Sharon Cheape: Third generation good egg

July 16th, 2010  |  by  |  Published in People  |  2 Comments

Sharon Peterson Cheape with tray of eggs

UH degree: BS in animal science ’82 Mānoa
Roots: Wahiawa
Family: husband Michael, BA ’83; daughter Lauren, BA ’09, son Matthew, sophomore kinesiology and leisure sciences major and Warrior volleyball team member
Stress reliever: swimming in the ocean

Sharon Peterson Cheape started working at her family’s 100-year-old Wahiawa Heights egg farm in second grade.

“Every day after school, we had assigned chicken houses that we had to collect our eggs from,” she recalled. Now she’s running Petersons’ Upland Farm, working alongside her 80-year-old father James Peterson Jr., BS ’52, and 78-year-old uncle Alan Peterson.

While a student at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Cheape explored the very different worlds of fine arts and science. She was dancing ballet while earning her degree in animal science.

“I would either be in animal science, at Kennedy Theatre or down in the quarry at the old temporary dance buildings,” she says.

Cheape earned a master’s in avian science from the University of California at Davis. She says her time at UH got her ready for more specialized study out of state. “It prepared me well and gave me the confidence to pursue advanced education and to succeed.”

She now counts about 11,000 chickens in the flock producing 7,000 eggs each day. The farm supplies fresh eggs to customers who pick them up on the farm as well as to commercial accounts that include chef Alan Wong’s restaurants.

Cheape is proud to be part of the trend of eating local and making Hawaiʻi more self-sustaining.

Niece, Emma Bello—a culinary student at Leeward Community College—whips up Cheape’s favorite egg dish. “She makes a killer crème brulee.”

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  1. Steve Allen says:

    July 24th, 2010at 12:22 pm(#)

    I lived in Wahiawa for over 20 years. I moved to the mainland 8 years ago, but I still remember picking up flats of eggs from the Peterson farn in the heights. Miss those fresh eggs.

  2. Brenda Palumbo-Ercolani says:

    July 30th, 2010at 5:31 pm(#)

    I taught at Leilehua High School in Wahiawa for 14 years and even though I have lived in MI now for the past 8 years I fondly recall the vivid smell of the Peterson farm. The family have always been generous supporters of the Mules and it is good to know that the family business continues.