When Wendy Kawaguchi and other family members opened a small snack shop on the side of Sueoka Store in the early 1980s, she can still remember when it was one of the few take-out places in Koloa.
Although there is no longer a dearth of take-out options in Koloa, people continue to drop in on the snack shop.
“It can be a pretty tight business,” Kawaguchi said about the food trucks and small take-out restaurants that call Old Koloa Town home. “A lot of construction workers still stop by because I guess the prices are reasonable.”
Located in a bright yellow building along the side of Sueoka Store near the intersection of Maluhia and Koloa Roads, the snack shop employees serve up plate lunch favorites like loco moco, pork adobo and kalua pig — all for less than $10, even with a fountain drink.
“Everybody who works here makes everything from the heart,” said Sueoka Store Snack Shop employee Diane Andres, who has worked in the restaurant for about three years. “That’s why, when they (the customers) eat it, it feels good.”
At least 150 usually stop by the Sueoka Store Snack Stop each day.
“It depends whether it’s during the summer or other parts of the year,” Kawaguchi said. “Right now, it’s spring break, so we have a lot of kids stop by and buy hamburgers and fries. When school’s in session, it’s mostly the tourists that’ll stop by, or the business people, too — they’ll call in their order and come to pick it up. The girls have their regulars who always call and say, ‘What’s for lunch,’ and they’ll give them the specials.”
A popular pick, Sueoka Store Snack Shop cashier Laura Cambra said, is their two-choice combination plate in which customers can choose from fried chicken, fried shrimp, mahi mahi, hamburger steak or teriyaki beef.
But one thing the snack shop is known for, she added, is its signature cheeseburger.
In fact, an average of about 20 pounds of hamburger is used daily to make them.
“We’ve had college kids come back and come down just to get the cheeseburgers,” she said.
5392 Koloa Road
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday. Closed on Mondays.