Pahoa Cash & Carry
After 75 years, this local grocery store in Pahoa, Hawaii that sold everything from food, clothing to needles and threads, is closing its doors for good.
This is the kind of change that ought not to happen. It is with sadness and gratitude that I add my stories about Mr. Hara, the original owner.
We would not have survived in Kapoho without him; he allowed my mother to charge all our groceries and waited until we harvested our cane crop every few years to pay our debts. I see him sprawled through our doorway, taking notes of our grocery list: 100 # of rice, spam and Vienna sausage and Japanese saké among other staples. We had no vehicle so Mr. Hara personally delivered all our purchases.
After our village Kapoho was destroyed by Kilauea Volcano, state land in Pahoa, a village seven miles away, was offered at a public auction for victims who had lost their property. Mr. Hara stayed next to my mother and encouraged her to purchase our new property, coaxing her to bid above the going price, “I will lend you the money without interest.” And he did. My father’s last bachelor spree was with Mr . Hara when they both went to Japan before my father got “arranged” married. A black and white photo preserves these two young men in their suits, on their way to their last bachelor fling.
I hope the humanity of his legacy will be carried on by his customers. It will be long remembered and lived here.
A small tribute is given him in my book, Kapoho, Memoir of a Modern Pompeii.