In six decades of business, the Lanai family operating Pine Isle Market has learned it must constantly strive to meet and satisfy its customers. “We found it necessary to stock the basic needs of the town,” owner/operator Kerry Honda said. That has meant providing food, drink, dry goods and health and beauty aids. As years have passed, the grocery store has had to stock up on “a little bit of the ordinary” items such as weed whackers, fishing goods, electronics and appliances.
Pine Isle Market Ltd. formed in 1949 and began as a partnership with five original members and the late Isamu Honda taking the lead. Within the first couple of years of business, three partners dropped out and Honda, with his late wife, Marian, ran the business along with the store butcher. For the last 50 years or so, Pine Isle Market has set up shop in the Lanai City Town Square on Eighth Street. The staff maintains the “plantation days” tradition of closing for lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Honda’s son, Kerry, heads up the business today and runs it with 21 employees. “The hard work of my parents, the total support of my wife Cindy and children, employee dedication and customer loyalty have been the factors in the success of Pine Isle Market,” Honda said. “In a small community such as ours, we cherish our family, employees and customers,” Honda said. “We strive to set good examples for our community, stress the importance of conservation and saving for the next generation.”
The most challenging part of the business has been competing with other businesses. “We strive to offer fair and competitive prices,” Honda said. “Our motto is ‘We Strive to Satisfy.’” Pine Isle Market was honored in 2010 as Hawaii’s Family-Owned Small Business of the Year. Honda said his 22-year-old daughter, Corie Honda, has expressed interest in running the business sometime in the future.