pieces. Molokai Fish & Dive (www.molokaifishanddive.com; tel. 808/553-5926) sells locally designed T-shirts and souvenirs (as well as diving gear, sandwiches, ice cream, and gas) at its new location, the green-and-white gas station next to its old store at 53 Ala Malama. Across the street and above American Savings Bank, Molokai Ocean Tours, 40 Ala Malama St. (www.molokaioceantours.com; tel. 808/553-8391), sells Tula Hawaii’s sterling silver and 14-karat gold jewelry, created by two Molokai sisters with shells and sea glass they’ve found on the island. An expansion of the island’s copy and print shop, iCandie, 109 Ala Malama St. (www.facebook.com/Molokai.iCandie; tel. 808/553-5020), carries cute children’s and women’s clothing and accessories, some locally made; it’s in the cottage complex behind Home Town Groceries.
Several gift shops are destinations in their own right. In Kaunakakai, the delightfully eclectic Kalele Bookstore & Divine Expressions, 64 Ala Malama (www.molokaispirit.com; tel. 808/553-5112), offers a wide selection of Molokai-made arts and crafts, including wooden bowls, feather lei, earrings made with kapa (traditional bark fabric), and watercolors tinted with red dirt; owner Teri Waros also dispenses free coffee and sightseeing advice. On the outskirts of town, look for the sign on the east side of Highway 460 for Kamakana Country Store, 12A Kahanu St. (www.molokaicountrystore.com; tel. 808/553-5725), specializing in Hawaii-themed cookbooks, jams, and other locally made treats.
Elsewhere on the Island
Among the traditional souvenirs at Zach Socher’s Blue Monkey gift shop at the Coffees of Hawaii plantation, 1630 Farrington Ave. at Highway 470, Kualapuu (www.bigwindkites.com/bluemonkey; tel. 808/567-6776), are Molokai-grown coffees and teas, island-made lauhala (woven) hats, cutting boards and pens of native woods, and jewelry fashioned from tiny, delicate kahelelani shells. Socher’s parents, Jonathan and Daphne, own the equally intriguing Big Wind Kite Factory & Plantation Gallery, 120 Maunaloa Hwy., Maunaloa (www.bigwindkites.com; tel. 808/552-2364), chock full of Balinese furnishings, stone jewelry, Kalaupapa memoirs, and other books on Molokai. Test-fly one of their handmade kites at the nearby park.
The Perfect Molokai Souvenir
Found in nearly every Molokai store, the 11 varieties of local sea salts from Pacifica Hawaii (www.pacificahawaii.com) make ideal gifts. Salt master Nancy Gove evaporates seawater in elevated pans at the front of her home in Kaunakakai, and then infuses colors and flavors via ingredients such as local clay (alae), Kauai-made rum, Maui sugar, and activated charcoal and cayenne (for the Hot Black Lava). She’s happy to show you how it’s done; call tel. 808/553-8484 to set up a tour ($13), which lasts an hour or so, depending on your interest.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.