Erika Engle

Eh, who wen stuck
words all over da fridge?

GOOFING around with a set of refrigerator word magnets during a trip with friends, Hawaii-born real estate agent Tushar Dubey thought it would be cool to have a set of pidgin words for local-kine ice-boxes.

They debut on store shelves today, complete with celebrity endorsement by local comic Andy Bumatai, at a suggested retail price of $14.95 for 600 pidgin words.


Fifty percent of the profits from Andy Bumatai's "Pidgin on da Fridge" magnets will be donated to charities, because Dubey also thought it would be cool to have a Paul Newman-esque company that could make a profit and benefit nonprofit organizations in more than a marginal way.

With that business model in mind, Dubey established Good Kine Inc. in January and has "tons" of additional product ideas in development. Oh, yeah -- he also has a day job with Dubey Realty LLC, the family real estate business founded by his mother, Abha.

Dubey is the son of immigrants who came to Hawaii from India with nothing and made successful careers, enabling him to attend Iolani and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

Bumatai, who gained fame through his pidgin-English comedy routines and albums, also serves as a consultant for Good Kine, but doesn't object to the title "spokesmodel," as he plans to make personal appearances to promote Dubey's product.

Retailers selling "Pidgin on da Fridge" include Borders Books Music & Cafe, Costco and Wal-Mart. Online sales are in the works, with previews available at www.goodkine.com and www.andybumatai.com.

Bumatai also believes in the mission, citing the book, "The Dream Society," which describes a world in which consumers make buying decisions based on such factors as corporate responsibility. A person would, for instance, pay more for a food product because it is organically grown, or choose one product over another because Company X is a good corporate citizen.

Bumatai hopes that when a copycat product is released in the near future, people will choose Pidgin on da Fridge to support Good Kine's philanthropic mission.

Some of the counsel Dubey has received indicates he should not get his hopes up for a profit, but he and Bumatai believe in the business model.

Dubey's ambitious goal is to one day become the largest corporate donor in Hawaii. He's looking for an accountant to help Good Kine remain transparent. "I'm going to open my books," he said.

"I can't wait to show 'em that I can make money and give some of it away," said Dubey.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, 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: eengle@starbulletin.com



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