Another kamaaina family business will change hands
The Kaneohe A to Z Rental Center
is for sale. Established by Phyllis Jones' father Francis Hyde in "1968 or '69," Jones has decided to sell in the face of personal issues and when it was clear her 30-year-old son would not succeed her.
The third generation doesn't have the same emotional attachment to family business, and would like to have "a different thing discussed at the family dinner table," she said.
Her dad retired in the early 1990s, but "was still available. He was there. He was still the keeper of the keys," she said reverently.
He died in 2001 and her uncle Willard Tamane, her mother's brother who had worked in the business since the 1970s, took the helm.
In about 2005, he "began having cardiac problems," a scare that caused Jones to take over some bookkeeping, which Tamane resumed upon recovery.
He died unexpectedly in December at age 83.
"I didn't know where the checks were. I didn't know where anything was," she said.
Additionally, he had worked from home where he tended to his sister, Jones' mother, stricken with Alzheimer's disease.
"So I wound up doing everything ... I'm an only child, so I have all of this to deal with."
Jones had to hire a caregiver for her mother and then in January, "I started not feeling good."
She temporarily put off medical care to care for the business.
After discussions with her son and other stock-taking, Jones decided to sell.
"It's not that I'm going to stop working, I can't have the responsibility of ownership. It's more than I can deal with. It's not fair to me, it's not fair to my mom, it's not fair to the business. It's tough."
An employee of some 25 years is buying the company's Waipio outlet, which will keep the name A to Z Rental Center. She didn't name the employee, as the deal isn't pau.
Jones is looking for the right buyer for the Kaneohe store, "who will pick up my customers."
Almost every country has a saying about family businesses, said John Butler, faculty director of the Family Business Center of Hawaii, at the University of Hawaii.
"The first generation starts the business, the second generation builds the business, the third generation ruins the business," he said, citing one common adage.
It does not apply to Jones and is not always true. At least a few businesses in Japan are "a thousand years old," he said.
However, only about 20 percent of businesses make it to the second generation and a "much smaller number" gets to the third. "Retail is tough," he said.
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