Kupuna Caregiver: Loren Shoop

As parents, we dream of leaving a legacy for our children, but sometimes life takes unexpected turns and our best plans change. Or does it?

In this week's Kupuna Caregiver story, we highlight Loren Shoop.

"It's all made out of ulu. The ulu grows here on Oahu. Then we take it and we make different hummus flavors out of it," Shoop said.

He speaks passionately about his product to shoppers in Waikiki: "We have like our own ulu chips too you can use that at home."

Shoop is the founder of Ulu Mana, a Hawaii-born company that uses breadfruit or ulu to make hummus. The Hawaii island native has deep roots in agriculture, but his entrepreneurial spirit is fueled by something far more personal.

"My mom was actually helping me full-time at the farmers market at the time of the accident. She had a stroke," Shoop said.

Jillyn suffered a stroke in December 2015, when Shoop was only 25. He was all she had, and moved into his rented apartment which he shared with four friends.

"She had to move into my residence so I could take care of her 24/7, so I gave her my room. I lived in the living room while trying to run all this," Shoop said.

At the time, he was running three businesses.

"Twenty-four-seven, middle of the night, you know. All the meals. All the breakfasts. Medications, everything, so I had to do that plus do exactly what you see me doing here, all these farmers markets, so it was really tough balancing all of that. It was really hard," he said.

No one had answers, and he felt alone. His mother had depleted her savings and had no long-term care insurance.

"The finances were absolutely brutal. I had no idea. I did not see it coming," Shoop said. "I was going downhill, and not only was I going down. She was going downhill, too."

That's when he sought help and found a nice place for Mom to call home. Shoop recently started his fourth company, Ulu Mana, which allows him to serve his greater purpose.

"I don't have any shiny things, any cool stuff, but yeah, it goes to Mom. It pays for her. She's very happy. She's in a really nice care home now. They're able to take care of her and do the things they need to do," he said.

A devastating stroke altered Mom's life, but make no mistake, her legacy is still very much alive.

"Everything you see here, everything that I do, I learned from her as far as like presentation, how to treat a customer, how to treat someone," Shoop explained. "Every bit of her rubbed off on me, so I'm very thankful for that."

Trending Stories

Don't Miss

Story Center