Saving Hawaii’s Banana Industry ‘One Good Banana’ At A Time… Gabriel Sachter-Smith is on a mission to find the perfect banana for Hawaii. He’s already got 200 varieties in the works.

Near the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, in early 2020, Matt Hong, co-founder of Oahu’s Banan frozen banana dessert chain, got some bad news. Banan’s banana supplier, Sugarland Farms, was throwing in the towel on the Cavendish variety bananas Banan uses – and with no warning.

Hawaii Grown

Fortunately, for Banan, it had some backup: Gabriel Sachter-Smith, a banana scientist and farmer known as “Banana Gabe.”

Banan had invested $10,000 years before to help Sachter-Smith develop a banana nursery at Haleiwa’s Counter Culture Organic Farm on Oahu’s North Shore, Hong said. And it turned out Sachter-Smith’s banana operation, called Hawaii Banana Source, was starting to mature just when Banan needed bananas most.

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