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Pope family reunites to run Pi Artisan Pizzeria

By BY WALTER CHIHARA - | Dec 31, 2020

From left, Paula, Jack and John Pope, and Ben, Rell and Laura Tomko, at their family restaurant, Pi Artisan Pizzeria.

LAHAINA — The Pope family of Lahaina manifests the strength and integrity of the positive energy of the West Side community. Maintaining their altruistic and hard-working values in life, they have embarked on a new journey in acquiring Pi Artisan Pizzeria at the Outlets of Maui along Front Street in Old Lahaina Town.

Pi Artisan Pizzeria offers pizza, pasta, salads and sandwiches — featuring homegrown herbs and vegetables from their family garden — in a unique, European-style sidewalk cafe setting that looks out with unobstructed views across the Lahaina Roadstead to Lanai and beyond.

The family-owned venture is managed by patriarch John, with son Jack working alongside his dad 24/7 to make it go.

John Pope has worked for most of his adult life in the restaurant business, most recently managing at the Lahaina Yacht Club, while Paula has worked in the administrative office at Sacred Hearts School and Maria Lanakila Catholic Church, as well as operating her own business in recent years.

She has also been instrumental in the leadership and success of the Lahaina Swim Club, an organization that has climbed to the top rungs of the Hawaii Age Group Swimming standings.

Their children, Laura and Jack, have excelled in life as honor students, elite athletes, scholarship college graduates, and today to family life in Lahaina and contributors to renewing business energy here in Maui.

Both were age group and high school freestyle state champions and record holders who parlayed that success into Division I college scholarships.

Laura attended the University of San Diego, graduating with a degree in Finance and Accounting, before returning home to marry husband Ben Tomko. The couple recently brought a baby daughter named Rell — in honor of the late “Queen of Makaha,” Rell Sunn, of legendary surfing fame.

Jack went to the University of Pacific and competed for four years there before graduating with a degree in English Literature. He has also returned to Lahaina to manage Pi Artisan Pizzeria alongside his dad and coach keiki with Lahaina Swim Club.