After giving birth to her son Maddox in 2011, founder of Nāpili FLO (Fresh Local Organic) Farm, Monica Bogar transformed her family property into a sustainable, organic farm as a way to support her family. Today, the family-owned and operated brand sells artisanal all-natural kimchi and other fermented products that are vegan, organic and gluten-free, all handcrafted on Maui.
Monica first learned to make kimchi from her mom and aunty, who taught her their natural fermentation techniques using no live cultures or probiotics. These days, she updates her family recipe by making it vegan-friendly and using Himalayan pink salt, which offers 84 trace minerals. In 2020, Nāpili FLO Farm was awarded first place in two categories at the Good Food Awards for its Pineapple Ginger Tumeric Sauerkraut and Gut Shots–both of which offer probiotic benefits such as aiding in digestion and promoting heart health. The natural fermentation process used to create these products also cultivates micro-biomes, or good gut bacteria.
Furthermore, Monica buys her ingredients directly from Maui farms to ensure the freshest produce possible, plus her products never come in contact with plastic. Chemicals typically leach into products that are fermented in plastic vessels.
Despite its rapid growth, the Valley Isle brand remains committed to supporting other local farmers and building a healthier community without compromising the earth. How they give back:
Nāpili FLO Farm is a member and on the board of Hawaii’s Farmers Union United-Lahaina Chapter. The company also collaborates with Maui Preparatory Academy students on a number of farming initiatives from helping grow their raised organic garden beds and compost bins to building an aquaponics system on their campus. Monica and her small but mighty team works with students on their end of year startup and value-added products projects.
The brand also collaborates with GoFarm Hawaii and Maui Food Innovation Center–as a part of the University of Hawai’i Maui College, it is Hawai’i’s first in-state business incubator which serves to foster and accelerate the growth and education of agribusinesses and food entrepreneur–to assist future farmers as well as added-value products startups. Additionally, it serves as a mentor for the Farm Apprentice Mentoring (FAM) Program.