2013 Founders & Visionaries
(page 2 of 4)
FB Innovation Hawaii Inc
President & CEO of FB Innovation Hawaii Inc., Yuka “Lisa” Nawano, and some of her ohana in front of Eggs ’n Things – Saratoga Flagship.
In 1974, Eggs ’n Things opened its doors to the public. Its founders, Jerry and Jan Fukunaga, hoped for success with a breakfast place that simply focused on freshness and quality. The tiny restaurant on Ena Road barely had a dozen tables. In no time, customers were lining up along the street waiting to get in; Eggs was undeniably operating above expectations. Eggs then moved to the crossroads of Kalakaua and McCully where it proved to be the choice among tourists and locals as the place for late night pancakes after an evening in Waikiki.
In 2008, with retirement imminent, Jan Fukunaga turned to long time customer and family friend, Yuka Nawano. Jan felt that Yuka held the entrepreneurial spirit and passion for Eggs ’n Things that she had.
From the start, Yuka insisted on maintaining her predecessor’s high standards. “Eggs ’n Things already has the winning combination. The central things must stay the same! It won’t be Eggs ’n Things if they don’t,” she repeatedly pointed out.
To get things up and running, she enlisted the help of Michael Skedeleski as general manager. “Quality food and the spirit of aloha . . . It’s a system and formula that isn’t easily repeatable,” said Skedeleski. Added Damian Zukeran, public relations manager, “The concept is simple, but finding the right people and creating the culture is not easy.”
With much of its original staff opting to stay on, Eggs ’n Things reopened in March 2009 in a larger venue on Saratoga Road. The new location, closer to the heart of Waikiki, brought even larger crowds.
In December 2011, the second location, Eggs ’n Things Waikiki Beach Eggspress, opened on Kalakaua Avenue. The Eggspress was designed as a takeout and casual dine-in version of the original Eggs and geared toward serving busy tourists, beachgoers, and shoppers. “We felt that by having two locations, we could accommodate people hungry for Eggs fare more easily. But, our local fans still had difficulty getting to us,” commented Skedeleski and Zukeran. Yuka continues, “It’s the local people that made us what we are and I had been searching for a location for the local market for quite some time.”
In late 2012, Eggs ’n Things Ala Moana, a site that locals could patronize more readily, opened on the corner of Piikoi & Kona Street. When asked about how she was able to open two new locations less than a year apart, Yuka replied that she owes it all to her dedicated staff. Skedeleski and Zukeran agree that it was extremely challenging, “However, we’ve got to admit that we found the development of projects such as the two latest Eggs exhilarating and fulfilling.”
Next year, Eggs ’n Things will turn 40. What does the future hold for the company? Posed this question, Yuka commented, “We are still a very young company. There are always new eggs to be hatched and things in the works.”
Eggs ’n Things
Waikiki Beach Eggspress
Ala Moana 808-923-3447
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