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Makawao’s Rodeo General Puts Our Community First

Makawao’s Rodeo General Puts Our Community First
December 4, 2021 Aysha Jarnesky

Rodeo General Store located in the heart of Makawao town has undergone restoration since it’s new ownership in November of 2019. Significant enhancements have proved this historical upcountry staple a valuable source of sustainability, convenience and community. Locals and visitors alike gather daily for coffee, fresh local meats, produce, groceries and gourmet grinds. Whether an item is Maui made, Maui grown, or Maui raised- here’s why Rodeo General Store is proud to support and serve locals from the aina up.

They contribute to local economic growth

One of the many pono things about Rodeo General Store is that it acts as a hub that leverages and cycles economic growth through the community.  Meat from Lopes Farm llc is sold here.  Lopes Farm is a small range island ranch that collects over 44,000 lbs of unused produce weekly from local restaurants and grocery stores (including Rodeo General) to feed to farm animals. This helps with the prevention of excess waste filling our small island landfills.  Okoa Farms, located in Kula, provides much of the produce sold at Rodeo General.  Customers can even order produce from Okoa farms and pick up orders at Rodeo General on Mondays (see Okoafarms.com for details).  Many other small local vendors and community members can be seen dropping off goods daily to be sold as part of the store’s grocery selection.  Abundance is continuously cycled inward and support local is simply the lifestyle. 

Owners Ian Burke and Patrick Dours won small business of the year award in December of 2020 for keeping the communities needs in mind when restoring Rodeo General Store as a place where quality meets value. Ian says it’s important to him as co-owner for the store to practice “the handshake diet”.

Owners Ian Burke and Patrick Dours

“It’s similar to what you might have heard as the 50 or 100 mile diet, but since we’re a tiny island, the handshake diet is a goal to be able to shake hands with all our vendors and farmers and to know them by name. We have over 50 made on Maui vendors from grocery to produce to meat, our meat comes from right up the street, and the fishermen call us straight from the boat! We’re really happy to be supporting local, we source for local first every time.”

Ian noted that upon acquiring the store, he and Patrick asked community members what they wished to see happen for Rodeo General.

“It was really helpful to us because everyone we talked to down to a person said ‘W’ed just like our neighborhood grocery store back, and be able to make a really good dinner from things you can buy here at a decent price. That’s what we wanna do is quality home-made food at a reasonable price for local people. And showcase made-on-maui things for the visitors.”

– Ian Burke, Co-Owner Rodeo General Store

They serve nutritious locally sourced take-out meals all day long

You can find Ian and Patrick on any given day cheffin’ it up in the deli, along with Chef David Diller and deli staff.  David shared a few core beliefs of the kitchen.

“We provide fresh local produce and meat, we serve a variety of great dishes always made from scratch, we do everything in small batches so the attention to detail is there. We integrate local products in fresh cooked meals all day long.”

The chefs as well as staff take pride in each meal prepared and the proof is in the way community members stop in all throughout the day to inquire on what’s cooking in the kitchen! Breakfast, lunch and dinner is served from 7am to 7pm and Rodeo General Store is a routine stop for residents on their daily commutes. Thus they honor the importance of reliability and having readily available meals daily.

Indian Dish Prepared By Chef David Diller Every Monday

They are pet-friendly and support The Maui Humane Society

The tight-knit connected community vibe of Rodeo General Store is amplified by its love for neighborhood pets! A fluffy grey-ish cat lounges atop the cashier’s counter named Puff and he shows up to ‘work’ every morning and leaves every night. He, as well as many neighborhood dogs and pups come in for a treat and are welcomed by staff on a daily basis. Pet owners love to stroll over to Rodeo General with their pets each morning where they get a piece of bacon and get to mingle with other neighborhood pets! What’s more, at the cashier’s counter you can actually purchase tiny Puff stickers and the profits are donated to The Maui Humane Society! The pet friendly atmosphere draws locals closer and gives tourists a delightful surprise.

Puff The Rodeo Cat
Puff Stickers

Rodeo General Store continues to bounce back from any setbacks felt by the pandemic and is consistent in its support for the community. As icing on the cake, employees say they are treated well here and were able to rely on employment even whilst going through the pandemic. Owners as well as staff say that they know Rodeo General Store is special, and more than your average run-of-the-mill convenience store. It’s thee community gathering place of Makawao, rich with history, diversity and the spirit of Aloha.

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