Listen to the Podcast About Sugar Beach Events

Podcast for Sugar Beach Events

Podcast Summary

In a recent interview with Jake Carter of Felix and Fingers Dueling Pianos, Lee Anderson, owner and executive chef of Sugar Beach Events, provided a look into their beautiful event venue. Born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, Anderson brings with her over 35 years of culinary experience, specializing in Pacific Rim cuisine.

Located in the sublime setting of Kihei, Maui, Sugar Beach Events stands as a dedicated space for weddings and events. Anderson fondly illuminates the venue’s resilience and significant rebuilding efforts after devastating fires. Enhanced with her culinary background, her passion lies not just in food, but in arranging an unforgettable experience for guests on their special day. She asserts, living every moment for the entire party, which the beautiful beach setting of Maui accentuates perfectly.

Discussing the recent trends, Anderson observes a practical approach by couples who prioritizing quality of food and refinement in décor over unnecessary extravagance. She further emphasizes the importance of focusing on classics like beautiful flowers. Acknowledging the cringe-worthy aspects at weddings, Anderson insists on the requirement of a wedding planner to ensure a stress-free day for the bride.

This engaging discussion buzzes brightly with Anderson’s passion for delivering unforgettable experiences at Sugar Beach Events, leaving the audience enchanted about planning their next event on the mesmerizing shores of Maui.

This interview was provided by Felix and Fingers Dueling Pianos.

Podcast Transcript

Jake (00:24)
Hello, I’m Jake Carter with Felix and Fingers, Dueling Pianos, and I’m here with Lee Anderson, the owner and executive chef of Sugar Beach Events. You have an amazing venue that I have heard all about from friends of mine. I know that you guys did a lot of work after the fires and hosting all kinds of cooking for people and all those things, and you have a really cool background. You’re from Charleston, South Carolina. Been in the food industry for 35 years, a caterer on Maui for 16 years.

You guys specialize in Pacific Rim cuisine and I know that your venue was built specifically for weddings and events. And you guys are doing amazing things. It’s super cool to have such an awesome venue that is in Kihei that’s so beautiful because I have seen all the pictures and I know the location. It’s absolutely gorgeous. So yeah, thank you so much for joining the podcast. Is there anything else that you want to say about your background?

Lee Anderson (01:14)
Hey, thank you so much, Jake. I really appreciate it. Yeah, no, I think you basically got all the highlights. Yeah, I’ve been cooking since for a long time now. And I love what I do. I have always worked in restaurants. And when I moved to Maui 19 years ago, I always wanted to start a catering company. And I never really understood why, but I finally figured it out. It’s about the entire party for me. It’s not just about the food.

but it’s about the guests and the guest experience. So everything from beginning to end, I really wanted to have an impact in somebody’s really special day.

Jake (01:52)
Yeah, I think a lot of people in events are really just very focused on wanting to be about the experience and the event and like the party. And that’s why we do these kinds of things. So that’s cool that you said that. I think I resonate with that as well.

Lee Anderson (02:04)
Yeah, and what better place than on the beach on Maui?

Jake (02:10)
That is very true. Yeah, it’s a great place for a party. Cool, so I’m gonna ask you some questions about events and weddings and your venue and all those things. So the first thing is what current trends are you seeing in the wedding and event industry?

Lee Anderson (02:11)

Oh gosh, well things have for us here on the island, things have toned down a little bit. People are spending their money and they’re using their budgets very wisely. I will say there’s not as much extravagance, but people are making sure they have really good food at their venues. They, I mean at their events and their weddings and the,

Tablecloths are really lovely. So they’re spending not as much money on a lot of extravagance, but they’re classics. They’re spending money on the classics. Beautiful flowers, yeah, beautiful flowers. And for us with destination weddings is mainly what we do. So it’s about having their guests and their really important special loved ones come here and be a part of their day.

Jake (03:10)

Yeah, that’s awesome. Yeah, like a return to the classics is always cool. And I feel like I’ve seen that too with some of the events where like some of the florals that I’ve seen recently have been just amazing. So totally. Yeah. Okay. So next question, what are some things that you think that couples should never do or like the most cringe worthy things that you hate seeing at your events? What is the craziest thing that you’re just like, Oh, please don’t do that.

Lee Anderson (03:34)

Oh, cringe -worthy. I can tell you from my perspective, owning a venue, I never, ever, ever want to see a bride working on her wedding day. People always ask us about, well, do you require a planner? Yes, we do require a planner, and this is why. And one of the very first weddings that we did here at Sugar Beach, I wasn’t requiring a planner. And the day of the bride had 150 guests.

and she’s tying sashes on the back of the chairs and she’s sweating and she’s already had her makeup done and her hair done and it was really at that moment that I said no this is this is not okay. We have to make sure that there’s a planner here so a bride can enjoy this day because there’s so much planning going up to it. People don’t realize the effort that it takes to put an event together of such amazing magnitude. We did an event this weekend and

there were 10 different vendors and it was a small event, but you’re not thinking you have an officiant that you have to be in charge of and florals and linen and rentals, catering, all the things that go into putting on an event and a bride and a groom should, and a mother of the bride should never have to be responsible for making sure those things happen. So, and then from an event perspective,

Jake (05:13)

Lee Anderson (05:17)
I would say the one thing that I always try to talk to couples about are speeches. Because when speeches happen, everything can go topsy turvy if you’re not really paying attention to those details. Because the other thing about events, we work on very specific timelines. And I’ll have a timeline that says, entrees served at 7 .04, entrees cleared at 7 .22. So we’re…

Jake (05:23)

Lee Anderson (05:45)
literally working on specific timelines. And then they throw speeches in in the middle and you tell Uncle Chuck that he can only speak for three minutes. Well, Uncle Chuck’s already had two cocktails and now three minutes turns into 10 minutes and entrees or desserts are ready. But now everybody’s listening to Uncle Chuck tell the story about his niece who was so cute at three years old.

And it just turns into a whole different thing. So I always tell people to really pay attention to speeches on the day of and the toasts. And anything you can do on your rehearsal dinner, that’s the time to do those speeches. And it frees up more time for the party afterwards too.

Jake (06:28)
Yeah, yeah.

Totally, I totally agree. And it’s funny because the more that I’ve done these podcasts, I come to the same things. People get a planner, be careful with speeches. Get a planner, be careful with every one of every person that’s done this. It’s just like, you need a planner. You have to have one. It’s required. And then like speeches, those go sideways so fast. Do you have any like crazy stories that you’re willing to share of like things just going sideways or something that was really bad?

Lee Anderson (06:54)

Yeah, I mean, well, we have had some fun, interesting things happen here. We’ve had security guards on site because family members were not invited to the weddings. We’ve had a couple and we also do offsite catering. So different venues on the island. We’ve, you know, been a part of a few events that didn’t take place.

instead of the wedding dinner, they may have done a roast of the spouse who wasn’t there or the would -be spouse who wasn’t there. So yeah, there have been some interesting things for sure. And I think at one event we did have to, there was, I don’t wanna say, it wasn’t a fight.

but it was almost a fight with the family members. So we had to kind of hide that from the bride and groom so they didn’t see what was going on. But it’s always about protecting the couple from anything like that on their day.

Jake (08:09)
Wow, that’s, yeah. I love the roast story, that’s hilarious. They were like, we’re gonna keep doing this, we’re gonna have the food, we’re gonna have a party, and we’re gonna roast the person that’s not here. That’s hilarious, I haven’t heard that.

Lee Anderson (08:10)

And they did. And every single person got up and told the story. And it was everybody on the bride’s side of the family, bride’s friends in their side of the family who showed up. So it was an interesting experience for sure.

Jake (08:40)
I feel like that’s the one time where speeches, you can just do whatever, like as long as you wanna talk, go ahead. There you go. If you’re doing a roast, absolutely. Oh my gosh, that’s great. That’s a new one. I haven’t heard that yet. That’s awesome. Okay, so the exact opposite. What is the most unique, fun thing that you’ve seen at a wedding or event recently or ever?

Lee Anderson (08:45)
Absolutely. More the merrier, yes.


Oh, fun thing. Well, I have to say, I feel like we do a lot of really innovative things here at Sugar Beach, and it’s all about presentation for me. Like I said in the beginning, it’s about the whole party. We had our 10 -year anniversary in August of last year, and I work with two planners on the mainland. Gabrielle Robinson, who used to work with me, she was my general manager here at Sugar Beach, and Carrie Johnson. They’re both freelance planners on the mainland and very dear friends of mine.

and they helped me throw this 10 year anniversary party here at Sugar Beach and it was amazing. We have a great video of it somewhere, but we did a really cool new Aji station. So an Aji Poke station where we do it on, we call it spin art and we do it on record players. So we have little lavash rounds and we do Aji and all the toppings on a record player as the record, record.

lavash spins and people put their toppings, their sauces and things on it. And then we have a chef who takes it off, cuts it and gives it to the guests. So a lot of really great interactive ideas like that are what we specialize in. And it’s what I really feel makes an event not a classical wedding, but really takes it to a different level. And with destination weddings, any weddings really.

People are coming together and they may not know each other, so give them something to talk about. A cool station, a cool cocktail, a cool appetizer, anything like that really sparks a conversation with people.

Jake (10:40)
Yeah, I love that. That’s amazing. I love that. That’s super, super cool. That’s so cool. I haven’t heard anything like that yet, but I love like interactive food service kind of things. Like that’s so much fun. So.

Lee Anderson (10:46)

Yeah. And the other thing we did, we also did a smoke. We called it pop till you drop. It was a cocktail station where we had a spandex wall and the servers had white gloves. You couldn’t see the servers. They were standing behind the wall and they were holding a cocktail. The guests would come up and retrieve the cocktail from the hand. And then on our mezzanine level, we’re dropping smoke bubbles that drop into your cocktail.

Jake (11:08)
Mm -hmm.

Lee Anderson (11:19)
So it was a citrus flavored smoke that you would drop into the cocktail. Total fun.

Jake (11:24)
That’s super cool. I have heard of and like seen the hand through like the a lot of times I’ve seen it where it’s like fake plants of some sort and there’s like a hand with champagne through the plant. I have seen that but I’m curious about the smoke thing. That’s interesting. I would love to see. Yeah, I would love to see that. There you go. That’s super cool. Okay, so what is some advice that you can offer someone that is just starting their planning journey of putting on their event?

Lee Anderson (11:34)
Yes. Yeah. Yeah, I’ve got photos of that too. It’s on our video. Yeah.

What I tell every couple I always encounter is know your budget and be honest about your budget and you need to share that information with your vendors. You know the most expensive item you’re going to spend on is catering usually. So you need to be honest with your caterer about your budget so that we can help you spend that money wisely. If you’re on a tight budget I’m going to recommend…

a more cost -effective menu for you, a less expensive menu. If you just come in saying, oh, money’s no object, and I tell you, great, let’s do this menu, we’ll do the platinum menu, and then I scare you, that doesn’t help me and it doesn’t help you. So always be honest about the budget so that, and your planner can help you spend that money wisely as well.

Jake (12:46)
Yeah, that’s, I think that’s super true. I know that that’s something that is always an interesting question for me because it’s like, you know, what is your budget for this event? Because a lot of times, you know, people, it just varies, you know, I don’t want to, it’s, it’s hard cause you don’t want to waste anyone’s time, you know, and kind of like you said, it’s like, well, you could say, oh, money’s no object. Well, great. If that’s the case.

we’re gonna be able to make something work. But if you say, well, our budget’s a couple hundred dollars or something very small, it’s like, well, then we probably don’t need to keep talking about this situation. So, yeah.

Lee Anderson (13:23)
Right, right. And if they’re honest with me, I can tell them right away, we’re not going to be the right fit for you. I don’t want to waste their time or mine, but I can also recommend them to one of my catering friends on the island who might be a better fit and send them down the right path.

Jake (13:40)
Exactly. Yeah. I, yeah. And same thing for me. It’s like, well, you know, maybe if your budget’s smaller, maybe you should just go with a DJ or maybe you want to go with like a solo option or something like that instead of the full dueling show like we do. So I’m on board. Um, so I know that we talked about how you are a chef and you have all this experience in the food industry and all of that, and that your venue is built specifically for that kind of thing.

Lee Anderson (13:55)
Right. Yeah.

Jake (14:10)
With that in mind or anything else that you want to talk about, what makes your venue and service so unique?

Lee Anderson (14:17)
We are one of the only private oceanfront venues or beachfront, sorry, not just oceanfront, but beachfront in the state and definitely on Maui. We have an interior space. We have a liquor license. So we have the responsibility of serving liquor to guests. They don’t bring their own. We take that liability away from them and we carry that. But.

Yeah, we’re really a one of a kind, very exclusive, but very approachable venue, which I think is really important. I want people to come and enjoy this space. I am fairly priced. It’s not going to cost your arm and a leg to come here and get married, because I want you to come and enjoy this space. That’s why I built it, so that people could.

actually have something really magical on the island.

Jake (15:16)
Yeah, that’s great. So the next round of questions is gonna be kind of a speed round. You can answer these as short or as long as you want, but there’s gonna be a bunch of questions about the venue and your service. So, yeah. So what is your current availability and how far in advance are you booked?

Lee Anderson (15:23)

Oh, I like it. Okay. I’m ready.

We’re booked. I have one event booked in 2026, but we are, we’re well booking into 2025 at this point. Unfortunately, we have a lot of availability based on the fires that happened. You know, people keep saying, well, aren’t you, aren’t you coming back and haven’t you seen a lot of business? This last month, we had a lot of postponed events from the fire that just actually produced. So we did have kind of an uptick in events recently, but.

For the end of the year, pretty much the island as far as events are concerned is very down. I’m down 50 % from where I was before the fires. So availability is still really good. In 2024, I am doing a 20 % off discount for the venue to try to get business in here for the rest of the year.

Jake (16:18)
Wow, that’s crazy.


Wow, that’s great. So what kind of flexibility do you have in guest count in the event that it changes?

Lee Anderson (16:34)

We don’t do food and beverage minimums, so we do just charge based on the number of guests. Because we’re venue and we do catering, we do a guaranteed guest count that’s due 14 days out. We do all of our pricing based on an estimate provided by the couple. We always explain to people, if you’re inviting 100, you’re going to lose at least 30 % of your guest count coming to a destination, which is one reason why people choose destinations.

because they do get a little smaller guest count. Yeah, so flexibility, we have two people up to 200 people on the property.

Jake (17:22)
Awesome. So for pricing, can you give us an average event size and the cost at your venue plus gratuity if that’s applicable?

Lee Anderson (17:32)
For, let’s see, the average event size, I would say 60. We do have some larger events. We did 85, we did 120 last month as well. So we do have some larger, but average is 60, I think. And I want to say it would probably cost you from venue perspective, venue bar catering, that 60 people would cost you probably $25 ,000.


Jake (18:03)
Okay, and is there a mandatory gratuity with that?

Lee Anderson (18:07)
There is not. We always, always recommend to couples to please leave a gratuity. Staffing is very difficult these days and that definitely helps us get good quality staff for our events.

Jake (18:23)
What is the deposit amount?

Lee Anderson (18:26)

Jake (18:28)
Okay, what is your cancellation policy?

Lee Anderson (18:30)
The deposit the initial deposit is non -refundable You can move the date. So if you need to move the date one time, there’s no fee associated with that We’ll move that but other than that anything else beyond that there’s a You know 60 -day payment and then you’ll get a percentage of that back if you cancel within 60 days All that’s in the fine print on the contract

Jake (18:58)
read your contracts. Yeah. So I know that you guys do food and beverage and alcohol and all of that as well as being a venue. Are there preferred vendors that you recommend and are couples required to use them?

Lee Anderson (19:00)
Yes, yes.

100%. We do have a preferred vendor list. We have a preferred planner list. And then also the preferred vendors or creative partners who we work with on the island. Especially when you’re doing a destination wedding, people don’t understand. It’s their first time planning a wedding, so they don’t understand how important it is that you have somebody who works here constantly. For instance, I’ll have a couple who’s coming from Maine and their favorite photographer in Maine they want to bring here.

Okay, well that main photographer has no idea what lighting is like on Maui, how quickly the sun sets, where the best locations on the property are to take those photos, at what time of the day, where can they take them down the road if they want a different look. So that’s why it’s really important that you have the expertise of local on –

Jake (20:08)
Yeah, that’s really smart. I go ahead.

Lee Anderson (20:11)
No, I was going to say, so we don’t require that you use our preferred vendors. If you want to go off of our preferred vendor list, I do have to approve anybody you want to bring in. There are a lot of professionals on Maui. We don’t work with all of them. And there might be the occasional photographer or videographer who we don’t work with a lot.

or maybe a shave ice vendor who’s coming in to do dessert for a station. But as long as we have that information and we can vet them and get insurance, because insurance is another really important aspect of what we do, that people don’t understand how important that is. But there are a few things you have to use our preferred DJs and you have to use our preferred rigging company. And that’s for safety and for neighbors.

Jake (20:56)


Yeah, that’s interesting, huh. And also the point, I’m a photographer as well, I’m not a wedding photographer, but I’ve wondered about that, because I’ve heard about wedding photographers that do the like destination stuff, and I’ve always thought like that would, that I don’t do this, but it seems like it’d be so challenging to just show up somewhere and be like, oh yes, I know exactly what the light is gonna do in this space I’ve never seen, in this place that I’m not at, like such a good point, because I’ve often thought that, like that seems.

really hard to know all the different places and all that like I feel like you’d have to be there for a couple days to really do it correctly you know so

Lee Anderson (21:42)
Yeah, and I was going to say, and that’s what people have to do. They have to come in a few days ahead of time. And if you’re bringing in a photographer like that, then they should be coming in a few days ahead of time.

Jake (21:49)
Mm -hmm.

Yeah, very interesting. What is the maximum capacity for the venue for both ceremony and reception?

Lee Anderson (22:03)
For weddings, we can do, I really say 200. For weddings, we can do 300 for a stand -up cocktail event between inside and outside. We do have a beautiful oceanfront lawn that seats 200 people. We have an interior space that seats 160. But in total, we can only do 300 because our kitchen, we do have a wonderful onsite commercial kitchen, but it’s only so large. So for a sit -down event,

we can do 200.

Jake (22:34)
Okay, is there a designated bridal suite or changing area? Ah, there you go, awesome.

Lee Anderson (22:39)
in it right now. Yeah, so we have a really great bridal suite and then we also have a groom’s getting ready area upstairs as well so the guys can hang out there.

Jake (22:54)
So you have both. I know you mentioned DJs and the neighbors. Are there noise ordinances or curfews to be aware of?

Lee Anderson (23:02)
Yes, Mallie has a 10 p .m. curfew for the entire island unless you’re at a resort. But we do have 10 p .m. as our noise ordinance. We do have an outside amplified music noise ordinance and that or curfew noise curfew and that’s 8 30 p .m. So you can have outside music until 8 30 and then you move inside. So we always tell our couples.

Jake (23:22)
Oh wow.

Lee Anderson (23:28)
There are a couple of different ways that you can have your event. You can do ceremony outside, cocktail reception outside, move inside for dinner and dancing. Or you can do, because it’s all about the flow and creating a great energy for the event. You don’t want everyone sitting in the same place the entire time. So we’ll do ceremony outside, maybe cocktail reception inside.

Jake (23:32)


Lee Anderson (23:52)
move outside for dinner under the stars and the beaster lights, and then move back inside for dancing.

Jake (23:59)
Yeah, that seems like that’d be cool because it could kind of be like adjusted while people are eating. So yeah. Yeah.

Lee Anderson (24:03)
Yes, that’s exactly right. Yeah, we can flip the different areas.

Jake (24:08)
Very cool. Is there ample parking available for guests and is it complimentary?

Lee Anderson (24:09)

Yes, we have parking for 43 cars. And yes, it is complimentary. If you have more than or more guests than that, we do recommend that you shuttle or you have people carpool.

Jake (24:18)
Awesome. Do you have?


Okay. Do you have a backup plan for outdoor weddings in case of bad weather?

Lee Anderson (24:36)
Yes, we have a great indoor space that seats 160. And in 10 years, actually 10 and a half years now, I think we have literally had five events. And I might even be over exaggerating that number. It might be four events that actually had to move inside. One wedding ceremony and one corporate event had to move inside. Other than that.

Jake (24:40)


Lee Anderson (25:04)
The ceremony happened outside and then they had to move inside for dinner because it started raining. And two of those were when we had back -to -back hurricanes here like nine years ago.

Jake (25:17)
Wow, that’s actually a really crazy stat. That’s amazing that that’s that low.

Lee Anderson (25:21)
Yes, we’re just in this perfect little pocket in Kihei where we don’t get a lot of rain. Now it can get windy here in the afternoon, so right before sunset the wind will pick up, but then it dies down after sunset.

Jake (25:27)
Mm -hmm. Yep, I know that to be true. A lot of these questions I’m asking and I’m like, I kind of know the answer. Like, I know you have parking. But we have to talk about it because they don’t know. So are there any additional costs associated with using the backup space? Like if you had something set up outside and then had to move inside.

Lee Anderson (25:42)
Right? Yes, exactly.

No, if we ever had to make that, not from my perspective. Now, if you had a rental or a vendor that you’re working with outside, your wedding planner would help you out with that. But from my perspective, especially if it’s a last minute thing, if we have to move 140 chairs inside, we all quickly do that and make that happen with our staff. We’re not going to charge somebody extra for that.

Jake (26:09)

Yeah. How early can vendors access the venue for setup on the day of the venture wedding?

Lee Anderson (26:31)
It depends. We’re usually here at 8 a .m. Depending on the complexity of the event, it might be 10 a .m. for vendor arrival or bridal suite arrival as well. But they do have the property from 12 p .m. until 10 p .m.

Jake (26:37)



Okay, so I’m sure based on what we’ve talked about that you are generally on site for events and I know that you said you require a planner, so this next question might be a little silly, but is there an event coordinator or manager on site during the wedding day?

Lee Anderson (27:09)
Not, it’s not a silly question at all, actually. We used to do on -site planning and then after COVID, I kind of revamped the model of the business. So we don’t do on -site planning anymore. We don’t have an on -site coordinator. What we do have is a manager or a dining room captain. So we’ll have a front of the house manager who handles things from a catering perspective. So we will always have a front of the house person. And then we have.

Jake (27:19)

Okay, cool.

Lee Anderson (27:38)
Myself as a chef or Courtney Walter is our chef de cuisine. She’s in the kitchen all the time. I’m mostly running the business now and she does all the hard work in the back.

Jake (27:40)

Mm -hmm. Okay, cool. Well, I’m glad I asked. Who would be the main point of contact prior to the event? Would that be you? Okay. And how involved are you in the planning process?

Lee Anderson (27:51)

That’s me.

So I moved back to help care for her and she passed away last year. So right after the fires, I moved back here. I had not planned on coming back quite so soon. I’m trying to help my father through that first year, you know, the loss of his wife of 66 years. So…

Jake (28:31)

Lee Anderson (28:43)
trouble. So I quickly moved back and had to let go of my team. I had a whole team in place who was running things, had to let them go, and now I’ve taken over and I’m having to build back up again.

Jake (28:55)
Yeah, that segues perfectly into my next question. And I was going to say kind of what was the effect that the fires had on your business and the event business that you see.

Lee Anderson (29:09)
Catastrophic, pretty catastrophic. Within two months I was using my savings, my personal savings to pay bills. The phone stopped ringing. And it’s one thing that you have to explain to people when they’re like, oh, but the business is coming back from the fires. Well, it is if you’re a restaurant on island or a retail shop on island, guests are coming back and you are getting foot traffic. But with events,

you depend on 60 people coming to the island who are friends of yours or 40 people or 20 or whatever that number is. But you’re depending on all of those people coming to take part of your day and you’re booking that day a year out. So fire started, everybody’s phone stopped ringing on the island for booking events and my…

Jake (29:51)

Lee Anderson (30:02)
phone did not start ringing back until January, which is usually when we start booking, that’s a proposal season for us right after Christmas. So we start getting phone calls, people wanting to book events and do destination weddings. So that’s when our phones started ringing. So we lost all of 2024. And now people book a year out. So we’re booking 2025. And

Jake (30:27)

Lee Anderson (30:32)
So now we just have to make it through this year. And I know we have to make it through this year. So I’m getting a loan, a Small Business Association loan to bridge the gap and get us to next year.

Jake (30:43)
Wow, that is, yeah, it’s crazy. And I mean, I hope, I know you mentioned earlier that you are offering that discount for people booking in 2024, which I feel like is such a big thing to shout out to everyone. Like, hey, by the way, you ever thinking about getting married to Maui? Now is the time, because I feel like you’re not the only one that would be happy to have the business and help people out. And I know that’s been kind of a sentiment from a lot.

Lee Anderson (31:03)

Jake (31:09)
business is here is like, please come, we will do anything if you come right now. Like, and yeah.

Lee Anderson (31:13)
Yes, 100%. And I think, you know, what’s important to remember, Jake, and especially for people coming to the island. Yes, I’m offering a discount because I need to get the venue booked, but I’m not going to discount my goods and services because I’m giving you the same product and it costs me more than I would have given you before the fire. There was a freeze on food costs.

Jake (31:31)

Lee Anderson (31:42)
on the island of Maui that has just been lifted. So my costs, which were kind of stable, are now about to go up dramatically. And I’m still trying to honor those prices I gave people. So when people ask me for discounts and what else can you do for me, I can’t do anything else for you because I have to pay the bills here. And we have gotten together a lot of the wedding

Jake (31:46)

Yeah. Yeah.

Lee Anderson (32:12)
professionals on the island and event planners. So they’re DMCs, they’re destination management companies. They work, excuse me, they work with all the corporate businesses that come to the island. So we’ve all gotten together and we are reforming or reigniting the Maui Wedding and Event Association. It used to be in place years ago. It just ran its course at the time and we are bringing that back.

And you know, Brian Etheridge with Cutting Edge Catering is part of it. Darren Kiala, who’s a wedding planner. Tara Murphy, who is a photographer. Everybody from every walk of life in the wedding event industry is getting involved in this because the county and the state has forgotten what we bring to the table. And we bring a lot of money to the table, to this island.

Jake (32:44)

Lee Anderson (33:10)
when we’re flourishing and they’ve forgotten that. So we’re just reminding them that we’re here and we need to be considered.

Jake (33:19)
Yeah, well, that’s great. I’m glad that you brought that up because I would, I’m excited to talk to you more about that after this meeting, because that sounds like a really interesting thing that I would like to be a part of. Um, yeah, yeah, that’s great. Um, well, it was great talking to you and I appreciate you taking the time out to talk about your venue and your services. And I know that I have seen the location and it’s gorgeous and everyone should book immediately. Just.

Lee Anderson (33:26)



Jake (33:46)
Right after this, right after you hear this, just get on and book with Sugar Beach Events, because it’s beautiful and you won’t regret it. And don’t forget that you should have dueling pianos at the same time.

Lee Anderson (33:55)
Yes, and I was going to say you should bring a piano down and you can do a little video here.

Jake (34:00)
Yeah. Yeah. That’s, that’s a really good idea. I like that. We will. We’ll, we’ll definitely.

Lee Anderson (34:03)
I mean, I don’t know how easy it is to bring a piano down, but you know.

Jake (34:11)
It’s a lot easier than you think. I get a lot of, not that this is supposed to be a podcast about me, but since you brought it up, I get questions all the time of like, well, you know, we want to do it here and we want to do it there, but we don’t know. Like I had a venue specifically that was like, well, we want to do this, but you have to get upstairs and that won’t, you know, how could you do that? And the pianos are actually shells. So we can go just about anywhere with them. I can actually go do it.

Lee Anderson (34:13)
Ah, there we have it.



That was awesome!

Jake (34:40)
do it on the beach and I have pictures and videos of events that I have done on the beach so for smaller things we can actually put the shells out in the sand without anything so yeah yeah

Lee Anderson (34:50)
I love it. That’s great. Good to know. I can’t wait to see it here at Sugar Beach one day.

Jake (34:55)
Me too, I’m excited for it. Cool, well thank you so much for joining, I appreciate it.

Lee Anderson (34:58)

My pleasure. Thank you. I appreciate your time.

Jake (35:05)

This interview was made possible by Felix & Fingers Dueling Pianos

{{ reviewsOverall }} / 5 Users (0 votes)
What people say... Please leave us a rating and review (reviews get posted online)
Order by:

Be the first to leave a review.

User AvatarUser Avatar
{{{review.rating_comment | nl2br}}}

This review has no replies yet.

Show more
Show more
{{ pageNumber+1 }}
Please leave us a rating and review (reviews get posted online)