Happy Camper for Sunday, May 10, 2020

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Ben (he said his mask was overworked) and Yanny Wu get ready to shut down following reopening their shop, Serendipity, Friday at Kukui Grove Center.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Ralph Caliboso, Richell Chua and Ross Hiranaka of Sprint have time to breathe Friday following the steady business at the pre-entering-the-store screening tent at Kukui Grove Center.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Keoni Kelekoma, Sheldon and Kristyn Peralta of Bubbah’s Toy Box are all happy to reopen “for Mother’s Day gifts” Friday at Kukui Grove Center,

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Working mom Tiana Gonzalez-Sanchez of Vitamin World never left Kukui Grove Center during all the COVID-19 craziness. Friday evening, she was pretty much out of Mother’s Day specials.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Erika Valente of Jane (daughter Jane is the store’s namesake) at Kukui Grove Center never had a chance for lunch until it was close to the shopping center’s closing hour Friday.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Jennifer Takase-Ihara of Deja Vu Surf Hawai‘i said she loves her job while showing some of the COVID-19 practices when entering the Kukui Grove Center store that welcomed guests from Thursday.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Patty Zhao of Partea is ready to create teas Friday after opening following the COVID-19 shutdowns at Kukui Grove Center.

Happy Mother’s Day, Kaua‘i.

Yes, it’s a red-letter day, but Jennifer Takase-Ihara of Deja Vu Surf Hawai‘i is going to be working (check out Kukui Grove Center’s special hours today) before joining her family.

“I love my job,” Takase-Ihara said Friday evening, following a day of steady customers. Many couldn’t believe the family-operated store was finally open following closures from the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’m happy to be working. I love my family, too, but sometimes, you just need to have space.”

Jennifer is one of the many working mothers at Kukui Grove Center, said Melissa McFerrin-Warrack (her son Finnegan is still trying to figure out the secret behind the mass board-breaking coordinated by Kenn Firestone at Premier Martial Arts — they’re still waiting on their green light), and Deja Vu (Melissa said Sara Miura was up until past 2 a.m. getting everything ready to open) is one of several stores that got the green light to open its doors Thursday through Gov. David Ige’s (Happy Mother’s Day, Dawn Ige) seventh emergency proclamation.

Tiana Gonzalez-Sanchez of Vitamin World never closed, and was already getting low on supplies as her space was filling up with Mother’s Day gifts from admirers. Erika Valente was finally able to squeeze in lunch near the mall’s closing hours (sounds like Denise Zumwalt of The Flip Flop Shop located across the walkway). Does Mindy Hibbitt of Cell Everything even stop for lunch?

And, we cannot forget Cherie Cabading, who is super busy with Times Supermarket and all the other mothers.

Stay safe, stay well and, definitely, congratulations and thank you.


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.


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