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Letter for Monday, March 15, 2021

Buying local will aid small businesses

While it is sad to see many businesses close up on Kaua‘i, there are some businesses staying open and ready to serve our community.

I recently visited “Marta’s Boat” and Ambrose’s “Kapuna” store. They opened Kapuna (“Da Spoon”) in 1971, in Kapaia (big sprout sandwiches and clothing upstairs). They later moved to their present location, the yellow buildings across from Foodland and McDonald’s in Kapa‘a.

Marta sells baby clothes and toys, hand-painted adult clothing, hangings, one-of-a-kind jewelry and even ‘dressy kine’ face masks made from fine Japanese silk.

Ambrose is ever-present with tales from then and now, selling his own personal artistic line of merchandise. I just purchased his “one-of-a-kind” surfing T-shirts in men’s sizes. Ambrose and Marta make everything they sell. Ambrose has a great island-style of painted clothing. Even the wrapping paper is artful and found only on Kaua‘i.

One other place where we shop is Beachrail Lines at Anchor Cove in Nawiliwili. Owner Diggs is a train man. He sells all Lionel products but so much more. Bolo knives, coconut huskers and toys galore. Going to his shop at Anchor Cove is an event. Prepare to spend time looking at miniature 1966 Volkswagon vans and thousands of contraptions. (BTW, their house rental was sold, so Diggs and Sandy need a place to live).

Places like Longs/CVS and the like have a definite role as the “big guys.” Our family, when we can, makes an effort to buy local. This is what will keep our towns alive. We have to take care of each other.


Mary Gannon Alfiler, Kapa‘a

  1. John Patt March 15, 2021 7:33 am Reply

    I worry that many of our local small businesses will not be able to survive the $15 minimum wage.

    1. Michael Hamilton March 16, 2021 10:50 am Reply

      I believe that the death of the small business is the plan of the current president. Costco and Walmart probably pay more tax than Kauai small business and they are easier for big government control. Oh well maybe some tourist will come and spend money.

  2. Kauaidoug March 15, 2021 11:29 am Reply

    Shout out to Marta! I loved picking out and sending friends and family I wanted to protect some of Marta’s beautiful Kaua’i print face masks! And of course I’ve been sporting my chicken Kaua’i print mask during pandemic! Mahalo, Marta!

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