Newly Renovated Cafeteria at Maui Memorial Medical Center Reopens as Café Laulima
* Updated November 17, 9:28 AM
Maui Memorial Medical Center recently celebrated its newly renovated cafeteria, now named Café Laulima, with employees and providers.
Café Laulima, was the winning name idea submitted by MMMC OB Nurse Laura Schick and voted on by employees and providers in June when the first phase of renovations were completed.
In Laura’s winning submission, she shared, “Laulima means ‘many hands working together in cooperation’ which is what we do at MMMC to deliver the best patient experience and care. Gatherings around food are always a way to celebrate, even if those gatherings are on hold for now. Our new cafeteria can be a place we gather to eat and celebrate the many hands that work together at the hospital and in our community.”
The remodeled food service area features new, healthy food and menu options including a panini and pizza bar, hot service area which includes daily vegetarian and soup options, and grab-and-go items like prepacked and individually wrapped sandwiches, salads, chia seed pudding cups and other single serving snacks and desserts. It also includes a built-in service area designed to be used for a salad bar, by employee request, once COVID restrictions are lifted.
The redesigned dining room area features professional photography by the hospital’s very own talented employees, Cook Scott Idemoto and Histology Technician Jase Kalawaia.
“I was blown away by their photos and just the pure talent of these two employees,” said Maui Health’s Chief Operating Officer Wade Ebersole. “I think it is really special that we get to feature our employees’ photography in Café Laulima as it truly represents the gathering and celebration of each of the unique individuals and talents that contribute to providing high-quality, compassionate care to our community.”
Idemoto shares that while he does enjoy photography, his passion is really in culinary arts where he has more than 26 years of experience including at Hāliʻimaile General Store, Gannon’s Restaurant, Mañana Garage, PacificO, and the Grand Wailea.
Kalawaia has worked for Clinical Labs Hawaiʻi for about 16 years and works in the Pathology Department at Maui Memorial Medical Center as a Histology Tech. Photography is not only a passion, but a side gig for Jase. His photographs, which include beautiful natural landscape photos taken across Maui, and can be found on Instagram under “JaseKellyMaui Photography”.
“I am humbled and honored to have my photography displayed in the new cafeteria,” said Idemoto. “It is kind of crazy to see my personal work hung up on the wall every day when I come to work.”
The grand reopening festivities also featured complimentary food samples, games, prizes and more activities.
At this time, Café Laulima is only open to Maui Health employees and providers and offers them breakfast, lunch and dinner service.
“I am beyond proud of our dietary and nutrition team here at MMMC and also at Kula Hospital and Lānaʻi Community Hospital,” said Lisa Husch, Maui Health’s director of food and nutrition services. “Throughout the pandemic and amidst all the renovation work here at Café Laulima, we’ve worked really hard to ensure we’re following all protocols and state and county COVID-19 restrictions to keep everyone safe, while continuing to provide delicious and nutritious meals to our healthcare heroes.”