A Natural Fit In Lihu‘e

Store manager Malissia Walker always has had an interest in health and healing. Amanda Gregg photo

Malissia Walker
Store manager, Vim n’ Vigor

Tell us about your business.

The store’s name is Vim n’ Vigor. We are small we have three employees. We offer herbs, supplements and natural beauty products. We also carry and special-order natural, organic and gluten-free groceries, bulk foods, frozen and refrigerated items. On Wednesdays we receive a variety of local and organic produce. Monday through Friday we offer a rotating selection of lunch items including live food, organic wraps and sandwiches. We have fresh island coco water and local products as well.

How did you get started in this business and how long has it been going? The store is owned by Holly Lee, who grew up on Kaua’i but now lives on Oahu. She graduated from Kaua’i High School and the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Vim n’ Vigor has been at this location on Kuhio Highway for eight years. In the past seven years that I’ve been working here, I have grown both as Vim n’ Vigor’s manager and personally. I had worked at health food stores on the Mainland before moving here. Originally I was hired to make sandwiches and work part time, but later was promoted.

Where are you from originally, and what role does that play in your business? I grew up in Germany and Massachusetts. I’ve lived in big cities and small towns, so with the space we have I try to carry the variety of a large store yet maintain a simple atmosphere.

What sets your business apart? Though we carry products similar to other health food stores, we try to keep our prices affordable for the community.

Why do you do what you do? I do what I do because I have always been interested in all forms of health and healing. I love learning about natural medicine as well as helping others learn to heal themselves. Working at Vim n’ Vigor has been a great source of information for me, and I have met so many wonderful people. I have witnessed myself and others grow and transform on many levels, and I love being in an environment that can support that.

What is the most challenging aspect of your business? The most challenging aspect is wanting to please everyone. With such a small space it can be difficult to carry every customer’s request. I do my best to rotate what I order.

What is your business plan for the future? My business plan for the future is to keep loving, learning and growing.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing? If I wasn’t working here, I’d either be in school or exploring a jungle or a mountain somewhere.

Where are you located and what is your contact information and what are your store hours? We are located next to Subway in Lihu’e Town Center at 33122 Kuhio Hwy., # A9, Lihu’e, HI 96766-1170. Our phone number is 245-9053. We are open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. We are currently having a sale through Dec. 24: 15 percent off purchases of more than $40.