Beyond the golden shores of Waikiki Beach and the bustling shops of Kalakaua Avenue that visitors usually flock to, there's so much more to add to the agenda — including a visit to Kahuku Farms.
Located on the North Shore of Oahu, Kahuku Farms is a four-generation working farm with a lovely farm-to-table café.
Here's a glimpse of what it's like to visit.
Start your trip at The Farm Café
As you drive along Kamehameha Highway on Oahu's North Shore, you'll eventually come across a pale-yellow building off to the side of the road — that's Kahuku Farms' Farm Café.
Pull into the dirt parking lot and take a peek at the tasty menu of fresh smoothies, entrées, and desserts.
My go-tos are the farm pizza (ciabatta with mozzarella, tomatoes, eggplant, and a basil-macadamia pesto), the acai bowl (made with locally grown berries), and a box of liliko'i(passion fruit) mochi. But you really can't go wrong with anything on the menu.
As you wait for your food to be freshly made, snag a picnic table or lay out a blanket on the grassy lawn for a meal under the Hawaii sunshine.
Make sure to walk the publicly accessible grounds
Once your belly is full and your taste buds are satisfied, take a walk around the grounds.
There are all sorts of plants (most with labeled signs nearby) in the publicly accessible area — from kale and mint to acai and dragonfruit.
You might even get a glimpse of a few of Hawaii's stray chickens wandering through the rows with you.
If you have time, take the behind-the-scenes tour
For an even more in-depth look at Kahuku Farms, there's a one-hour behind-the-scenes tour on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 1 p.m. It costs $50 a person, and I think it's quite a treat.
You get to explore the public grounds alongside a knowledgeable tour guide and sneak a peek at the farms' commercial lands.
Instead of one tree of each variety here and there, the commercial property boasts acres of crops. Kahuku Farm's main sellers are Laie gold papaya, Japanese eggplant, Brazilian dwarf apple bananas, and kalo(taro).
Along the way, you get to sample loads of fruits straight off the tree, like star apples and cacao fresh out of the pod, and try delicious creations like milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and cacao nibs.
I always grab some farm-fresh goodies on the way out
By the end of a visit to the farm, I inevitably want to buy some fresh goodies.
Back at the café, you'll find a few shelves filled with Kahuku Farms grown and made products.
Snag some tropical fruits along with packaged products like passion-fruit butter, fresh chocolate, and honey-mango body butter.
Fashion brands using AI to analyze trends could 'completely transform the creative process,' a consultant says
Artificial intelligence is helping fashion brands understand consumer behaviors and demands.
The startups Spate and Fashable use AI insights to identify style trends for clients.
Fashable's cofounder told BI he envisions brands and customers using AI to cocreate in the future.
This article is part of "Build IT," a series about digital tech and innovation trends that are disrupting industries.
Artificial intelligence looks poised to change fashion at blistering speed. A 2023 report from the management consultant McKinsey & Company estimated that generative AI could add up to $275 billion to the industry's operating profits over the next three to five years.
Industry leaders seem similarly optimistic. The Business of Fashion and McKinsey said that in a survey they conducted, about 73% of fashion executives said they planned to prioritize generative AI in 2024.
Though the potential is clear, the path forward is still being built. The opportunity and challenge of AI is in its multifaceted nature. AI can be used to improve efficiency and sustainability to both identify trends and create new ones — but it requires careful implementation.
"Fashion inherently has a tremendous focus on creativity, and AI is going to completely transform the creative process," said Benjamin Bond, the principal at the business consultancy Kearny. "When we talk transformation, we're talking about creating speed, creating efficiency, creating relevance."
Yarden Horwitz, a former fashion-industry analyst at Google who cofounded the data-science startup Spate, saw the opportunity to bring AI to the industry over a decade ago.
"At the time, fashion brands were still going store to store down Fifth Avenue, seeing what was in the windows versus what was in the sale racks," Horwitz said. "It was a very manual process and very flawed."
Using AI for automated, customized, and targeted reports holds promise for many industries but could prove especially useful for fashion. Bond said fashion's focus on creativity can lead to catalogs with thousands or tens of thousands of products, the details of which can be difficult to quantify.
"One of the X factors is the endless permutations of how you can create a specific garment. Is it a T-shirt, or is it long-sleeved? Does it have a pocket? Is it drop hem or even hem?" Bond said. "Identifying those attributes manually across tens of thousands of products is impossible."
He added that AI would allow this "attribution at scale." A fashion brand could use computer vision to identify product attributes across its catalog. Then it could use that data to identify trending attributes and find correlations in its catalog.
AI can also assist in the more technical aspects of producing fashion at scale, like choosing a supplier that can offer the best thread for a particular garment or finding tweaks to a garment's design that lower its cost. Bond said these attributes are often invisible to customers but can make or break a garment on the market.
"At the very early design stage, we're going to see a ton of generative AI there," Bond said. He expects brands with a history of designing and debuting products digitally, such as Nike, to tap the power of generative AI for fashion design.
Is cocreation the future?
The fashion startup Fashable is among those building this new breed of AI-powered tools. Born in 2021 out of XNFY Lab, a research organization that worked with Microsoft to foster innovation in retail, Fashable creates AI-generated images for designers, brands, marketplaces, and more.
Fashable says its team of 12 is training AI models to generate realistic photos of garments for clients based on customer insights. The goal is to use those images to create styles that are more likely to sell, reducing overproduction and unsold inventory.
Fashable's AI approach also addresses a challenge with creativity. While it's possible to ask ChatGPT to create a design, the reality isn't so simple. Fashion companies want generative AI trained on their data, not data from competitors, to ensure the results are true to their style. Similarly, they don't want their data to end up in competitors' hands.
"Part of our value is that we train a model for a brand, and the model will only be for that brand," said Orlando Ribas Fernandes, a Fashable cofounder. "We train on their data, and that data, and the results of that data, will only be for them." This method, Fernandes added, doesn't "contaminate other AI models," helping prevent infringement of brands' copyrights.
Fernandes argued that the goal of using AI in fashion isn't necessarily to reduce design costs. "Everyone thinks AI will be very cheap, and it's not cheap," he said. "It's very expensive." Fernandes expects the industry to instead adopt AI to fix its inefficiencies.
"My vision is that brands will start cocreating with the customer," Fernandes said. "In the future, I might prefer to have one blazer that was custom-tailored for me, instead of something from fast fashion. I can start having my own digital wardrobe, and that is produced only for me."
A 4,400,000% return and a $168 billion cash pile. Here are 6 juicy nuggets from Warren Buffett's new letter.
Warren Buffett's letter to shareholders on Saturday included plenty of tasty tidbits.
It pegged Berkshire Hathaway's return under Buffett at 4,400,000% versus the S&P 500's 31,000%.
Berkshire is making bank on bonds, and its $168 billion cash pile is worth more than Uber or Nike.
Warren Buffett published his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders on Saturday, a tradition that stretches back nearly six decades.
The famed investor's latest missive and full-year report were full of juicy nuggets for close readers. Here are six of the best.
1. Crushing the market
As of December 31, Berkshire stock was up nearly 4,400,000% since Buffett took control in 1965. That's about 140 times the S&P 500's 31,000% gain over the same period, and represents a compounded gain of 19.8% a year versus the index's 10.2% annual gain.
Berkshire has jumped a further 16% this year, surpassing the S&P's 7% advance and extending its lead over the index. If you'd invested $100 with Buffett at the start of his Berkshire tenure, you'd now be worth well over $400 million.
2. Assets aplenty
Berkshire held $561 billion of net assets at the end of December, a 19% increase from a year earlier.
Buffett said that was the largest net asset figure recorded for any American business, and it was equivalent to 6% of the total worth of the S&P 500 of $9.5 trillion in 2022.
Berkshire's $1 trillion-plus of assets included $354 billion of stocks, $178 billion of property and equipment, $130 billion of Treasury bills, and $24 billion of inventories.
The company's near-$500 billion of liabilities included unpaid losses, unearned premiums, and healthcare benefits in its insurance and other businesses.
3. Money to burn
Berkshire's mountain of cash and short-term investments swelled to a record $168 billion by December 31, about a $60 billion increase in only 15 months.
That figure is larger than the value of General Electric ($167 billion), Comcast ($166 billion), Uber ($162 billion), Nike ($160 billion), Walmart ($159 billion), American Express ($156 billion), or Pfizer ($155 billion).
4. Cash positive
Buffett and his colleagues have struggled to find bargains in recent years as stocks have marched to record highs, fierce competition from private equity firms has made acquisitions more costly, and Berkshire's rising stock price made buybacks less attractive.
The upshot is that on December 31, Berkshire held $354 billion of stocks, and $168 billion of cash and other short-term investments — a ratio of nearly 2:1.
Buffett has long said he vastly prefers to own productive assets like stocks and businesses instead of dollars or bonds, so the fact that cash and Treasuries made up nearly a third of Berkshire's portfolio is striking.
5. Renewed interest
Berkshire raked in about $6.1 billion of interest and other investment income last year — some 10 times the $589 million it collected in 2021, and more than the $5.5 billion of dividends in 2023.
Buffett and his team primarily attributed the massive surge to higher interest rates. In response to historic inflation, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark rate from virtually zero to more than 5% between the spring of 2022 and last summer, which boosted the yields on government bonds.
Berkshire previously made a negligible amount of interest on its cash and bonds, but now that's changed it can earn a solid return on them while Buffett continues its hunt for great businesses to own.
6. Tiny headquarters
Berkshire's total workforce grew to nearly 400,000 employees last year, but only 26 of them worked in the company's Omaha headquarters.
That's because the late Charlie Munger, who Buffett hailed as the "architect" to his "general contractor," structured Berkshire as a decentralized, autonomous web of subsidiaries.
Berkshire-owned businesses ranging from Geico (30,584 employees) to Pampered Chef (309) effectively operate independently and simply send their profits to HQ.
The system allows the investor to focus on what he does best: allocating capital within and outside his company, and leaving day-to-day management to others.