Liquid Life

Puna & Ola Trip
Liquid Life
Keaʻau, Hawaiʻi Island
www.liquidlifehawaii.com

May 2017 Ka Wai Ola article

“True Wealth is Health”

Liquid Life’s brightly colored cold-pressed juices can attract attention on their own but on a Monday afternoon in early March curious passersby were more interested in the company’s upcoming storefront in Keaʻau.

“They’re going to have smoothies,” one woman called to a friend who had waited outside while she peeked in. The new health bar will also serve sandwiches, acai bowls and healthy desserts in keeping with its eight signature juice blends. Each bottle combines organic, locally sourced ingredients, lāʻau lapaʻau and other holistic healing methods that target particular areas of the body’s health.

The storefront is the latest development in a whirlwind year-and-a-half for owners Rory “Ola” Tripp, 26, and Sarah “Puna” Tripp, 24, who launched their company at the same time they were planning their wedding. On their first official day of sales, the couple stayed up all night juicing, bottling and hand-labeling their bottles for the 2015 Lilikoi Festival. They went straight from the kitchen to the fair, and Puna also to squeezed in a dress-fitting the same morning.

The Tripps credit their family with helping them sell out that first day but the couple was soon selling 30 cases a month at farmer’s markets in Waimea, Pahoa and Volcano, as well as Kīlauea General Store, which is owned by Ola’s family. After hitting the markets consistently for a year, they’d sold enough juice to pay for their wedding and start preparing to open their storefront.

For Puna, who is studying holistic nutrition, it’s a dream job combining health and lāʻau lapaʻau. “I have this passion for healing people holistically,” she said. The Tripp’s goal with Liquid Life isn’t to sell bottles of juice with price tags in the double-digits, which limits who can buy it. “We’re really trying to make our prices affordable. We care about you and we want you to be healthy,” she explained.

While encouraging people to make healthier choices, Liquid Life also contributes to the health of its community. The Tripps are able to purchase 80-90 percent of their organic ingredients from local farmers, which helps support Hawaiʻi Island agriculture. They’ll also be creating jobs at their storefront and are looking at ways to reach out to the students, some of whom attend school right across the street. “We want to create more opportunities, especially for the next generation and their health and prosperity,” Ola said.

The motivation for promoting healthier nutrition comes from both of the couple’s families. Both lost grandparents, to cancer, diabetic gangrene and strokes. When an uncle was hurt in a serious car accident, they wanted to find a way to help. Puna’s research into the traditional healing properties of locally grown plants provided a foundation for the drinks, which tap into the modern thirst for cold-pressed juice. “We want to be there for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” Ola said. “We wanted to do something that really addresses that in a practical way.”

Each of Liquid Life’s eight juice blends targets an area of the body’s health with a combination of fruits, vegetables, nuts, roots and flowers. ʻOlena Osmosis, for example, can help with inflammation. There’s also Mac-nut Motivation, Coconut Conscious, along with flavors named for their brilliant colors: Orange Oasis, Green Garden, Red Roots, Blue Bliss and Purple Passion. They can be purchased individually, or six-pack carriers can hold enough bottles for a Chakra Cleanse.

The Tripps made it clear that their intention is to create, not compete, so they appreciate that other cold-pressed juice companies are creating demand across the island. “We need people to be healthy because it uplifts our community,” Ola pointed out. “The more people doing what we do means our community is getting healthier, not just physically, but also emotionally and mentally.”

Find Liquid Lifeʻs new storefront at 16-566 Kea’au-Pahoa Rd. #199 Kea’au, 96785 or call them at 808.238.5161

A $20,000 Mālama Loan from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs allowed Rory K. Tripp II (Ola) and Sarah M.W. Tripp (Puna) to purchase a commercial refrigerator and other appliances they needed to open a Liquid Life health bar in Keaʻau, as well as pay for all the necessary permitting.

They were encouraged to apply for an OHA loan by Ola’s parents, who used also used OHA financing to build their businesses in Volcano: Kīluaea General Store, Lava Rock Cafe, and Kīluaea Creations, a quilt store. “That’s the route they took and it worked for them,” said Olu.

Fixed interest rates ranging from 4 percent to 6.25 percent and up to a 7 year loan term make OHA’s loan programs an attractive option for Native Hawaiian entrepreneurs. More than 2,000 Native Hawaiian families and business owners have used OHA’s low-interest loans to build businesses, repair homes, cover educational expenses and consolidate debt. To learn more about OHA’s loan programs, visit www.oha.org/loans.