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It doesn’t take much for me to get excited about eating in the kitchen. If I see leftover cheesecake batter, I’ll lick the bowl. If I see kalua pork sitting on the stovetop, I’ll take a spoonful. But, if I see taro hummus, I’ll definitely ask Kalen (my boss) because that’s his favorite. But other than that, the food we have in the kitchen is always available for sharing… except one day when seemingly ordinary pineapples were brought in.

Recently picked pineapples in the Waipa Ohana kitchen.

You would think that pineapples were the same around the world, right? Well, that didn’t seem to be the case in Waipa. According to Aunty Dorothy, Waipa has special pineapples that are only grown in two other locations in the entire world. Not only that, they also have white flesh, an edible core, and no sour taste to them at all. They’re called Kaua’i Sugarloaf White Pineapples.

pineapple slice
A Kaua’i Sugarloaf White Pineapple being sliced

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These gems are highly sought out for by tourists and fruit fanatics from all over the world. With such a limited amount of pineapples grown each year, they can sell for up to $30 each, according to And to think that the people I work with every day would even share one without hesitation, I truly believe I am working at one of the most amazing non-profits in the world.

A row of Sugarloafs in the Waipa Garden


So far, I think the people that I have worked with have exhibited such kindness and gratitude towards my efforts in helping in the kitchen and in the gardens. At the beginning of the summer, it was apparent to those that worked at Waipa that we had to always step our game up and help, even if no one asked. While stressful at first, I think this attitude has instilled a better sense of integrity. With week six coming to a close, I think this is rather a good thing. And trust me, the reward is sweet.