Hoku Scientific and Tiki’s Grill & Bar in fast company
Two Hawaii companies are profiled in Entrepreneur magazine's Hot 500 fastest-growing businesses in 2007.
In addition to other criteria, Hoku Scientific Inc. and Tiki's Grill & Bar LLC measured up by exceeding $1 million in annual sales and by showing positive job growth over a four-year period.
Hoku's at a heady No. 91.
The energy technology company started in 2001, turned a profit in 2005 and earned its first $1 million that same year, according to the magazine.
The $7.8 million initial investment came from just about everywhere, including friends and family, a bank loan, savings or personal funds, venture capital, private investors and credit cards.
What, no bake sale?
Its 2002 sales of $125,000 are dwarfed by the $5.6 million made in 2006.
Not quite half-way through the list, at No. 216, is Tiki's Grill & Bar, which opened in October of 2002 at the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel, as it was called then.
The property's nomenclature changed to the ResortQuest Waikiki Beach Hotel and opening executive chef Fred DeAngelo has moved on to his own restaurant, Ola, on the North Shore, but the company has expanded with a sister restaurant at Waikiki Beach Walk, Holokai Grill.
Tiki's turned a profit and earned its first $1 million in 2003, and went from sales of $954,000 in 2002 to $9 million in 2006.
Change, but no change
A big national pack-and-ship buyout won't even change the signage at the Packaging Store at 2282 Hoonee Place, near Sand Island Access Road.
San Diego-based Postal Annex+ completed its acquisition of the Packaging Store franchise business from Colorado-based Pack & Ship last week, for undisclosed terms.
The 68 retail units specialize in hard-to-ship items.
"We package anything from fine china to Harley-Davidson motorcycles and grand pianos," said Radford Fujioka, Hawaii franchise owner.
Boy, that piano must take a lot of peanuts, observed your woefully ignorant columnist.
Chuckling, Fujioka patiently explained that for items such as a motorcycle or piano, "We make wooden crates and build special braces inside," and fill them not with peanuts, but a different type of foam.
Fujioka's franchise agreement is not changed by the national deal, except that his royalty payments will be addressed differently and needn't travel so far by mail.
The shop's hours will also remain the same, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: email@example.com