Customers Flock to North Shore Favorite to Say Goodbye - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Customers Flock to North Shore Favorite to Say Goodbye

Carl Kam poses for farewell photo with loyal Kammie's Market customers. Carl Kam poses for farewell photo with loyal Kammie's Market customers.
Big wave rider Ken Bradshaw drops in to say goodbye to Kammie's. Big wave rider Ken Bradshaw drops in to say goodbye to Kammie's.

Sunset Beach (KHNL) - It's an island institution. You know the place, the ramshackle blue building across Sunset Beach. It's Kammies Market on the North Shore, and now it's closing after nearly half a century in business. Kammie's lost its lease. By the end of business Thursday it will be gone.

On the day we were there, pro surfer Ken Bradshaw dropped by to say good-bye. "It's been a mainstay on the North Shore forever. Everybody knows Kammie's Market. It's a landmark."

A landmark, indeed. Kam's Market has a surf break named after it- Kammieland, across the street.

Since 1961, it's brought a smile to many. Bradshaw says it was one of the first places he stopped at when he arrived in Hawaii 34 years ago. Over the decades it's become, "like family. I knew their dad and mom. The kids grew up with us."

But those days are over. Regulars poured in all week to say goodbye.

Gladys Kam and her husband started the store, which is now just empty aisles and sad customers, like Courtney Tudor, who was weeping as she stood in line. "Carl's just part of the whole feeling, the whole aloha of Hawai'i. It's just really sad."

Owner Carl Kam is touched by the reaction. "The response we've had is wow, overwhelming. Really overwhelming."

Kam's not sure what's next. "Losing a store like this is a little depressing. I haven't through about what I want to do here."

Customers already say they're lost without the store. Tudor cries, "They're totally like family to this whole North Shore. Our children call him Uncle Carl."

Bradshaw agrees. "It's a tragedy it is coming to an end."

Kam says he's looking at the bright side. He'll get to sleep in for once. And he will always have the memories. "It was a fun life. I enjoyed the whole ride."

The pizza joint next door will also close. In its place, there'll be a Quicksilver and some other small stores.

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