The Mill is surrounded and supported by a firmament full of bright star donors. One such star in our community is Noriko Kikuchi.
You may know her as the mastermind and owner behind local eatery Peaberry & Galette. An artist in her own right, Noriko enjoys to draw in addition to her skills in the culinary arts that have dazzled patrons of her restaurants for over 20 years.
Noriko opened Peaberry in 2004 and it is a mainstay of arts support in our community. One of the first things Noriko did when she opened the café was to provide a free gallery space for local artists to exhibit their work. She still proudly offers this service today allowing artists to keep 100% of their profits.
The café features an artist that rotates monthly. Over the years, she estimates that the café has showcased over 100 local artists. Currently, sign ups for 2023 spots are full. If you are interested in showing your own work at Peaberry & Galette, please stop by in person to get on the waitlist. Sign ups for 2024 will open again in summer 2023.
In addition to championing the local arts scene, Noriko has become a resource to women who have emigrated from Japan and relocated to Kona. She has formed a network of women and offers a range of support: job opportunities, helpful tips on navigating language barriers, community, and solidarity.
Noriko first got involved at the Donkey Mill through personal friendships with Program Director, Miho Morinoue and the Morinoue family, who helped found the Mill. She also bonded with teaching artists Tomoko Nakazato and Gerald Lucena in the Mill’s early years.
When asked why she chooses to give to the Mill year after year, Noriko said she is “inspired to give to the arts and to keep giving where she can trust the money will be put to good use.” In the last seven years, Noriko has generously donated over $38,000 to the Donkey Mill, sharing the prosperity of her business with her community.
Arigato gozaimasu, Noriko-san, for being a part of the Donkey Mill ‘ohana.