Video by Kent Nishimura/The Honolulu Advertiser

Yvonne Nielsen grew up in in Milwaukee, where her dad operated a 24-hour-a-day diner offering "gourmet food at workman's prices." She vowed she'd never get into the restaurant business, which tends to consume one's life.

But the mango never falls very far from the tree. Nielsen, who has lived in Hawai'i for 25 years working as a life coach and psychotherapist, fell in love with a sliver of property just off Kamehameha Highway in Kahalu'u, and persuaded her partner, a construction guy named Tommy Moore, that they should buy it. The property, which includes a small home with a commercial kitchen tacked on and, just steps from the back door, Kane'ohe Bay, is zoned for a takeout restaurant. To live there, they had to serve food.

And so was born Manalani's Gourmet Takeout & Catering, just past the Sunshine Art Gallery as you head out Kualoa way.

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