Some of the Kona Babes road trips (local, of course!) take them to hidden treasures along back roads and quiet villages (do I hear a macaw in the distance, Martin Denny?) that are known only to neighboring residents and friends. There are so many rundown, sometimes historical, shacks and buildings left untended, that you can almost hear the sighs of “remember when that used to be….. if only someone would fix it up!”. Fortunately, someone heeded the call, purchased the old Keauhou Store, and brought her back to the original country splendor deserving of a former beauty queen.
Kurt and Thea Brown, longtime Kona residents, took the challenge and restored Keauhou Store to it’s full potential. Their website ( http://keauhoustore.com/ ) contains fabulous photos and history, plus an online ordering section for those not fortunate enough to live here and visit the store in person.
A visit to the store yields treasures from the past and preserved tableaus from the former family of store owners, as well as locally grown products, Thea’s savory cookies and Kurt’s beautiful handmade guitars.
Time stood still as I sat outside on a bench, eating an ice cream bar and watching farm trucks saunter by with their haul of coffee cherry in burlap bags on their merry way to processing and roasting. On this day, an old Schwinn bike with streamers dangling out of the handle bars leaned against the wall, reminding me of my own carefree days of youth in Honolulu. This is one of the many reasons why I am grateful to the Brown’s renovation efforts; obviously achieved with much love for their island home and community. Definitely worth a trip upcountry if you’ve got some time to spend reliving a bit of Kona’s important history along the “Kona Heritage Corridor”. Plus there is always that ice cream moment on the front porch!
Keauhou Store: 78-7010 Mamalahoa Hwy, Holualoa, HI 96725
Ph: 808-322-5203 / firstname.lastname@example.org
From time to time, as we take our ‘road trips’ on island (or off), I’ll update this post/page.