TAKEO KOMODA / 1916-2008
Patriarch still helped run family-owned T. Komoda Store
WAILUKU » His family's T. Komoda Store & Bakery in Makawao has gone through a number of changes but has survived for more than 95 years, partly because of his leadership.
Takeo Komoda, described as the quiet patriarch who liked to keep things simple but whose store gained recognition for its delicious cream puffs, died in his sleep at home on Aug. 1. He was 92.
Komoda was the eldest son in the family that founded the store in November 1916, the same year of his birth on Feb. 19.
His father, Takezo, worked as a sugar cane laborer on Maui for four years before becoming a cook to a family in Makawao.
Takezo and his wife, Shigeri, started a restaurant that later became a bakery and general store selling clothes and hardware items.
With competition from specialty stores and shopping centers, T. Komoda Store has focused mainly on producing and selling baked goods, including its cream puffs which sometimes sell out in just a couple of hours after it opens at 7 a.m.
The store bakes about 50 dozen cream puffs on weekdays and 100 dozen on weekends.
Calvin Shibuya, the store manager and son-in-law, said under his leadership, Komoda kept the store going without much new technology and kept his eye on the bottom line, doing all the bookkeeping and taking care of vendor payments, taxes and payroll.
"He was frugal," Shibuya said.
In the weeks before his death, Komoda caught the bus to Hale Makua Day Care on weekdays but continued to be involved in the family business.
On Saturdays he would sit in his chair in the store and help with pricing items.
Shibuya said the store will continue to be run in the way Komoda wanted it.
Funeral services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday at Nakamura Mortuary. Burial will follow at 2 p.m. at Maui Memorial Park.
As part of the mourning period, the store will be closed from tomorrow through Thursday.
Komoda is survived by wife Kiyoko; daughter Betty Shibuya; son-in-law Calvin Shibuya; brothers Ikuo, Dan, and Joe; sister Kikuye Mitsuda; three granddaughters; and one great-grandson.