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Mark Ellman was one of the 12 founding chefs of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement, helping solidify Hawaii's place on the culinary map.

In 1987 Mark and his wife Judy opened Avalon in Lahaina, Maui, their first of many local eateries.  Thru the 90’s the couple kept busy raising their daughters Ariana and Michelle while opening a chain of restaurants called Maui Tacos.

Eventually, they brought on their daughters to come work with them at Mala and Ocean Tavern, followed by Mark's sister Gerry who joined the family business when they opened Honu Pizza and Seafood.

After great success, the Ellmans opened Fridas Mexican Beach House which stood alongside Mala and Honu, three waterfront restaurants in the heart of Lahaina Town.            

Mark loved the restaurant business for many reasons but he truly enjoyed serving people.


The joy a person can experience through good food and a warm environment was the fundamental his parents instilled in him that later he would instill in his daughters.  

While living on Maui Mark fully embraced the aloha spirit, giving back to his community and lending a helping hand where needed.  In helping others, Mark had the inspiration of Practice Aloha a phrase he would grow and spread around the world.  He found it important to share with people the beauty he’d found in the word Aloha and the meaning behind it. 

Shortly after selling Frida's Mexican Beach House in 2023, Mark tragically passed away. The family felt that even though Mark was gone his legacy of Practice Aloha should live on. A positive message that still needed to be heard.  

Thank you for your continuing support. 


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