Small Business

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…

Wham BAMP, Thank You, Fans

If you’ve been to a concert in Hawaii in the past couple of years, odds are good that you were fueling the BAMP fire. BAMP — an acronym for its owners, Brad Smith, Aubry Boutin, Matthew Hazelgrove and Philip Pendleton…

Hot Stuff

James “Jimmy” Chan is packing some major heat – with his new Kilauea Fire Hawaiian Style BBQ sauce, that is. The owner of the Hawaiian Chip Company turned his most popular taro and sweet-potato chip flavor into an all-in-one barbecue…

Naked Cows

In a state where most dairy farms have gone out of business, Waianae’s new Naked Cow Dairy is carving a niche with all-natural flavored butter and cheese. Naked Cow specializes in feta, cream and other soft cheeses, and butter with…

Helping People Heal Themselves

Local company seeks early position in $80 billion industry Honolulu-based Tissue Genesis is taking self-help a step further with its patented cell isolation system. In less than two hours, a patient’s own regenerative cells can be put back into their…

Hidden Gems to Help You

Five government resources that can jumpstart your small business Island Princess, a local candy company, had been growing since it began in 1983 but struggled to stay alive when the economy nosedived after 9/11. “Sales were way down and we…

Living Art

Greg Lee, CEO of 1st Look Exteriors, combined his two greatest passions — plants and art — to create a niche business that’s so unique he’s the only licensed contractor of his kind in the state. 1st Look Exteriors designs…