Written by Phillip Andrus~Multimedia Specialist
Thursday, 26 July 2012
Students looking for a great less-known local attraction would be intrigued by the complex at Waialua Sugar Mill. Located just beyond Haleiwa town, the Waialua Sugar Mill remains one of Oahu’s best kept secrets, featuring a small, thriving business from different industries, most of which allow visitors to tour and photograph the inside their facilities.
As you walk into the Island X Hawaii store, which sells Waialua-grown coffee and cacao, expect to be greeted by someone standing next to a coffee roaster or shave ice machine, both of which the store is known for. Waialua is the only place on the North Shore to find homemade shave ice flavors, but expect to pay about double the price as you would for the traditional flavors. The mill is Oahu’s only working coffee mill. Both coffee and cacao are dried and processed on site. If you are lucky, you may even be escorted to the rear of the facility where they dry the cacao, a seed from which cocoa is made.
A fully functional soap factory is also established in the complex, producing soaps made from natural ingredients such as kukui nut oil, honey, Waialua chocolate, sea salt, and sugars. The soap factory outlet store is open to the public and has glass walls in order for visitors to watch the soap-making process. Inside, you will also notice historic photos and artwork.
Between the coffee mill and the soap factory is the working shop where board builders shape surfboards from more than 15 local surf brands such as Pyzel, Surflight, and Chris’ crafts. Whether you want a big wave board to surf at Waimea, or a short board for surfing at Rockies, you can find someone to shape the board you’ve been hoping for.
Every Saturday morning at 8:30 you can join those gathered around the market waiting for the rope to fall, signaling the opening of the farmers market. There are various vendors who set up at the market to sell lettuce, flowers, and local fruits and vegetables.
Land that was once dedicated sugar cane crops is now being to sewn with papaya, coffee, cattle feed, and grass. Waialua is home to around 4,000 people, just less than the population of Laie of 6,000+. To learn more about the Waialua sugar mill, click HERE .