“Play is by far my favorite thing about being a dad; I get to act like a kid again.” -Andrew Fisher
Maui Dad Interview #4: Andrew Fisher
How did you meet your partner?
I met my wife, Ellen, in 7th grade, and she became my girlfriend in our sophomore year of high school. I asked her to be my girlfriend on New Years Day of 2003 and we have been together ever since. We were married on April 25, 2009, at the end of our senior year of college, and this year we’ll celebrate 6 wonderful years of marriage.
How many children do you have?
We have a son named Elvis who turned three in November; we are expecting our second child in April, 2015.
Where are you originally from and what brought you to Maui?
I was born and raised in Orange, County California. While my wife and I were working at a local health food store, we met a beautiful family that had just relocated to our town from Maui. They shared amazing experiences about raising their family on Maui. This conversation sparked something in us – we were tired of living the rat race. In our hometown it’s all about what kind of car you drive or what kind of job you have. We were also sick of all of the pollution and traffic. We decided to go on a vacation to Maui to scope it out and see for ourselves if it was everything that this family said it was. It was! When our trip was over, and it was time to leave Maui, we were so sad. We knew deep down that we would end up there one day. A couple years later, in March of 2013, we made the move to Maui!
What is your line of work?
I have two jobs. My full-time job is as a grocery buyer for Mana Foods in Paia. With Mana Foods my priority is to get the best possible deal from our wholesalers so that customers can get the lowest possible prices, which is Mana Food’s primary goal. I also make sure that the shelves are always stocked. I worked at a health food store on the mainland, and believe it or not, some things are actually cheaper here at Mana Foods!
I also work part-time for Skyline Eco Adventures as a zip-line tour guide. This means that three days a week I get to go zip-lining while making sure everyone stays safe and has a good time. Basically, I get to have fun all day! In total I work around 50 to 60 hours a week, but the zip-lining part of the week doesn’t really count as work in my mind.
What are your favorite locations to enjoy with your son on Maui?
My favorite place to spend time with Elvis has to be at Baby Beach in Paia. Elvis’s favorite thing to do is play at the beach together and hang out with other little kids. When Elvis is having a good time, I am having a good time. Another one of my favorite places to go with Elvis is the farmers’ market. Elvis loves fruits and veggies, so he has so much fun helping to pick them out and sample them. Going shopping for essentials with Elvis gives us a great opportunity to bond, while also giving my wife time to herself to work on her business at home.
What are your favorite foods and places to eat on Maui with your son?
Elvis’s favorite food in the world is coconut. Nothing brings me more pleasure than cracking one open and sharing it with him. We love walking into Paia town to find the Coconut Man in his white van selling “cocos” outside of Mana Foods. I’m pretty sure if Elvis could pick one food to live off of for the rest of his life he would choose coconuts in a heartbeat. It’s so much fun to watch your child light up with excitement for something as simple as a coconut.
In terms of food choices, Elvis is actually the healthiest kid I have ever met. He has eaten nothing but 100% fully vegan and mostly raw foods since birth, and was breast fed until 26 months of age. He loves to munch on kale from our garden, and he voraciously eats heaping bowls of salad.
Our favorite restaurant to go to is a brand new one called Maka, which just opened in Paia. Maka’s menu consists of entirely vegan and mostly raw foods. My wife and I are also vegan, so it is great to be able to go somewhere where our whole family can enjoy everything on the menu. My favorite dish there — most likely their specialty — has to be the raw cheesecake. It is out of this world!
What is a funny memory that you have about fathering?
Before Elvis was born, I remember people telling me how much having a son was going to change my life. I didn’t really take these messages to heart. I never imagined that there would be nights where I only slept for a few hours. I also never knew that I had so much love in my heart and that I could love someone as much as I love Elvis. I have thousands of funny memories of silly things that Elvis has done or said, but the funniest thing to me is thinking back to how little I knew about fatherhood before actually becoming a Dad.
What is the most challenging aspect of fatherhood for you?
I was very fortunate that I had a great father to learn from, so I feel like being a good Dad comes naturally to me, although I will admit that I am far from perfect! I think the biggest challenge for me is to be a good husband while also being a good Dad. I love my wife more than anyone else in the world, but having a child takes away a lot of special time for us as a couple. It has been difficult to adjust to that. Taking the much needed time to be alone and go on dates is difficult. I’ll admit that we didn’t go on a date for at least the first 6 months of Elvis’ life, and that can hurt a relationship. Since Elvis has grown and been weaned from breast-milk, it has been a lot easier. In spite of everything, I have never once doubted my marriage. I want to be the best Dad I can be, but if there is one thing I can work on it’s being the best husband I can be, and it definitely takes a lot of work to do both.
What is the thing that you do best as a father?
The thing that I am best at in fatherhood is expressing my love to my son. I tell him often how much I love him, and I shower him with hugs and kisses. Many men grow up with dads that don’t show affection to them, so it doesn’t become natural for those men to express affection to their own sons when they themselves become dads. It is so natural for me to express my love to Elvis. In return, he has learned how to express his love and affection to others. He’ll randomly give his little friends hugs and kisses and always tells them how much he loves them; I give credit for this to my own father, who always made me feel so loved.
What is your favorite thing about being a dad?
There are so many things about being a Dad that I love. When I am with my son, my days are filled with laughter. We could be stuck in the house on a rainy day or at the beach on a beautiful sunny day; no matter what we’re doing, we’re always having fun. I love playing around with him and teaching him things like playing different sports and growing a garden. Play is by far my favorite thing about being a Dad; I get to feel like a kid again.
Anything else you’d like to share, shout-out, plug, or promote?
My wife is an amazing person with a great deal of passion for health and wellness. She is a gifted photographer, writer, mother, and so many other things. Her calling in life is to help and inspire people to raise healthy children, protect and heal the planet, and have compassion for the animals. She desires for all this to become the norm so that the world can be a more peaceful loving place for future generations, and be brought back to its original design: to thrive. We’ve discovered that being vegan is the number one way that people can make a positive environmental impact on our planet. Ellen shares our vegan family’s journey through her website, blog, and Instagram account, where she currently has 70,000 dedicated “followers”. On her Instagram account, she shares photos of our life on Maui and explains our vegan lifestyle. She has also written a highly successful e-book called, “Epic Raw Food”, which has over 50 raw food vegan recipes and ten pages of health tips. Ellen’s Instagram account is called, ellenfisher, and her website can be found at mangoislandmamma.com. There, you can find links to her blog and purchase her E-book.
Is there an inspirational Maui Dad that you’d like to nominate for our next interview?
This is a no-brainer for me! I have only known this man for a short time, but he is an inspiring Dad and such a cool guy. Jesse Krebs has 4 kids and makes a living as a permaculture designer, helping people grow beautiful organic food in whatever spaces they have available. He has a beautiful family with such special kids, and my son Elvis loves them a lot. Jesse and I connected because we share a love of raw vegan food, especially local fruit.