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Many small businesses have felt the impact of COVID-19 in many ways. We believe that every small business has a unique story to tell. We’re putting a spotlight on three of the six locally-owned restaurants we’ve partnered with for Member Appreciation Day:

Hana Hou LogoPizza

 Hana Hou Restaurant

Hana Hou Restaurant’s humble beginnings began as Na’alehu’s Coffee Shop with Roy Toguchi. Roy later leased the building to Patty and Drake Fujimoto in 2003. After Mr. Toguchi’s passing in 2007, Patty and Drake purchased the property renaming the restaurant to what we know it to be today, Hana Hou Restaurant.

With Patty’s 50+ years of restaurant experience and Drake’s love for his hometown of Na’alehu, Hana Hou Restaurant continues to operate today with offerings of local food and baked goods. Hana Hou Restaurant is a homestyle comfort food restaurant located across the street from our CU Hawaii Na’alehu branch on 95-1148 Naalehu Spur Road.

“We have a little of everything to appeal to many appetites,” Patty says. 

Prior to COVID-19, Patty and Drake were exploring new ways to expand their menu. However, the pandemic put that idea on hold. With a pause in tourism, they had time to take a closer look at their business.

When indoor dining was not permitted, they temporarily renamed their restaurant “Hana Hou To Go” and began offering menu items that their local community did not have; pizza, sub sandwiches, and more luscious goodies.

“Life went upside down and here we are now, on our feet, and still going,” Patty adds. 

5 Spice logo5 Spice - snacks

5 Spice

Locals know that 5 Spice started at the Puainako Town Center. With over 35 years of serving the community, they made their big move to 2064 Kilauea Ave in 2019. 5 Spice started off in November 1985 as a crack seed shop selling a variety of snack items—li hing mui, rock salt plum and ice shave. The menu would later expand to bentos and to today’s Instagram daily specials. “We mainly wanted to sell crack seed, food was always a secondary thought,” Jin Soo Iida, owner of 5 Spice.

With the new location, 5 Spice is able to hold more products and further expand their menu. About a year into their new Kilauea Ave. location, COVID put a halt to Hawaii’s economy. “We started getting less traffic, business started to slow down,” Jin Soo recalls. Thankfully, 5 Spice doesn’t have a dine in area and was able to quickly change their operations. 5 Spice added new safety protocols, kept its normal hours and started delivery service.

Jin Soo adds, “we’re fortunate to stay in business. I’d like to thank all of our customers for their loyalty.” He hasn’t decided any new locations or expansion for 5 Spice. “My staff and I are taking it all one day at time—just appreciating every customer we get,” Jin Soo concludes.

 

Lani's Logo

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Lani's Island Snacks

Leilani (Lani) Kaluhiwa’s restaurant, Lani’s Island Snacks was founded based on her childhood nostalgia—visiting a local crack seed store. She wanted to recreate her most cherished childhood memories and share it with the community and especially with her mo’opuna. “I enjoy watching that moment when a child is handed their favorite snack, seeing their big smile and how their eyes light up. It's pure joy,” Lani explains. Lani’s Island Snacks provides local favorites with snacks and products from local businesses and entrepreneurs.

Lani’s didn’t start out as a snack shack at the Manono St. Marketplace but as “Lani’s Lunchwagon” in the 90s and early 2000s. “I created and served daily from scratch entrees for lunch. A few of my hot food items include chili, kalua pig, lau lau, pastele stew and burgers—teri gravy and kim chee,” Lani explains. These items are now available at her location on 681 Manono St. But Lani’s most popular items are her crack seed items: Prune Mui which is a special family recipe passed down from her Grandma and her own creation of The Original Lemon Peel Gummy Bears. "Crack Bears” the unofficial nickname given by her loyal customers.

COVID-19 has drastically changed Lani’s daily operations. Even with new implementation of CDC recommended safety measures, operational costs rose and revenue declined. Thankfully, Lani has been able to keep the doors open thanks to all the loyal customers. “We’re grateful for them who have supported us during these tough times. You know who you are, mahalo!” Lani exclaims.

If you were able to grab one of our "lunch on us" vouchers during Member Appreciation Day, they are good through May 10, 2021.

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