Eat Like a Locovore in Hilo

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Looking for a unique, feel-good-about-shopping experience?  Would you like to support local farmers, ranchers or artisans?  If so, check out The Locovore Store in downtown Hilo.

A “locovore” is a person who eats food grown locally, whenever possible, but The Locovore Store has taken this concept to another level, offering skin care products, jewelry and hand-crafted items. The resulting store is part grocery store, part gift store.

Why buy locally-grown produce? Well, it can help keep dollars within our local economy, first off.  Eating locally encourages and supports farmers. Because it is grown and picked on-island, produce and meats will probably also taste better than food that has been stored and refrigerated. That shorter transit time means that farmers can allow produce to ripen, rather than pick it when it is still green.

For instance, I was happy to remember how a fresh strawberry tastes when picked at its prime, rather than refrigerated.

Lastly, it’s less likely to contain preservatives, since it didn’t need to travel a long way.


Shopping the locovore way also reminds me that shopping can be a pleasure—whether it is in a store like The Locovore Store or a farmers market. There are enjoyable aesthetics involved, such as smelling and touching fresh produce. You’ll also find interesting foods you may not have tried before.

The décor of the store is a large part of its charm. It reminds me of the old-fashioned grocery stores on the plaza of my childhood hometown. Produce is attractively displayed next to a section of honey and coffee; spices and flour are closer to the register.

If you are a fan of grass-fed cattle, grain-free lamb or hormone-free chicken, Locovore has you covered in their frozen meat freezers.

There is also a section of interesting books as well as beautiful jewelry for those needing to do a little more than grocery shopping.

The staff is friendly.


Behind the register is a calendar showing when produce and meats are due to arrive. Some items sell out quickly, so give them a call if you are after a particular cut of meat or produce.

I picked up a few cuts of lamb and we enjoyed some loin chops a few nights ago. Here is a tasty rub for lamb chops. It made just enough for two large loin chops.

(Adapted from Bon Appétit)

1 tsp. ground coffee

½ tsp. brown sugar


½ tsp. chili powder

¼ tsp. dried oregano

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

¼ tsp. smoked paprika

Combine in a small cup. Lightly spray chops with olive oil and coat with mixture; rub in. Grill meat to desired doneness.

The Locovore Store is located at 60 Kamehameha Ave. in downtown Hilo. Open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Sundays. (808) 965-2362.

Fresh tomatoes from The Locavore Store. Photo credit: Marla Walters

Interior of The-Locovore Store in Hilo. Photo credit: Marla Walters.

Produce at The Locovore Store. Photo credit: Marla Walters

Produce, poultry and meat atThe Locovore Store. Photo credit: Marla Walters

Varieties of honey, The Locovore Store. Photo credit: Marla Walters

Lamb loin chop from The Locovore Store. Photo credit: Marla Walters

The Locovore Store. Photo credit: Marla Walters

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