Maui, Hawaii is not just about scenic landscapes. There are also many exciting things about this island’s long-lasting culture and economy. Today, let’s discover one of Maui’s Oldest family-run businesses.
The Hasegawa General Store – Maui’s Oldest Family-Run Businesses
The Hasegawa General Store is in Hana, Maui. Hana is a small town well-known for its picturesque path to the area. In this remote neighborhood, time moves slowly. There are no crowded roads full of chain stores or shopping plazas. Instead, the locals here ran family-owned businesses to provide their goods.
For ages, the Hasegawa General Store has served both Hana locals and the rising number of tourists. The shelves of this store are full of necessities, from engine oil to postcards, from wine to kombucha.
History Of The Store
In 1910, the great grandfather of Neil Hasegawa, Shoichi Hasegawa, ran the store with his brother, Saburo Hasegawa. About a century later, the brothers’ store continues to operate as an important outpost in the neighborhood.
In 1958, Toshimasa Hasegawa, the firstborn of Shoichi Hasegawa built a new brick building. However, the store stayed unassuming and a family-owned convenience store, full of eclectic merchandise and peculiarities.
A Tragic Fire – Maui’s Oldest Family-Run Businesses
In 1990, the store had been destroyed by a disastrous fire. It left the Hasegawa General store unsalvageable. Only photos and postcards preserve the original image of Toshimasa Hasegawa’s construction.
Though the storefront was ruined, the family business persisted. Preserving the initial intent of the shop, the Hasegawa family resumed providing the Hana residents with their necessities.
Innovate But Still Keep The Traditional Characteristics
After the tragic fire, the shop maintained its crew employed, cleared the spot, and launched the new Hasegawa General Store. Though the physical layout of the shop has altered throughout the years, running the business has stayed a family affair.
Multi-generational businesses, such as the Hasegawa General Store, capture Hawaii’s spirit of an early era. In the 19th century, waves of emigrants arrived on the Islands pursuing new prospects, leading to farm labor. Along with the native, the Portuguese, Japanese, and Chinese contract workers became the Islands’ locals. Soon after, emigrants from the Philippines, Korea, and Europe also arrived in Hawaii.
The enterprising spirit filled many emigrants. When agreements with the farms ended, they ran their shops and became their managers. For many firms, operating the shop was a whole family effort. And this business would be handed down like keepsakes for the next generations. Throughout generations, these shops are a piece of the island’s remarkable history. They reflect the incorporation of various cultures and growing periods in Hawaii.
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