Friend of Agriculture 2018

Each year, ‘Aipono honors a few individuals and companies chosen by industry professionals for their contributions to the Maui community. We are pleased to present our 2018 winners.


Jennifer Nguyen | A Saigon Cafe

Jennifer Nguyen“One of the things we admire about A Saigon Café is its menu,” says Warren Watanabe, executive director of the Maui County Farm Bureau. “We know Vietnamese culture emphasizes vegetables; Jennifer’s menu prepares them in delicious and enticing ways, helping people to see vegetables as proper dishes, not as an afterthought. More and more restaurants that serve American and Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine are adopting what Jennifer has been doing for many years.

“She is a great advocate for local farming, and understands its challenges and hard work firsthand: She has a farm of her own, growing papaya, eggplant, lemongrass, basil, mint and other herbs that she uses at A Saigon Café. She’s also committed to the local farmers she buys from and keeps busy.

“Jennifer’s loyal support of agriculture extends far beyond her restaurant,” Watanabe adds. “Positive and energetic, she is always ready to help the Maui County Farm Bureau, whether it’s catering or cooking at one of our events to promote local ingredients. For all these reasons, and more, the Maui County Farm Bureau is pleased to honor Jennifer Nguyen as 2018’s Friend of Agriculture.”


  1. When I lived 5 minutes away from A Saigon Cafe’ in Happy Valley(’98-’06), I used to go there at least twice a week sometimes. I loved their menu, all the food was very fresh and perfectly prepared! Jennifer Nguyen is a very successful businessperson who has her built restaurant into a local and worldwide institution. Congratulations and aloha to you, Jennifer…!!


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