After 36 years in business, a popular Oahu smoking accessories shop is shutting down for good on Wednesday.
Greg Azus, the owner of Hawaii's Natural High, says he renewed his lease, initially intending to keep the shop open, before finally deciding to shutter his Kapahulu store.
"It's not just all glass pipes and vaporizers," he told Hawaii News Now on Wednesday. "It's an experience when people come in here."
As the single father of a teenage daughter, the 62-year-old Azus says he's simply ready for a change after working seven days a week, including holidays.
"I'm just looking for a new direction," Azus says. "It just kind of seems like I need to do something, and I like promoting. I've been a promoter for a long time. I want to see what else is out there."
Azus briefly owned Pipeline Cafe before it shut down in 2011, but Hawaii's Natural High has always been his main focus. He decided to end the business' run, even though a new medical marijuana dispensary is under construction just a few blocks away on Kapahulu Avenue.
"It is an opportunity for somebody. This has been going on in my head for a while, so I thought it was a good time to step aside and maybe let the next generation take it from here," he said.
Customers have been dropping in to say goodbye – and take advantage of deep discounts.
"It's a wonderful place. I'm really going to miss it," said Ken Hutchinson, a longtime friend and customer. "He's got t-shirts and hats and posters and stickers. All kinds of various things to keep people interested."
Azus said he'll miss the customers the most.
"I've seen tears from people saying, 'Brah, don't close up. We've been shopping at this store our whole life and we really like what you're doing,'" he said. "I've really met a lot of great people. That's something that I always look forward to cause you never know every day who you're going to run into."
Azus said he's keeping his options open and is considering swap meet sales and home deliveries.