How local retail stores are staying afloat in a small market
On a typical day, you can cruise through Kaunakakai’s main street in less than a minute. With three compact blocks of stores and eateries, owners must do business with a special delicacy. As the local retail industry grows, they’re navigating new challenges of unexpected competition but are mining their talents and aloha spirit to survive.
In Molokai’s economy, many customers “live paycheck to paycheck,” explained Michelle Hiro, who opened Molokai Cellular in 2008. Business owners said the key to co-existing in a compact, slower-paced setting is respecting each other’s corners of the market.…
Photo by Colleen Uechi.
Growing up, Leilani Kadowaki was bewildered by beauty salons. In her hometown of Maunaloa, there was a salon called Sheer Delight, and when people went in and emerged with new hairstyles, it puzzled her.
“[I said,] ‘What are you guys doing in there, getting your hair all permed up in those curly things? The lady looks scary,’” Kadowaki remembers with a laugh.
More than 20 years later, hairstyling is one of her passions, and she and her family are bringing the beauty business back to her hometown. Michelle and Raymond Hiro, Kadowaki’s aunt and uncle, helped her open a salon on 100 Maunaloa Highway, in the same spot as the salon of her childhood, which was converted into a Molokai Ranch security office and later went unused for more than a decade, according to Raymond.…
A group of Molokai farmers were looking to cultivate something beyond bananas and broccoli on Nov. 20: their business and marketing abilities. About a dozen local farmers and ranchers gathered at Hikiola to attend the Agriculture Business Development Training workshop to refine their skills at winning customers and securing funding.
With the county moratorium on genetically engineered crops currently on hold, many farmers are uncertain about the possible effects on their businesses. Although the workshop’s guest speaker, Nicole Milne, didn’t have concrete answers, she said laying out and following smart plans will keep farmers on the right path.
“I feel like people’s goals for their businesses and their farming ideals are fairly secure,” said Milne, associate vice president for programs for The Kohala Center, a Hawaii Island-based research and education organization.…
Sisters and business partners Leimana Ritte-Camara, left, and Kala`e Tangonan, right, silkscreen a tie in the studio behind their new shop. Photo by Colleen Uechi.
Sitting in her brand-new work studio, local business owner and artist Kala`e Tangonan talks about the Hawaiian mamo. The long-beaked bird, which ali`i prized for its feathers, went extinct more than 100 years ago, a fact that both saddens and inspires Tangonan.
“I thought, ‘I’m gonna make me a mamo,’” Tangonan said, gazing at a line of hanging pareos freshly silkscreened with her hand-drawn mamo. “People can wear him and he can come back alive.”
The desire to weave cultural heritage into art is reflected in the motto of the new business that Tangonan shares with her younger sister Leimana Ritte-Camara and friend Miki`ala Pescaia.…
Tante’s Island Cuisine’s contract with Hotel Molokai has been called off. Tante’s owner Tante Urban and Hotel Molokai Manger Micheal Drew both confirmed the Maui-based company will no longer be responsible for management of the hotel’s bar and restaurant, though neither would give a reason. Both called it a “mutual agreement.”
Tante’s at Hotel Molokai had been operating the bar and offering a small grill menu while the hotel’s kitchen is being rebuilt after a fire destroyed it two years ago.
Management deal or not, Drew said kitchen construction is still on schedule to be completed in early 2015.
“We hope to open doors to the public on or before Valentine’s Day,” Drew confirmed.…
Kanemitsu’s Bakery at the Festival. Photo courtesy of the County of Maui.
The owners of 12 Molokai businesses came home from Maui earlier this month with new customers, sales leads, county-wide fans and a great experience. They attended the first-ever Made in Maui County Festival, an event that showcased locally made products from more than 130 vendors at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center.
The positive response to the festival astounded everyone.
Jennifer Hawkins, small business advocate at Molokai’s Kuha`o Business Center, said about 8,000 attendees were anticipated at the event. Yet despite pouring rain throughout the day, more than 9,000 people came.…
A federal judge in Honolulu has ordered a temporary hold on enforcement of the moratorium on genetically engineered crops passed by Maui County voters on Nov. 4. Last week, Monsanto and other parties filed a lawsuit against the County of Maui, challenging the moratorium. Judge Barry Kurren granted Monsanto and other plaintiffs in the suit a temporary injunction until Dec. 5.
The county stated last week it was preparing to enforce the moratorium pending the Election Officer’s certification of election results, but the judge’s injunction will put a hold on enforcement until further court action.
Injunction is a court order for a party to do, or refrain from doing, specific acts.…
ONABEN News Release
The Maui County Office of Economic Development Molokai Kuha`o Business Center along with MEO Business Development Center will partner with ONABEN-A Native American Business Network to present a series of business workshops on Thursday, Nov. 13. The workshops will be held at the County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development Kuha`o Business Center which is at 2 Kamoi Street, Suite 600, Kaunakakai, HI, 96748.
The first workshop will occur from 12:30 to 2 p.m. April Lemly, ONABEN’s Marketing Coordinator, will lead an overview of web design basics for small businesses.
The second workshop will occur from 4 to 5:30 p.m.…
Kuha`o Business Center News Release
There will be a Farm Tax Workshop held Nov. 6, 2014 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Maui Economic Opportunity (MEO) Business Development Classroom. Michael Holl will be the returning to Molokai to speak to farmers and ranchers about business taxes. This workshop will help you manage your labor, financial and legal risks. Holl, who is from Oahu, is an enrolled agent who is a federally-authorized tax practitioner, licensed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to negotiate with the IRS on behalf of taxpayers.
The Molokai Farm Tax Workshop is designed to enable farmers to lower their tax liabilities by a better understanding of business deductions, tax preparation and record keeping to minimize taxes and chances of an audit, business entities for your farm, how employment laws and independent contractor requirements affect your business, and special provisions in the tax code regarding farm income averaging to significantly lower taxes resulting from “bumper” crops.…
When Child & Family Service (CFS) first arrived on Molokai in 2008, staff members worked with families in a one-room building in Kualapu`u, according to Nicole Hokoana, CFS’s Director of Maui County Programs. Six years later, CFS has a new, seven-room office on Kaunakakai’s main street, a fresh location for Hawaii’s oldest human service nonprofit.
“We’re all here because we have one thing in common: we love our children,” said Kahu Jimmy Duvauchelle, who came to help bless the new location last Friday. “We wanna give them nothing but the best.”
CFS, which helps families through serious issues that include domestic violence and sexual assault, went from the small building in Kualapu`u to a location next to Hometown Goods on Kaunakakai’s main street.…