Four long-time Kailua businesses, locally owned and deeply rooted in the community, have cultivated a loyal customer following over the years – or in some cases, over decades. Mission-driven and community-minded, each makes its mark in the fabric of Kailua’s small-town charm.
Sadie Akamine, owner of The Picket Fence (111 Hekili St #106, Kailua, HI 96734), relocated her floral business to Kailua Town in 1979 where it has blossomed into a go-to shop for those looking for singular flower arrangements and centerpieces, Hawaiian lei for special celebrations, custom gift baskets or a box of beautifully packed tropical flowers to cheer up a family member or friend across the Pacific. Sadie describes her customers as “flower savvy, intelligent and giving”, and the same can be said about her. Some years ago, she started an annual Good Neighbor Day flower giveaway, inviting customers to stop by for a dozen free roses – one to keep for themselves and the rest to share with others. Over a 10-year period, she gave away 10,000 roses – over 800 dozen! These days she remains focused on brightening the lives of others as they cope with lockdowns and uncertainties due to the pandemic. A weekly online giveaway of tropical flowers or an orchid plant that began in September will continue into October.
The Dymond Touch
What started as a ‘retirement’ job for California transplant Don Dymond in the early 1990s has grown into a successful family business run by Don’s son Lindsey. After turning the charming but aging Kalapawai Market on Kalaheo into a thriving Kailua landmark, the Dymond family expanded on its success and built what has become another familiar fixture, at the entrance to Kailua Town. Kalapawai Café & Deli (750 Kailua Rd, Kailua, HI 96734) opened in 2006. Designed with the same green and white plantation-style architecture as the iconic market, and bearing the same casual vibe, the café has morphed from its original concept as a deli and coffee shop into a popular place to share tapas and glass of fine wine or find a full-service dinner menu with a bent towards locally sourced ingredients. “The most important part about running our businesses is to take care of our local customers, those that live a mile down the road,” says Lindsey.
Neighborhood Boutique – Global Values
Only a few die-hard customers remember the humble beginnings of Global Village (539 Kailua Rd #103, Kailua, HI 96734), a family-owned boutique established in 1995 by Sharrie Ah Chick and her daughters, Debbie Ah Chick-Hopkins and Dawn Ravelo – a mother-daughter trio and long-time Kailua residents. They started with kiosks at Windward Mall and Polynesian Cultural Center before settling into space at the Kailua Village Shops in heart of town. You’ll find unique merchandise that includes Global Village’s original graphic tees and clothing line along with accessories, gifts and handcrafted jewelry – intentionally sourced to meet one or more of the company’s values: created locally, fair-trade, socially responsible and/or eco-conscious. The story behind the product matters.
In 1995, budding entrepreneurs Peter and Debbie Anderson opened Morning Brew (600 Kailua Rd, Kailua, HI 96734) on Saint Patrick’s Day, Introducing Kailua Town to a funky, bohemian-style coffeehouse. The couple could be found behind the counter serving up tasty breakfasts and the best coffees they could find. It didn’t take long for “The Brew” to become a favorite meeting place for devotees. Just as they reached capacity at their tiny café, an adjacent space opened, allowing them to expand their business and broaden their healthy breakfast and lunch menus – including new vegan options. What hasn’t changed is the same friendly ambiance their customers appreciate.