in 1983 by Ed Thielk, Mana Foods, has grown from its humble beginnings
with the help of partners Sunette Fenn, Theresa Thielk and Chris
Ozee. Mana Foods, is now a bustling business that employs over 100
people, most of them full time. It takes a dedicated team of this
size to operate a health & beauty room, produce and meat departments, bakery,
deli and more.
Mana Foods is recognized
for its wide range of natural and organic products, which are sold
at the best prices. By buying in volume and passing on 100% of every
discount received, they are able to offer those savings to the customer.
With over 400 local vendors,
Mana Foods is a huge supporter of Maui and Hawaii companies. The
colorful produce aisle at Mana Foods has an average 80-90% Certified
organic or unsprayed items and 50% of produce is grown in Hawaii.
Mana Foods, now in its 29th year of business on Maui, has been voted Best Health Food for the third year in a row. A Baldwin Avenue landmark in Paia, Mana Foods is the place to go for the most vibrant, colorful selection of organic produce on the island. The store also uses the finest organic ingredients in its deli and even carries natural beauty products, like body cream, made with local, organic ingredients.
From its large vitamin room to its natural cleaning products, Mana Foods is the place health conscious residents like to shop for variety and value. “We try hard to keep prices down and get products people like,” said co-owner Theresa Thielk. “We emphasize freshness.” Watch for a big expansion of the deli department with an addition being planned for the coming year. “There will be all new deli equipment,” said Thielk. Shoppers will also notice wider aisles in the produce department that was made possible during a recent expansion of the cooler space.
Maui News, Sunday, September 2, 2012
||July 2012: Mana Foods voted best Health Food Store on Maui by Maui Time
" For more than a quarter century, Mana Foods has been the grocery store of the North Shore with a hot food deli, bakery, dry goods, humanely raised meats and organic produce. They are serious about their task of bringing healthy foods to Paia without gouging their customers' wallets. Spread the Mana–our readers certainly are. 49 Baldwin Ave., Paia; 808-579-8078; manafoodsmaui.com"
You can read the original content here
Mana Foods is rated one the best restaurants in Paia by TripAdvisor, second only to Mama's Fish House!. You can read reviews here.
|Best Food Market: 2011 Maui News
The depth, diversity, quality and value of Mana Foods comes shining through as the winner of Best Food Market, a new category in this year's contest. "Wow," says Mana Foods co-owner Theresa Thielk upon learning of the market's two first place wins (they were also voted Best Health Food). "We try to keep our prices good and offer lots of variety . . . We try to satisfy all of our customers."
Now in its 28th year of business on the Valley Isle, Mana Foods is the place to find an excellent selection local produce. "It's bright and fresh," said Thielk of the colorful, well-stocked display area. There's also a vitamin room, deli and bakery, natural cleaning products, bulk-item self-service area and much more. "We have the best selection of chocolates
on the island," says Thielk.
Another aspect that makes Mana Foods stand apart from other markets on Maui is its large selection of international foods. Examples include olives, pasta, hot sauces, Asian foods, Armenian and kosher foods. "It's super dynamic," says Thielk. "Every local thing imaginable is also there . . . We're always bringing in new kinds of products."
|Best Health Food Store: 2011 Maui News
"We have the most organic produce of any store on the island," says Mana Foods Co-Owner Theresa Thielk. "It's our focus." It is also just one of the reasons that Mana Foods was voted Best Health Food for the second year in a row. "We use the finest ingredients in our deli," Thielk continues. "It's all organic, it's costly for us but people trust us that it's in there.We offer something for everybody. There's a wide variety."
The store's philosophy extends to the selection of natural beauty and vitamin products. Many of the beauty products, like body creme, are of local "organic" origin. In addition to taking taking top honors for Best Health Food,Mana Foods was also chosen by voters as the Best Food Market onMaui. That says a lot about the value, selection, quality and service shoppers experience at Mana Foods. "This health nut loves Fresh Mint and Mana Foods'" writes Best of Maui voter K. Holmes of Kula. "Keep it real and green for gardens and whales, too!"
||Best Health Food Store: 2011 Maui Time Weekly
BEST HEALTH FOOD STORE: Mana Foods
Mana is an incredible grocery store serving the North Shore and the rest of Maui from their Baldwin Avenue location. The store is small but it's a lesson in efficiency. They have so many goods packed in there it's magical. Mana has been open for the past 25 years and started with the philosophy of selling local produce and fruits way before it was a popular notion. Mana also sells locally manufactured goods, bakes their own bread and pastries, has their own butcher, sells organic clothing lines, and has a great beauty section. Their hot foods bar offers an amazing selection of veggie delights like the spanikopita, teriyaki tofu and more. This is a market for the people by the people, and you voted it best.
In response to the March 2011 disaster in Japan, Mana Foods participated in the Jeans for Japan fundraiser, offering to match funds dollar for dollar, up to 10,000. A big mahalo to the customers of Mana Foods, who donated $10, 000. $3300 were donated at the register and an anonymous donor has donated $6700 for a total of $10,000 from the community. Mana Foods matched this amount, bringing collective donation total to $20,000 for Japan relief.
This money is going to the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui's Japan relief effort, The Aloha Initiative . This program raises funds to bring evacuees from the recent Japanese nuclear disaster to Maui and matches them with families who have volunteered to "open up their hearts and homes."
|Photo: L-R, Managing Director Keith Regan, Theresa and Edward Thielk of Mana Foods , Lynn Araki-Regan and Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa. The Aloha Initiative organizers today announced that over $35,000 has been received through the “Wear Jeans for Japan” fundraising effort held last month. Out of the total funds received, Mana Foods donated $20,000 through donations made by its customers, employees, and owners.
As a result of Mana Foods generating the most donations per employee, Mayor Alan Arakawa today presented the “Wear Jeans for Japan” award to Theresa and Edward Thielk, owners of Mana Foods.
|Best Health Food Store: 2010 Maui Time Weekly
BEST HEALTH FOOD STORE: Mana Foods
Every time I go into Mana Foods—celebrating 25 years serving Maui's health food community—it's a hub of activity. From their quaint light-green storefront, you enter into an emporium of organic, natural, gourmet and prepared foods. They also have vitamins, home and garden goods, books, body care and organic clothes. There's a bakery and a hot food section that features vegan, vegetarian and lots of gluten free options. Their customer service is great, and they put a lot of thought into the providing the best products at the best prices. I love the produce section, where they feature a bounty of Maui grown veggies. Whether you're shopping for groceries or just looking for a good-for-your-body snack, Mana Foods is the spot.
49 Baldwin Avenue, Paia, 579-8078, manafoodsmaui.com @jenrusso
In the July 22, 2010 Best of Maui edition of Maui Time Weekly
June 2010: 1st place, prize winning Thai Beef Salad
Mana Foods' Chef Ann Gale recently won first place for her Thai Beef Salad (see recipe below) in the Maui Cattle Company cooking contest. This is the first contest Ann has every entered and she took the blue ribbon! The cooking contest was held at the 30th Annual Upcountry Ag & Farm Fair last weekend, June 12 and 13, 2010.
THAI BEEF SALAD
6 New York steaks
1 medium red onion
1 basket Hana Fresh cherry tomatoes
3 stalks of Maui lemongrass
½ bunch locally grown cilantro
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 Maui limes
1 tablespoon red chili flakes (more to taste if you like)
4-6 tablespoons olive oil
Lettuce for garnish
Slice of red bell pepper for garnish
Sear 6 NY steaks with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Slice thinly and set aside. Chop cilantro and lemongrass, mix with fish sauce, red chili flakes, juice of two limes, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Thinly slice the red onion and cherry tomatoes. Toss with herb mixture. Add steak. Serve on a bed of lettuce and garnish with a slice of red pepper.Serves 6-8 people.
April 2010: Ronie Hong of Mana Foods in Paia organizes the tempting options on the Wall of Chocolate near the store’s front entrance. The Maui News / CARLA TRACY, first published 4/22/10 for Earth Day
On Earth Day, we'll have chocolate demos with the Endangered Species brand," says Theresa Thielk, Mana's office manager. "They give 10 percent of the gross sales to conservation."
Mana Foods houses what is called the "Wall of Chocolate" near the front door, featuring pure cacao of the gourmet and organic kind from domestic and international sources.
Mana Foods will also feature discounts on Seventh Generation eco products today as well as selected local health and beauty vendor items.
Saturday, Mana Foods will also be jumping with demos and tastings all day by local farmers, growers and vendors during its normal hours from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Call 579-8078.
|February 2010: Retailing’s Unsung Heroes: Mana Foods
From The Journal of Commerce, February 2010 edition
"And so it was during a vacation to Hawaii last month that my wife and I found ourselves in the small Maui town of Pa’ia, a few miles south of Kahului, where we happened upon the Mana Foods Market. Having read the name in a guidebook, in we went. At the end of more than an hour, we had purchased a few items, but had a great time just the same wandering
the aisles. In fact, I found the store so interesting and the variety of items so remarkable that I called the store a few days later to see if they would speak with me about how they managed to get so much stuff into so little space and how they managed the logistics.
To my delight, Sunette Fenn, one of Mana Foods’ founders, was generous enough to take 30 or 40 minutes of her time to speak with me about the business, especially the logistics. Just for some perspective: The Mana Foods store is about 6,500 square feet, and the company has an order book of some 30,000 items that appear on the shelves. According to the Food Marketing Institute, the average size of a grocery store in America was 46,755 square feet in 2008 and stocked approximately 47,000 items. It’s worth noting Hawaii is the most isolated island chain in the world;
Maui’s population was 143,574 in 2008, and Pa’ia is very small.
So how does Mana Foods do it?
The specifics — no direct imports, a large number of distributor suppliers, dedicated staff, and constant attention to customer wants
and needs — are less important than the fact it does it and has
been doing it every day, every week, every month, for more than 25 years; and to be sure, without the awareness of virtually all of their customers — except, of course, for the random visit of a geek from the mainland.
Thanks, Sunette, I appreciate your time and the Mana Foods
story. Your copy of this column will be on its (electronic) way to
you soon." JOC
Barry Horowitz is the principal at CMS Consulting Services. He can be contacted at 503-208-2232, or at email@example.com.
Mana Foods is recognized as the best health food store on Maui, by
both the Maui News and Maui Time Weekly
Maui News, October 29, 2009, CARLA TRACY photo
Celebrates 25 years with giveaways, demos, prizes, lots of Halloween
It started out 25 years ago in Paia as a tiny hole in the wall that
sold only fresh-squeezed juices. Now, Mana Foods is the most powerful
health food store on island with over 100 employees.
These days, Mana
Foods features more than vegetarian options. There is a department
packed with natural gourmet meat and seafood, a deli headed by Thai
Chef Suphan Ann Gale, a bakery, a vitamin room, the famous wall
of chocolate, and household and pet items.
try hard to have our food be affordable. We are just doing the customer
appreciation week to thank the community," says partner Sunette
Fenn, who runs the store with founder Ed Thielk and his sister,
Theresa Thielk, along with partner Chris Ozee.
This year, Mana
Foods was nominated for the Mayor's Small Business Award. It was
also named "Best Health Food Store" on the island in The
Hotel Review: The Paia Inn Hotel in Maui - May 24, 2009
. . . Mana Foods,
a large health food store that’s a prime spot for eavesdropping
on hilarious conversations about chakras and organic spelt.
Voted one the
59 Best Breakfast Places in America - February 26, 2009
Magazine's unranked, incomplete, and unimpeachable list of the best
breakfasts across the country. No brunch allowed.
Mana Foods — Paia, Maui, Hawaii
The breakfast burrito is open to interpretation, which is both its
genius and its potential downfall. Using the kitchen-sink approach,
anything that can be jammed into a tortilla along with eggs —
rice, bacon, beans, onions, sausage, sour cream, enough cheese to
pave a road — is considered a fine addition. But as
the cooks at Mana Foods demonstrate each morning, the key to perfection
is restraint. Mana's contains only organic scrambled eggs
accented with just enough cheddar to let you know it's there, small
potato chunks sautéed in butter, and a sprinkle of diced
green pepper. — Susan Casey
up on local fish and grass-fed beef for your barbecue here. You
can find the best selection of organic produce on the island,
as well as a great bakery and deli at this typically crowded health-food
According to Concierge.com
Quite possibly the best, most affordable health-food grocery
store in the United States. Whether you feel like a breakfast
burrito or a marinated tofu and avocado seaweed wrap or a slice
of cake, nothing will set you back more than $6. The perfect place
to stock up before the long drive to Hana. If you're staying nearby,
you might want to stop in just to gawk at the beautiful yoga-toned
hippies and surfers (and their offspring) populating the aisles.
Vegan chef and environmentalist
Renée Loux was featured in the September 1, 2007 isssue of
Body + Soul
"Loux swears by Mana Foods, a market and bakery in Paia. Pack
a picnic of freshly prepared coconut shrimp. Thai chili tofu, or
vegan pumpkin pie before heading out to nearby Ho'okipa beach for
a day of windsurfing."