Paina By Ocean

A Student Run Business Goes Live


Kamahao Kanekoa, Grade 9

A couple of weeks ago I got the chance to do something I didn’t think would ever happen. It was about a month ago when I met Mark Naguchi, a friend of my dads, another chef  he had worked with on several occasions.  I got to meet him when we had a “backyard style” chef’s table, meaning I sat down with him and other amazing chefs, farmers, ranchers, and fishermen. He had been following me and my company Paina By Ocean and what we were doing, he told us he might have an opportunity we might be interested in called, “Holoholo Series, Chapter One.” At that time they were just announcing their series and the concept to the public. They partnered with Toyota and were going to film a show where they would go to each island in Hawai’i and show off a part of that island. Then he told us that for the Big Island, they wanted to do a show about me, my company, and my family. 

That night we sat down at the dinner table to talk about if we wanted to do this show, and we decided that we would do it. A couple weeks later we had our first meeting with the people who would be producing the show. They wanted to know what we wanted to showcase and who we truly are. After talking for a little while our plans were set, and in a couple of weeks we would be filming.

The day had finally come, we would be shooting with them for two days in Waimea, then we would be head up mauka to the Lee’s family cabin. We started out the day bright and early at 7:00 am and met up with the producers and film crew at Starbucks. Then we headed to the first location, JA farms. When we got there the farmers were already hard at work, we walked around the farm, did some shots and got to talk to the farmers and see them at their craft. 

We didn’t want to disrupt them too much so we headed over to the next farm, Rincon Family Farms, the best strawberries on the Big Island. We met up with Luis, the owner of the farm and did some filming with him as he gave us the tour. We also picked up some ingredients then were off to the Paina By Ocean headquarters, my house.

There, we filmed me breaking down a whole ahi, and of course, making  poke. After that, we did what I had been waiting for all day, we loaded up our two boats and took them down to the water. We brought  two boats so Mark,  my dad, and I could go on one, and the film crew would follow on the other. We did some bottom fishing for ta’ape, an invasive species here in Hawaii. We luckily caught a couple of those and headed back in to wrap up the first day of filming. The second day was not as jam packed with things to do, but it was the harder thing to film, it was time for my interview.  To my surprise, the interview went pretty well. 

To finish off the day we went up mauka to the Lee’s family cabin, a gorgeous place to be at and the perfect place to end our time in the spotlight and pass it over to Justin Lee and his family. To look back now, it was probably the best thing for me, to get comfortable in front of a camera, but most importantly, have some fun and share my story. Our chapter isn’t out yet but to see the other chapters go to “Toyota Hawaii” on youtube.