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99 years of filling needs on Maui


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POSTED: Thursday, October 22, 2009

Operating Hasegawa General Store in Hana in East Maui in the early 1900s required a good pickup truck and a tenacity for overcoming transportation obstacles.

Between rural Hana and Kahului town, the thoroughfare was partially gravel but became a dirt road from Keanae to Haiku.

When the rain fell, sections of the road became muddy slopes.

“;My dad always took a tire pump with him. We had chains, too,”; recalled Harry Hasegawa, 75, a retired general manager. “;He would deflate the tires so it had more grip.”;

The store, celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2010, is operated by Neil Hasegawa, Harry's son and the great-grandson of co-founder Shoichi Hasegawa.

               

     

 

HASEGAWA GENERAL STORE

        Year Established: 1910
       

Original Owner: Saburo and Shoichi Hasegawa

       

Known for: Hasegawa is a general store, offering hardware, dry goods and produce, as well as postcards for residents and visitors.

       

Current Owner: Family-owned corporation with Harry Hasegawa as president, wife Nita as secretary and son Neil as vice president and treasurer

       

Address: 5165 Hana Highway, Hana, HI 96713

       

 

       

When Shoichi and his brother Saburo started the store in 1910, sugar cane was the major industry in Hana.

The first sugar cane mill in Hana was founded in 1849, and there were six sugar plantations by 1883.

Harry Hasegawa said that before the road to Hana became a gravel and dirt road in 1926, East Maui residents relied upon interisland steamships to deliver their goods at Hana Bay.

Hasegawa remembers his father saying the wholesale representatives who were in charge of delivering goods and taking new orders stayed overnight before moving on to their next stop.

Although tourism has replaced ranching and sugar growing in Hana, the store has remained a mainstay in the rural community, selling clothes, food and hardware goods, with an array from postcards to post diggers.

“;We sell horseshoe nails, spark plugs, hose clamps, fuel lines and a lot of ice,”; said Neil Hasegawa. “;With limited resources in Hana, we try to be sensitive to the community's needs.”;