Sometimes we are lucky enough to be a part of something truly special. For team Coconut Bowls and 100 valued recipe creatives, it started with the co-creation of the Vegan Bowls cookbook. With many humbling reviews, "it’s like a bible for good, healthy, yummy food”, we make a pretty epic team. Through a combination of conscious planning and generosity, from our team and the many brands who completely spoiled us, the second Coconut Bowls retreat came together on the North Shore of Hawaii. It was nothing short of incredible.
It started with a casual meet and greet on Thursday, on the magnificent North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. Soon after, we did what foodies do best by taking our eco-friendly bags to the local farmers market to stock up on the freshest tropical fruit and vegetables that we could find. The formal welcome was during the sunset barbecue picnic hosted in collaboration with our friends at Primal Kitchen, to the sweet sound of the Ukulele, from local Hawaiian musician, Kaipo Wilmeth. We enjoyed the mouth-watering taste of portobello mushroom, tempeh and Beyond Meat burgers, all infused with the flavors of Primal Kitchen marinades and topped with their healthy ketchup and mustard. Our friends in Australia and Europe are waiting for you, Primal! As the simmering sun set we toasted to friendship, adventure and good fortune with Brew Dr Kombucha.
On Friday morning, unfortunately, beach yoga was canceled due to an unexpected downpour. No one seemed to mind too much as we instead started our morning at The Sunrise Shack for a DIY smoothie bowl breakfast served in their custom branded Coconut Bowls. The Sunrise Shack team surprised us with live acoustic music from local Connor who had created a coco theme song for us! After our superfood fix, we braved a slippery Waimea Waterfall Hike - the more mud, the more fun - complete with group selfies and ear to ear smiles. Build your own Buddha Bowls were up next. In traditional Buddha Bowl fashion, it was leftovers for lunch using what remained from our plant-based Primal feast the night before - only this time we topped everything with Navitas nuts and seeds! We spent our evening immersed in the Hawaiian tradition of Lei Making with local experts Poe Haku while North Shore's Beet Box Cafe kindly catered our plant-based family dinner. We enjoyed this to a spectacular backdrop of the world-famous Pipeline beach.
Saturday morning started with morning mindfulness in the form of zen meditation, ensuring we were truly present to enjoy all the retreat had to offer. The prettiest pink Pitaya Plus Smoothie Bowls followed as our guests again built their own - topped with more fruit, superfoods and the most delicious crunchy Pure Elizabeth granola. As the guests learned about the background of Pitaya Plus, and the amazing work they provide for single mothers in Central America, we took some time to share ideas and inspiration. Given the shared values and creativity of our community, this was not hard to do. Our afternoon was spent at the incredible Waimea Bay which included swimming, Picnik matcha, frisbee, music, Karma Nuts snacks, and paddle-boarding. Organic Amazon's delicious Acai-to-go kept us refreshed in true Aloha fashion.
Our final day began with self-compassion and gratitude meditation, ensuring we were all leaving with grateful and fulfilled hearts. Our final supper, or should we say breakfast, was hosted by premium Acai company Tambor, who came to teach us about Acai and the precious Brazilian Amazon. While they presented a behind the scenes look at the Acai industry, our trusty Vitamix blended two variations of Tambor Acai for guests, both complete with a dash of Ripple's delicious pea milk. The topping of choice was Artisana Organic nut butters (hello, cashew!) along with our remaining tropical Hawaiian fruit - nothing went to waste. We spent our final hour crying, oops I mean packing, which was made easier as we sipped and munched on the remaining goodies, including Sol-ti drinks and Ohi Superfood Bars - which allegedly found their way into many bags for the plane home.
We want to give a special Mahalo to our co-creators and now new friends after spending four days together. We could not have had any more fun. Thank you to each of you for bringing your unique and valued personalities. Chris and Vic, the hilarious couple from @ehvegan won the fun-loving award #couplegoals. Aussie expat @rachelsteenland brought her vibrant personality and had us in laughing fits for days - we know why her audience loves her. The kind, conscious, passionate and down-to-earth Michelle from @vegan, Jess AKA @choosingchia and Stephanie from @veganwhat, made friends with everyone and were always a joy to be around. @foodbymaria was never far from the action and spoiled us with the best guac ever. And our youngest guest, the adventurous and kind Kiely from @thekindcoconut, impressed us with her speedy movie-making talents! Last but not least is our amazing photographer, Amber Mozo, who shared her local knowledge and captured the entire retreat so beautifully.
As with most good parties, no one went home empty handed! In fact, everyone went home with an extra bag or box full of goodies including bottles from Hydroflask, bracelets from Pura Vida, coffee cups from Joco, reusable Stasher Bags, supplements from Ora Organic, Tahini from Seed + Mill, Knives from Kamikoto, and an endless supply of Coconut Bowls goodies, including our brand new Boho Bowl collection and our Taste Without Waste Reusable Bags! We parted with big hugs, new friend feels and heavy hearts - grateful for everyone who supported this event. Grateful for everyone who was a part of it. Grateful to share the Hawaiian homeland and incredible sunsets. Grateful for it all. We have had so many people ask how they can attend the next Coconut Bowls retreat - if you have suggestions for how we can host such an awesome retreat with thousands of people, so everyone can come, please connect with us!