our kaka'ako

MEET OUR MAKERS: Geoff Seideman, Honolulu Beerworks

“Especially on Oahu, being the only independent brewery, we have that luxury of saying, ‘Okay let’s experiment, let’s have fun.’"

Four years ago, Geoff Seideman’s wife, Charmayne, gave him a home brew kit for Christmas.

It was the start of an obsession.

Today, Geoff and Charmayne are the owners of Honolulu Beerworks, Oahu's premier, independent brewpub. Our Kaka‘ako is a long way from Philadelphia, where Geoff grew up. He took a Hawai‘i vacation 15 years ago with Charmayne and they left the frigid weather of the Jersey Shore behind ever since.

With a taste for home brewing, Geoff started volunteering at local breweries. He became the assistant brewer of Aloha Beer's Dave Campbell for 2 1/2 years.

When the opportunity to open his own brewpub in Our Kaka‘ako came along, he used all of his skills—his Kapiolani Community College culinary degree, his construction background, even his experience as a certified mechanic—to build Beerworks from the ground up.

“I was kind of selfish, in a way. I built a place I wanted to go drink at and hang out at. I was hoping everybody else would feel the same way.”

Using retrofitted garages and warehouses in Portland and San Diego as inspiration, he transformed a boarded up, Kaka‘ako warehouse into Honolulu Beerworks, mostly by himself. He built interior walls, a grain room, a walk in cooler and a massive bar. It took about nine months from demo to completion.

Today, Honolulu Beerworks is open and is perfecting the art of brewing special release beers. For instance, when Kamehameha Schools asked Honolulu Beerworks to create a special beer for their Mahi‘ai gala, supporting local farmers, they created a Mahi‘ai Cezanne. It used local oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines, lemongrass and Big Island honey. The Mahi‘ai Cezanne is now one of their number one sellers.

“Out of that little collaboration came one of our flagship beers which highlights local ingredients.”

And collaboration is one of the things Geoff loves about being one of the founding makers of Our Kaka‘ako.

“Everybody’s supporting everybody else, which is great. We feel lucky that we’re in this type of neighborhood and community. We’re kind of on the ground floor. Not a lot has been built out yet, but it will be.”

What started in an abandoned warehouse is now growing. Honolulu Beerworks is in the midst of an expansion to increase capacity for future distribution to craft pubs, restaurants and hotels. Geoff’s come a long way since unwrapping that home brew kit not so long ago.

“In five years we want to be canning, we want to have a world class barrel aging program. We want to be Oahu’s craft brewery.”


Learn how to pour the perfect beer with the trusty instructions below. Download it, take a photo of your perfect pour, hashtag #meetourmakers and get entered to win a $50 Honolulu Beerworks gift card. 

Winners will be announced the second week of November.


  • Geoff says brewing is 90% cleaning and sanitation, 10% actual brewing.
  • During construction, Geoff hauled 30 tons of garbage and 20 tons of concrete and dirt out of the old warehouse.
  • The Honolulu Beerworks name and logo are based on Kaka‘ako’s old Honolulu Ironworks building. A photo of it hangs above the bar.
  • The pub’s brew master and Geoff’s mentor, Dave Campbell, has 25 years of brewing experience.
  • Geoff and Dave use a seven-barrel brewing system. This gives them the flexibility to experiment and have 10-12 flavors on tap.

Honolulu Beerworks
328 Cooke Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 589-2337

MEET OUR MAKERS: Matt and Roxanne Ortiz, Wooden Wave

“There was something about him, where I think I knew before he did that we were a good team.”

Matt:“Let’s be honest, I was kinda clueless. (laughs)”

How does a married couple not only work together but also make art together? We asked Matt and Roxanne Ortiz, the founders of Wooden Wave, a creative consulting company. The couple has been married for three years, but met nine years ago in a figure painting class at the University of Hawai‘i. There, they helped each other with their art homework and surfed together. A friendship grew.

Roxy: “I think that’s what makes working together easier. The kind of friendship that we have is the basis of the relationship so we can bring humor to our work and not take ourselves too seriously. Fun comes first.”

After graduating from Kamehameha Schools, Matt went to the animation program at Loyola Marymount University with an interest in computer generated drafting and design. He missed the warm waters of Hawai‘i and moved back home, graduating with a bachelor’s in printmaking from UH.

Roxy graduated from Lahainaluna on Maui with an interest in painting and ceramics. After attending Oregon State she came back to UH to join their glass blowing program. She also majored in sculpture before graduating with a BA in drawing and painting. 

They began working on paintings and projects together after graduation. Matt’s passion for drawing and Roxy’s interest in painting, color and 3D work complemented each other. Where Matt’s style celebrated the hand-drawn structure of illustrations, Roxy liked to reward the viewer with the little details, while simultaneously paying attention to the big picture.

They started their first company, Vers Hawaii, but recently rebranded to become Wooden Wave. They based the name off the very first drawing they ever collaborated on. It was an illustration of a wooden wave comprised of tree grain, roots and leaves as spray. 

Matt: “It always stuck with us as one of our favorite images. When we were thinking about rebranding we wanted a name that represented that essence of that wild nature, that tactile-ness—you know we love working with our hands.”

Roxy: “In Hawai‘i there’s this strong idea of Mauka and Makai and we really liked those two aspects. So “Wooden” is Mauka and “Wave” refers to the ocean or makai and our love of surfing.”

Inspired by nature, the ocean, surf, and skate, Wooden Wave has been commissioned to do a variety of projects, from murals to art shows. But their signature work is their imaginative treehouse murals. They have a passion for creating whimsical environments that feel like places people would want to live in. Their art is about possibilities and touching the inner child of the viewer. Best of all, kids love it.

Through compromise and creativity, the couple is making beautiful things happen in Our Kaka‘ako.

Matt: “It’s got this vibrancy, this acceptance of creatives. As artists to be put in a place that has that sort of feeling is amazing. It allows you to feel comfortable and interact with other artists in the community.”

Roxy: “Because we’re a small city, I feel like people say ‘Oh, nothing’s happening on Oahu.’ But in this neighborhood I just feel that’s so far from the truth. If anything, this is the one spot in Hawai‘i that is really moving forward and taking its place as a really creative and innovative hub in the Pacific. Because people do have ideas here and we shouldn’t have to move to the mainland to realize our dreams or create big ideas.”


Show us your coloring skills with this downloadable Wooden Wave DIY Treehouse. Download, color, post and hashtag #meetourmakers to be entered to win a painting from Wooden Wave. 

Winners will be announced the second week of November. 


  • Matt did an internship with Warner Brothers in Australia on the set of “Superman Returns” when he was learning about storyboarding.
  • The “Wooden Wave” illustration was the first screen print Matt and Roxy ever printed on a shirt.
  • Roxy mixes all the paints.
  • Matt and Roxy participated in the inaugural POW WOW Hawaii in 2011, a gathering of local and international artists in Our Kaka‘ako.
  • Matt and Roxy were one of the first artists to set up shop in Lana Lane, a collaborative workspace of artists, musicians, filmmakers and designers in Our Kaka‘ako.

Wooden Wave
327 Lana Lane
Honolulu, HI 96813

MEET OUR MAKERS: Ed Morita, Highway Inn

“One of my first memories of Highway Inn was when we would go to the restaurant in Waipahu. Sometimes my dad would order the fried akule. Even as a little kid I remember looking at the fish and seeing the eyeball sticking out.”

Sometimes second chances are even sweeter.

Just ask Ed Morita, pastry chef at Highway Inn. Ed began his career at the Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Kapiolani Community College, graduating with a pastry and culinary degree. He went on to apprentice with Chef Ernst Hiltbrand, worked at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, and became the executive pastry chef at Bay Harbor Yacht Club in Michigan at age 28. Ed’s culinary future was bright when he moved home to work as a pastry chef at Longhi’s Ala Moana. 

Then one day, that all changed.

In 2009, while cleaning a piece of equipment, Ed’s right hand was accidentally crushed. Luckily, there were no broken bones, so Ed thought he’d be back to work in no time. But he did suffer extensive nerve damage. After 15 months on worker’s compensation and two years of surgeries and rehab, his insurance company deemed him unfit to work. Ed thought his career was over. 

Ed moved on. He became a photographer, food writer, blogger and social media director. Even with those successes, he realized he was happier when he was cooking. 

“I decided that regardless of what all the doctors and lawyers said, I was somehow going to get back into the cooking field.”

In 2012, Monica Toguchi, owner of Highway Inn, asked Ed to help with their grand opening party in Our Kaka‘ako. Even with residual nerve damage in his hand, Ed battled his fears and got back into the kitchen. He’s been the pastry chef at Highway Inn ever since. 

It was the perfect fit for Chef Ed. Highway Inn was famous for making traditional Hawaiian and local-style food like laulau, kālua pig and squid lūʻau for more than 65 years. For Ed, being the restaurant’s first pasty chef was an opportunity for creativity.

“One of my goals at Highway Inn was to take these traditional Hawaiian ingredients and use them in desserts that no one had ever thought of before. I use a lot of poi in my baking—several of the cakes that I do are based off of poi. My poi ‘uala crunch is a variation of pumpkin crunch. It’s a lot of fun playing around with these ingredients and thinking of new ways of utilizing them. Things like taro, ‘uala, ‘ulu, bananas, pineapple, mountain apples, and liliko‘i.”

Ed fits right in amongst a community of makers and creative thinkers. He thinks it’s interesting that he now uses traditional Hawaiian ingredients that many have forgotten about in an urban neighborhood… until now.

“Just having Highway Inn in Kaka‘ako opens me up to create a new twist on different desserts that normally people at the Waipahu restaurant might not think to try.”

It seems appropriate that Ed is starting over in a neighborhood that is also building towards a new beginning.


Make your own Poi-‘Uala Crunch. Download the recipe, post your culinary masterpiece, hashtag #meetourmakers and you will be entered to win a $50 Highway Inn gift card. 

Winners will be announced the second week of November.

Poi-‘Uala Crunch Recipe Poi-‘Uala Crunch Recipe


  • Highway Inn has been making Hawaiian food since 1947 at their Waipahu Location. The Our Kaka‘ako location opened in 2013.
  • Chef Ed is also a writer and photographer for Frolic Hawaii and is the official blogger of the Hawai‘i Food and Wine Festival.
  • Chef Ed has a tattoo that reads, “Match Tough.” This was a term used by the chef he apprenticed with. It refers to the idea that a pastry chef has to do everything well.
  • Every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, from 9am to 1pm, you can watch them wrap laulau by hand at Highway Inn Kaka‘ako.

Highway Inn
680 Ala Moana Blvd. #105
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 954-4955

MEET OUR MAKERS: Tamara Rigney & Courtney Monahan, Paiko

“The inspiration for the name was, I was working out of my grandmother’s house on Paiko Beach. It was just kind of an homage to my neighborhood, where I’m from. Giving gratitude to her for letting me use that space and get my business going.”

With a background in landscape architecture, Tamara Rigney wasn’t supposed to be doing this. But the co-owner and creative director of Paiko always had a love for exploring the jungles and trails, looking for tropical plants. She began doing flower arrangements for weddings and corporate accounts out of her grandmother’s home. And when she needed help, she called on a friend.

“I leave all the floral arranging and designing up to Tamara. At Paiko, I’m more of the plant lady. I’ve always had plants growing up.”

Courtney Monahan is the co-owner and shop manager at Paiko. Tamara met her when she was dating a friend of Courtney’s. While Tamara’s relationship with Courtney’s friend didn’t last, their friendship did.

In December, 2012, Tamara opened Paiko in Our Kaka‘ako in an effort to expand her workspace, create a retail shop, and to create a gathering place for workshops. Tamara and Courtney were one of the founding makers of the neighborhood.

Tamara: “There was so much energy in the neighborhood back then. And there still is. It’s just everything was a lot rawer. We just kind of fed off of each other’s energy.”

It was a lot of hard work. Tamara and Courtney began to learn how difficult it was to start and sustain a business in Hawai‘i where shipping costs and materials weren’t cheap. But their partnership helped them get through it. While Tamara focused on design, Courtney focused on the day-to-day logistics.

Tamara: “We complement each other.”

Courtney: “When you look at a plant you see the design of it.”

Tamara: “And Courtney figures out how to make it live. (laughs)”

Courtney: “Tamara makes it beautiful and I make sure it’s watered. (laughs)”

But Tamara and Courtney didn’t want to run a traditional flower shop. They created flower arrangements with an eye for modern design. They introduced experimental designs like woodland terrariums, staghorn ferns and kokedama balls. And most importantly, they ran community workshops that educated people about plants.

Courtney: “It’s really easy to sell someone something cool, but to have them actually in the shop making it with their hands and being able to have a conversation about how they’re going to care for it is really crucial.”

As for being one of the founding makers of the Our Kaka‘ako community, they’re grateful for the support.

Courtney: “It hasn’t only helped us grow, it helped us be. We were able to see what needs people had because we had such great community support from the beginning. People were coming in and almost thanking us for being there.”

Today, Paiko is growing. They’ve completely renovated the store with a new workshop area. They’ve added a coffee bar hosted by Brue Bar. They’re also bringing in new merchandise focusing on urban gardening. They’re even thinking about taking people on exploration hikes to find their own plants and wildflowers. It’s an exciting time in their evolution.

Tamara: “In a far away part of my mind I always did envision a store like this. But I didn’t think it would happen so soon. It’s like this far away dream that came to life.”


Get crafty with the Kokedama Ball. Download the instructions below, post your creation, hashtag #meetourmakers and get entered to win a $50 Paiko gift card.  

Winners will be announced the second week of November.


Kokedama Ball Kokedama Ball


  • Many people tried to convince Tamara to call it "Paiko Studios" but she preferred the cleaner and simpler, "Paiko."
  • Tamara graduated from Kalani High School. Courtney graduated from Kaiser High School.
  • As a child, Courtney wanted to be a hair stylist. As she grew older, she wanted to join the Peace Corps.
  • Tamara still does flower arrangements for weddings and corporate accounts. Courtney also teaches pilates.

675 Auahi Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 988-2165

Present Project - Sandy Lundburg and Keith Tallet


Keith Tallett & Sally Lundburg moved back home to the Big Island 10 years ago to raise their daughter. They have since become co-founders of the art collective AGGROculture, manage a rural homestead and farm-stay on the Hamakua Coast. Their art focuses on shifting cultural landscapes through sculpture, installation, painting, photography and video.

Keith is a second-generation surfboard shaper and tattoo practitioner with formal training in printmaking and painting. Sally is a documentary filmmaker and photographer, drawing her inspiration from DIY survivalists and process art. Together they create art between natural and artificial elements. 

Both artists explore themes of community and individualism, ecological and social invasions, and the accumulation of cultural capital. 

Picture and information credit: Present Project 

For more information on Present Project or the artists, go to: www.presentproject.org


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