Oprah Winfrey has started a farm on Maui to sell produce, soaps, massage oils, catering services, lotions, beauty products, etc., on Maui and throughout the Hawaiian Islands (The Maui News, Nov. 13). What does she think that will do to all of us small farmers, caterers, soap makers? How can we compete against $2.7 billion and her fame?
She bulldogs her way onto the island, can buy anything, then starts businesses that compete with everyone who has been working for years to make a living during difficult times. And for what? More fame? She doesn't need the money. Sure, that will employ some people, but what about the small entrepreneur - or big ones, for that matter - and the people we employ?
Maybe there is a lot more to the story. She keeps a low profile here, but I haven't heard of her involvement in anything on Maui. So it is hard to ascertain her motives.
She has an enormous following from people here who have helped her get where she is today. If she is going to pursue this, help us by buying what we already grow and make here then distribute those products to the rest of the world. What we need is her support. What we don't need is another wealthy conglomerate/icon making our lives more difficult. I really feel that she owes us some sort of statement instead of not returning a request for comment.
Michael P. McCoy