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Nov 08, 2017

South Shore Market Celebrates Its First Birthday

One year ago, Ward Village opened the doors to South Shore Market for the first time, marking a new and exciting chapter in the history of our neighborhood.

As a retail concept, this venture was new to Hawai'i. Featuring an array of local vendors, all with a unique brand story and vision, South Shore Market would serve as both a retail, dining, and creative hub for the city. As a true destination for inspiration, it's common to see clusters of young people busily tapping away at their keyboards and connecting with contemporaries about upcoming projects and potential business collaborations.

For many of South Shore Market's merchants, including the hip menswear brand Salvage Public, the appeal of the locale lay in its commitment to community-building. As their first brick-and-mortar location, Salvage Public has become one of the city's most exciting new storefronts. "The area really feels like it's changing. I think it's really becoming a community and that's important to us. I think Hawai'i needs more communities. The past year has been monumental for us and we're really excited to be here and part of this community."

Tanna Dang, owner of the ultra-popular boutique Eden In Love, echoed the community-building sentiment expressed by her neighbors at Salvage Public. "Part of what I love about our space is that it really does feel like a community here and that's important to me. I love being able to walk into South Shore Market and know everyone. I'm able to point customers to other shops and help strengthen local businesses."

Prior to the launch of South Shore Market, Eden In Love was originally located at Ward Warehouse, but made the move to their new digs when the center officially opened last year. Since opening, the store has continued to attract leagues of excited customers seeking out their expertly curated mix of home accessories, clothes, and gifts. According to Dang, the past 12 months proved to be incredibly busy, but rewarding. "The past year has been an exciting time for us and a whirlwind. To think that we made the 'big move' from Ward Warehouse to our new space just a year ago feels insane, but we have lots of plans for the future and love being a part of this community."

For the past few years, Karen Sawicki, an avid diver and exceptionally talented jewelry designer, has been creating some of the most unique and gorgeous jewelry in the city under the label Flotsam & Co. And like Eden In Love, she too made the move from Ward Warehouse to South Shore Market last year. Part of the market's appeal, according to Sawicki, was its commitment to supporting local designers. "I've loved watching this area grow, but one of the things that I love most about South Shore Market is that so many of the businesses are locally owned. Rather than a bunch of the same brands people have on the the mainland, we have a truly local marketplace that offers a more authentic experience of Hawai'i and I think that's really important."

By incorporating fashion shows, live music, and a monthly pau hana party in the form of New Wave Friday, South Shore Market has shown that it's allure extends beyond shopping alone. On the second Friday of every month, we mix it up with a late-night shopping party, compete with food and cocktail specials.

In the year since opening, South Shore Market has also expanded their culinary offerings with the opening of a slew of new restaurants, including the much beloved Scratch Kitchen and Meatery, which served its first dish in April and has been busy ever since. For Brian Chan, owner and chef, the past year has proven to be unforgettable and the future is looking very bright. "We opened in April and have been really fortunate to have found such support in the community. We're always introducing new dishes to the menu and are always looking for fun, creative ways to approach what we do in the kitchen."

While they've only been open a few short weeks, two of the team members behind Nalu Health Bar & Cafe, Chris Pfisterer and Jota Munoz, already feel like Ward Village family. Since their debut at South Shore Market, the team has drawn a crowd of eager customers, hungry for their famous acai bowls and fresh snacks. "We're so stoked to be here at South Shore Market and have been really happy to see all the support. I can't believe the marketplace has already been open a year! Since we opened our doors, we've had such a great response. We've forged a lot of new relationships with customers and have made some great friends in the market and have had a lot of fun. It's been really inspiring watching this community come together and grow and we're looking forward to the future."

Looking back to the past year, it's heartwarming to see South Shore market abuzz with activity. Whether it's watching the dozens of locally owned boutiques and restaurants flourish or reflecting on all of the good times that have been had at New Wave Friday, it's easy to be proud of how far this hub has come. But just like the merchants who open their doors here each and every morning, we won't spend too much time resting on our laurels. The future is ahead of us, and we've got big plans as well.

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