[music] [Garrett Marrero:] So, I’m definitely going back to DC, uh,
to represent Hawaii during National Small Business Week. I think it’s important that Hawaii have
a representative there, and, like I said, it would be my honor to do so. I have dreams of nationals now after having
been selected for the state, and I couldn’t even really tell you what that would feel
like because I think it would just be such an epic accomplishment. It would be a national honor recognizing the
entire team of Maui Brewing. Maui Brewing was founded with a really simple
purpose and that was to create an authentic Hawaiian craft beer. It was really in response to the fact that
there weren’t any options for anyone either visiting the state or anyone who lived in
the state at the time to drink a locally crafted beer, and, as a visitor to Hawaii, I saw an
opportunity to do that…and Maui Brewing was born. [Melanie Oxley Marrero:] My husband and I didn’t come from rich families,
so banks supported us slowly. [Wayne Wong: ] So there were a lot of barriers to them being
successful in the islands, everything from changing legislation to changing the way people
think. [Melanie:] About 4 or 5 years ago now, we were able to
go to the SBA, uhm, through Bank of Hawaii as well, and get some critical loans for our
company in order to take the next step, which is this Kihei location. [Russell Atkins:] The SBA loan allowed the Kihei location to
become a reality. [Garrett:] It took some doing, but, you know, once they
saw our vision and met with us personally, tried the beers, and I walked them around
our old brewery, I think they could see where we wanted to go with Maui Brewing, and they
wanted to be a part of it. [Russell: ] So, in terms of locations, there’s the Kahana
Brew Pub, Kihei Brewery, and subsequently there will be a restaurant location here as
well, Maui Brewing Company in Waikiki, and there will be another one in Kailua
[Melanie:] Currently, we have right around 400, 400 plus employees…and by the end of 2018, we should
have 800, 800 plus employees. [Greg Knue:] One of the products that SBA has, it’s called
the 504 Program, and that enables small businesses to purchase commercial real estate for their
business operations. [Garrett:] And they helped finance this facility, both
building and land, as well as the equipment that went in here. It was one of the largest privately owned
projects in the state at the time. [Russell:] Having that one opportunity and the one door
open allowed for Maui Brewing Company to become the size it has and to be dedicated and focused
to the sustainability that it has as well. [Garrett:] You know, sustainability is a huge part of
what we do here at Maui Brewing. Being able to be grid independent in the not
too distant future, for us, is a significant goal. So, that’s really exciting, to be, you know,
really at the front of sustainability in craft beer. [Wayne:] Garrett came. He had a vision. Authenticity is really important to him, and
what that means is that utilizing local ingredients, utilizing local talent, and really being a
part of the community. [Garrett:] So, as much as we’re growing beverage production,
we’re also on this side growing the restaurant aspect, and the reason we love that so much
is it gives us that direction connection to the people that are drinking our beer. And we get to talk story with them, get their
opinions on what the newest beer was or what we should bring out in a can next, and really
have that connection where we can not only learn more about what we do and how it influences
the community, but how we can be a better asset to the community. [Greg:] I nominated Garrett Marrero and Melanie Oxley,
the owners of Maui Brewing Company, as the Small Business Persons of the Year for Hawaii
because of their innovativeness, their strong track record, their tremendous growth over
the last few years, and the potential for their continued expanded growth, as well as
their commitment to the community. [Garrett: ] Winning the state is a great honor. I actually remember the day exactly. I was leaving here from work, and I got a
call from Jane Sawyer, who is the Hawaii State Director for the SBA, and she had given me
the news. Still pretty emotional. I, I smile a lot when I think about it. It was a feeling of joy, uh, significant joy
because I had never even thought about it, and it was just, it was recognizing us for
all the work we’ve done. And Melanie and I work very hard, but I gotta
make sure that you know that we are supported by a team of over 360 people at this point
that make us who we are. Um, and without that, without the support
of the SBA, without people like Greg Knue and Galen and Jim and everyone at Bank of
Hawaii, Maui Brewing Company would still be a dream of mine as opposed to a reality for
all to drink.