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Discover 7 Boutiques, 4 Eateries and a Bakery

If it’s been a while since you last wandered the length of Hekili Street, it’s worthwhile to park your car and explore this tree-lined side street off of Hamakua Drive. Take Merchants Row, for example, which has attracted a diverse mix of locally owned businesses in recent years. Tucked behind a veritable rainbow of storefronts is an eclectic collection of shops and eateries.

Here’s a guide to Merchant’s Row, starting at Mother Bake Shop, since that should be a first stop, before the day’s delectable offerings are sold out.

A sampling of Mother Bake Shop’s homemade pastries

Mother Bake Shop specializes in artisanal sourdough bread, and many of the bakery’s other confections, including their croissant creations, also use sourdough starter – or “mother dough,” which inspired the bakery’s name. Cakes and pastries artfully decorated with fresh fruits and edible flowers; hearty veggie sandwiches and open-face toasts piled with toppings; and Friday night pizza specials are among the other delights to try. Currently open Fri-Sun, until sold out. Phone orders welcome.

The making of Blue Bubble Creamery’s “Cott On Cloud 9” creation

Four other food establishments along the row boast a range of tasty fare, from the organic acai and fruit bowls, healthy sandwiches and salads at Nalu Health Bar & Café to decadent deliciousness at Blue Bubble Creamery, where folks line up for hand-crafted, made-to-order ice cream rolls and a variety of toppings. Two doors away is family-owned Bee & Tea, where an extensive menu of Taiwanese-style boba milk tea beverages, fresh fruit smoothies, cold-brew coffee and flavored iced teas can quench most cravings. Kono’s, home of the breakfast bomber, also is just steps away. For the uninitiated, bombers are warm tortillas stuffed with scrambled eggs and various combinations of proteins, cheese and veggies, like the new Queen’s Bomber with chorizo, bacon, eggs, pineapple and salsa. Generous plate lunches and bowls, sandwiches and wraps can also be enjoyed all day long.

Artist Lauren Roth holds one of her original paintings

There’s no lack of diversity in Merchant Row’s retail offerings, either. From art to apparel, you can “shop small” at seven boutiques. Artist Lauren Roth opened her flagship store here two years ago, where one can find original work as well as accessories, stationery and home décor graced with her bright, tropical designs. Whether or not you’re into the healing power of crystals, one can’t help being fascinated by the dazzling displays of Earth’s geologic bounty at Kailua Crystals.

Paradise Soccer Club

Apparel can be found in four distinct boutiques.  Twin Islands Surf Co.’s original line of aloha shirts, board shorts, men’s and women’s graphic tees and hoodies reflect the Kailua Town’s laid-back lifestyle. At Paradise Soccer Club, soccer meets streetwear meets ath-leisure with its own line of Hawaii lifestyle apparel as well as premium soccer products. As its name suggests, Bikini Bird specializes in women’s swimwear, with an exclusive collection of bikinis and cover-ups. Guava Shop also carries swimwear, but also a place to find beachy-chic dresses, jumpers and accessories as well as Hawaii-made beauty products.

A look at Island Bungalow’s home goods

Bridging apparel and home furnishings categories, Island Bungalow’s carefully curated collections of mostly handmade, “small batch” products include 100% Indian cotton bedding, home and fashion accessories, casual chic apparel and locally designed jewelry.