BoxLunch Vendor: Chef Hana
Chef Hana will be our second BoxLunch vendor of the series. From Indonesia, Chef Hana has been a food service operator ever since her college days, owning first a restaurant, and a marketplace food stall. She moved to Hawaii where her first vendor experience was for Balinese Night at the Hawaii State Art Museum this past March. “I enjoyed doing it,” she says of the event, “and thought it would be a great to connect Indonesian culture with other cultures in Hawaii.” You may also have seen her at the Makiki Farmer’s Market and the Made in Hawaii Festival.
How did you come up with the concept for your business?
Well, I want to bottle our Indonesian peanut sauce. Indonesian peanut sauce is different from like a Thai peanut sauce. It is not easy to make and everyone enjoys it, so we want to bottle it and sell it here. But first, I need to get to know the local people face to face, so we can introduce the sauce.
I want to bring variety to Hawaii. So the concept would be introducing the hidden treasure of Indonesian cuisine. It really is like a hidden treasure, and is different on every island. Rendang is the most famous Indonesian dish. We have curry (gulai), such as the Thai and Indians do, but we use spices that are different.
Hawaii has many different food cultures here, and Indonesian food is a community food, and I want to connect it with the cultures already in the Hawaii community.
What are some of the biggest/unexpected challenges you face with your business?
The limitation of space; sometimes it is not enough space, or it is just not affordable. Also finding people who know how to cook (Indonesian food). We are still trying to become a part of the community culture here; I would love to train people in cooking Indonesian food!
What are some of the most rewarding aspects of your business?
The satisfaction when they first try Indonesian food, and being able to introduce Indonesian treasure to the world. Sometimes, it’s not about making money. I would like to make money, but I’m passionate about what my culture is. I’m proud about introducing Indonesian culture to the world.