In October 2011, Maui residents and creative entrepreneurs Douglas and Belia Paul opened My Office, a brand new 20-foot by eight-foot, fully equipped kitchen trailer that serves bistro-style breakfast and lunch to go. Located at the Maui Research & Technology Park in Kihei, My Office is nested in the back of the parking lot that wraps around the Park Plaza building.
According to their customers, "The Pauls have brought breakfast, lunch and tasty desserts to hungry patrons looking for something close by at reasonable prices."
The clientele all agreed, "The best new restaurant in town may actually be on wheels."
Douglas and Belia Paul opened My Office, a fully equipped kitchen trailer that serves bistro-style breakfast, lunch and desserts to go at the Maui Research & Technology Park in Kihei.
Douglas and Belia are a dynamic duo with over 35 combined years of experience in the food industry. They love to cook fresh, delicious, environmentally friendly food incorporating their grown herbs on-site.
Both graduates of the University of Hawai'i Maui College (UHMC) Culinary Arts Program, the Pauls met at a culinary competition in Las Vegas. Paul was working there for Wolfgang Puck.
"Two years later, we re-met on Maui when Douglas moved back to help open Spago in Wailea," said Belia.
Before opening My Office, Douglas maintained an eight-year position as operations manager of the UHMC Culinary Arts Program.
"I accumulated a great deal of skill and knowledge running the school's food court and fine dining restaurant," he said.
After graduating from culinary school, Belia travelled a lot, learning all she could about international cuisine and ingredients. Currently the general manager of Hali'i-maile General Store, she adds her experience in the kitchen and human resources to My Office.
"I also learn-ed that as an owner, you must be able to step in and handle all situations that arise," she said.
My Office, Maui's newest food trailer, may be one of the ingredients in the Paul's successful business recipe, but it is not the restaurant they envisioned for their first business.
"It's better!" they said. "Take-out only. We buy and grow local whenever we can, use environmentally-friendly, bio-degradable containers and recycle everything," said Douglas.
The concept began at a Thanksgiving dinner. They were approached by a friend of the family who worked in the tech park and was complaining about the availability of food for the employees. Their friend, John Maloney, recently deceased, convinced the Pauls that with their experience, they should try to open something in the immediate area.
"Two years later, our food trailer arrived," they said.
Another good friend made their business logo come to life. Two more friends lent them money to secure their small business loan.
"We did not have any savings for this," they said.
Douglas left the UHMC Culinary School to start their new business. "This was a daunting time due to having one income and debt that arose from opening an innovative venture," said Belia.
Nevertheless, Douglas's time was put to good use. He scheduled inspections. He researched equipment, shipping, electrical issues and water hook up, menu planning, purveyors and permits.
"Following opening day, Oct. 11, we worked 120 days straight," they said. "It took a while to plan things out, so we are happy to report that the trailer is paying its bills."
The tech park, with over 500 potential customers, turned out to be a perfect place to begin their business.
Saci Detamore, a delighted customer, volunteered a glowing review: "I love My Office! It offers delicious, made-to-order food in a very convenient location. I can call in my order and by the time I walk over, it is ready to go. Whether you are looking for breakfast, lunch or that emergency afternoon sweet tooth fix, My Office is the perfect place to go."
Another pleased patron, John Harrisson, said, "My Office is a culinary oasis in the Maui Research & Technology Park and a boon for the many employees that work there every day. It offers a healthful, on-site alternative that makes jumping in the car and fighting traffic unnecessary."
"Breakfast fare includes plain and toasted bagels, egg-bagel or lox and bagel sandwiches, breakfast burritos, three-egg omelets with bacon, Portuguese sausage or chorizo, fruit cups, granola with yogurt, quiche of the day, homemade pastries and more," said Harrisson.
The lunch menu offers homemade soup, one vegetarian or one meat choice made daily, special plate lunches, sandwiches, salads, wraps and burgers.
"The Big Maloney Sandwich," named after their friend John Maloney, features BBQ pork on a hoagie roll and has become a local favorite. On-hand are ready-to-grab items, coffee, fresh smoothies and banana mocha frappuccinos.
"Breakfast and lunch catering are also available upon request," said the Pauls.
Douglas and Belia invite everyone to visit My Office inside the tech park.
"There is seating close by within walking-distance at the end of Lipoa Parkway," said Douglas. "To find us, go up the Lipoa Parkway hill and turn left onto N. Holopono Street. Go all the way to the end, turn into Park Plaza, stay to the right and then eat!"
For more information, food orders and catering, call (808) 280-9201.