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Video by David Corrigan | Voice of Stephanie Salazar
HILO, Hawaii: After 80 years in business, the little flower shop on Furneaux Lane – a Hilo town institution – is closing its doors.
90 year old Ann Ebesugawa Kaya, the last of six well-known sisters to operate the Ebesugawa Sisters flower shop, is about to get a much deserved break.
On Saturday, Ann prepared her last commercial flower arrangements and floral leis. For the last time, faithful customers came to pick up orders and bid Ann good luck in her retirement.
Also stopping by: State Senator Gil Kahele, who presented a special comendation to Ann for her family’s years of hard work.
The shop has been synonymous with Hilo’s small town, mom-and-pop business culture. The sisters have seemed like a permanent fixture Downtown… the shop’s busy, open doors are even immortalized on Google Street View, as if its an unchanging feature in the local landscape.
On Saturday morning, Ann was still working hard. No slowing down on this final day…
It was just around the corner from here on Keawe Street where Ann’s father started the retail produce business named Ebesu’s in 1932. Ann’s dreams of college took a back seat to the family business. But her father also preached strength in family unity.
Only time could erode that family strength. Sisters Nappy, Sachi and Ruby no longer work at the flower shop, and sister Kay – who was able to help – died at age 94 in July. The sixth sister, Sets, is also deceased.
Now, Ann turns her horticultural eye from the flower shop freezer to her plants at home, leaving behind a vacancy at this little store front on Furneaux, and in the hearts of her generations of customers.