When Makichi Miura first came to Kaua‘i in 1907, he would have been hard-pressed to envision the legacy he would leave behind.
After two years in the cane fields, Miura opened the M. Miura Store as an outlet for his Japanese candy and sweets.
Today, that store is owned and operated by fourth-generation descendants of one of Kaua‘i’s earliest entrepreneurs, with three locations on the island.
It’s no small wonder, then, that M. Miura Store was recently honored as the U.S. Small Business Association’s Family- Owned Small Business of the Year for Region IX, which includes Hawai‘i, California, Nevada, Arizona and Guam, as well as the Kaua‘‘i and Hawai‘i winner in that category.
“This award represents the effort our co-workers take in making our company the best place to work and the best place to shop,” said co-owner Ann Yamamoto.
Results from the Miuras’ efforts to make their company an attractive place to work are readily evident: 37 percent of the company’s employees have been there for at least five years, and 24 percent have been there for more than 10 years.
All management positions are filled with in-house promotions instead of outside recruiting.
“To be a successful entrepreneur, one needs to treat everyone in the company as a family member,” said co-owner Tad Miura Jr. “Our business is perpetuated by all co-workers regardless of whether they are related or not.” That’s all well and good, but it’s also important to note that there are three fifth-generation Miuras who also work for the company, waiting in the wings to lead the company well into the 21st century.
With the role models they’ve had to learn under, the future seems bright indeed.
Eric Miura is the third co-owner. In addition to the Miura Store on Kuhio Highway in Kapa‘a, where Makichi Miura started it all, there are two Deja Vu locations (Deja Vu and Deja Vu Outlet), in Kukui Grove Center.
- Ford Gunter, staff writer, may be reached at email@example.com, or 245-3681 (ext. 251).