Small Business

How to Reduce Risks & Lower Costs

It’s no secret that small businesses typically don’t qualify for the risk-assessment and loss-prevention counseling that large firms get from insurance companies. Big customers paying tens of thousands of dollars in premiums can get specialists to visit their businesses to…

Broke da Face

Hot sauce isn’t a common condiment for pizza, but it works when it’s from Broke Da Face Sauces. Used at the V Lounge Kiawe Fire Pizza in Honolulu, it gives a flavorful, spicy kick that does more than just “broke…

Abalone, By the Numbers

Big Island Abalone Corp. has been operating on a 10-acre farm at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority in Kona since 1996 and is currently expanding. Over the years, its abalone has been served at some of Hawaii’s finest…

Green Tea/Noni Combo Catches a Wave

In its first few months, Haleiwa-based greenteaHawaii has generated a buzz. The October issue of “Life & Style” magazine mentioned that “Dancing with the Stars” contestant Bristol Palin (Sarah’s daughter) drinks its green tea for energy and weight loss. Ryan…

The Business of Local Fashion

Hawaii is not an easy place to be a fashion designer. While inspiration abounds, the business of fashion in the Islands presents a unique set of problems. It costs more to source materials and have them shipped here. Finding people…

Room Redesigns in a Day

The sluggish economy prompted interior designers Jean Wall and Joan Robinson-Whitaker to start an affordable, one-day design service. Designer for a Day launched in August 2008 after Robinson-Whitaker was laid off from Castle Resorts & Hotels and Wall’s business ended. “We…

A Love for Fine Shoes Pays Off

Tom Park, founder and owner of Leather Soul, which carries exclusive men’s shoes, can’t believe his success in following a dream. “I’ve always loved shoes, from when I was in kindergarten,” he says. In March, his flagship Waikiki store moved…

Renovated Comfort

Need a comfortable, upscale place in Honolulu to meet and impress clients that doesn’t just serve lattes? Try the Plaza Club, renovated this year and located downtown on the 21st floor of Pioneer Plaza. Furnishings that had been around since…

North Shore Poke

A signature sauce and five-generation recipe keep people coming back for shoyu poke from Kahuku Superette on Oahu’s North Shore. “I call it ‘mother’s love sauce’ and, once you try it, you’re addicted for life,” says manager Diane Primacio. Market…

In Search of Pastrami

Honolulu delicatessens are better known for serving musubi than sandwiches, but sometimes you just need a piled-high pastrami sandwich, location be damned. For obvious reasons, Giovanni Pastrami fills the need. I sampled the Pastrami Reuben sandwich, the restaurant’s most popular…

Stores Flourish in an Online World

Online competitors were killing off bricks-and-mortar music stores when Peter Dods bought Honolulu’s Easy Music Center from Servco Pacific in 2005. Since then, Dods has opened a second store and, with the two locations, has tripled sales and quintupled profits,…

Mediation Lessons

John Bates’ job as a mediator is to help find common ground. He has overseen thousands of mediations since opening his firm in 1991 and says mediation gives disputing parties power over a settlement’s outcome while providing confidentiality and certainty…

Passionate Smoothie

Lanikai Juice’s most popular smoothie is the Pacific Passion, which is made by blending passion fruit, pineapple, mango, papaya, banana, yogurt and honey. “We use fresh yogurt and we don’t use any concentrate juice,” says Pablo Gonzalez, owner of Lanikai…

Kau Kau Corner

Don’t be alarmed if you see smoke billowing and a crowd gathered in front of the Davies Pacific Center around lunchtime on the second or fourth Tuesday of the month. It’s not a fire, it’s the Merchant Street Market, which…

Putting Down Roots

The weak economy didn’t stop Marysol Ruiz and Soufiane Bouharkat from taking the next step in their business. Le Crepe Café opened a permanent location in November, two years after the married couple started their venture with a cart. A…

SmallBiz Success Awards 2010

A group of Native Hawaiians helping to keep our nation safe. A solar-energy innovator and a sunscreen company, both of them aiming locally and globally. Two Neighbor Island family stores, each almost a century old. And a company whose employees give and give and give some more. They are the 2010 winners of the Hawaii Business SmallBiz Success Awards.

Helping ‘Buy Local’ Succeed

Every year, millions of dollars in contracts are awarded to Mainland vendors for products and services that could be going to local businesses. The Buying Local First campaign is connecting Big Island businesses with federal, state and county contract vendors…

Businesses Help Students

Eighty Hawaii businesses have committed to helping public-high-school students complete senior projects as part of a special recognition diploma, but more businesspeople are needed. The mentor program, led by the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, comes after a chamber survey…