After more than a century in business, Hawaii’s oldest bike shop is closing
HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - For 109 years, Eki Cyclery has sold and serviced bicycles.
The company's general manager, Jayne Kim, calls it a wholesome business.
"Seeing kids enjoying bicycle riding, or adults feeling like kids again when they get back on a bike after it's been years, it's lots of fun," she said.
Kim runs the operation.
Her husband, Jay, is the bicycle mechanic. He has repaired thousands of bicycles.
“Just the feeling of getting something that’s not working and giving it back and it is working, it’s a nice feeling,” Jay Kim said.
Jayne Kim’s grandfather, Toichi Eki, opened the bike shop in 1911.
He sank his savings into his original store on King Street. Back then, rent for the plantation style wooden building was $10 a month.
“He was happy when they sold one tire because that meant they could have dinner that night,” Jayne Kim said.
Her parents took over in the 1960s, expanded the operation, and moved the store to Dillingham Boulevard in Kalihi.
Through the years, Eki Cyclery has kept its business philosophy simple: Cater to families and recreational riders.
"We've always been a family-oriented store," Jayne said.
But the Kim’s have reached a crossroads. Their property lease is ending and they want to retire. A letter posted at the store entrance tells customers March 31 is the last day.
Jayne Kim said It’s bittersweet.
"People have been coming in, wandering around, absorbing and remembering, being nostalgic," she said.
The Kims appreciate their customers who’ve kept the business going for three generations.
“We’d like them to go patronize their local bike shops, and keep supporting the Hawaii Bicycling League because they do a lot for the bicycling community,” Jay Kim said.
Most of the bicycles in the showroom are marked down 10%. Next month, parts and accessories go on sale.
Jayne Kim said it’s hard to say goodbye to a business that’s been in her family for more than a century and to the friends they’ve made through selling and servicing bicycles.
“I would like to thank everyone for their years of patronage,” she said.
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