On Saturday I had the opportunity to join the Alan Wong’s team on a day trip to Hilo for the annual Adopt a Beehive donor appreciation event.  This event brings together both sides of the Adopt a Beehive program; students from the University of Hilo and donors who adopted a beehive at the school.  Through this program, UH Hilo is able to fund research to support sustainability of the local bee community.  The program also supports scholarships for students who have completed the introductory beekeeping course as they continue their education.

As a company, we talk a lot about sustainability, both for our company and Hawaii’s agricultural community.  As a new member of the Alan Wong’s team, I was really excited to head to Hilo to learn firsthand about this sustainability program.  Having the opportunity to speak to both students and donors at the event, I was really amazed to see how passionate everyone was about the program.  Each donor’s name tag had the name of his or her student beekeeper listed.  As the donors and students connected, shared stories, and took pictures together, I realized what a difference this program makes - not only to our bee communities but also to all of the people involved in the program.

After the event, the Alan Wong’s team had the opportunity to suit up and go be with the bees!  Wearing a bee suit and helping maintain the hives for an hour is not an experience I will soon forget.  I was surprised at how much peace I felt being among the bees as we learned more about the art of beekeeping and its importance to our local and global ecology while bonding together as an Alan Wong’s team. 

One of the many reasons I joined the Alan Wong’s Ohana is because of their focus on creating a more sustainable future for our community and for the value they place on being of service to others.  I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to experience the Adopt a Beehive program first hand and see what an impact it is making in Hilo and beyond. 

~ Jill Briney, HR Manager

For the past couple Saturdays I've been fortunate enough to be able to go to events. The adopt a beehive event was my third event and it was off Island, it caught me off guard since I just found out about it a week ago but of course I welcomed it with open arms. I was responsible for sauces such as yellow tomato ketchup and a honey bbq sauce, as well as a couple of other ones. I followed the recipes and confirmed with chef that they were to his liking. I spent my Friday prepping for the event. Packed and ready to go we headed for the airport.

 We got to the farm and  unpacked and the first thing that I noticed was the atmosphere. Of course it was on a farm so that was totally different from the kitchen feel but there was more to it. I spoke to Lorna and she described to me that the gatherings they have here in Hilo are more "ohana type." She described it as not necessarily an event but more of a family type gathering.

 After our day it made me realize that not only have I been working at King Street for a year but the people have become my family. Being away from my family use to make me homesick that I would be sad but it's gotten me to a place where I'm happy at work. Not only am I doing something I love but I'm doing it at a place that I've grown fond of with people I've come to admire, respect, and cherish. Work has become my home and my fellow peers have become my family.

 Ohana really is family and they really do live Aloha.

~ Donna Famisan, Line Cook at Alan Wong's Honolulu