Business

Biz Wrap: Hawaiian Springs and Oasis Skateshop Expand

April 19, 2013, 11:00 AM HST
* Updated May 1, 11:36 AM
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It’s been a busy week in the world of business around Hawai’i County.

People and companies are returning to their roots while others are expanding around the island and the country.

Yisa Var, a popular island singer and actress, has left her editor position at the Big Island Weekly and returned to the airwaves. And five years after Action Photos of Hawaii bought out Reed & Jay Photography, they’ve switched the Reed & Jay name to Action Photos of Hawaii-Hilo.

The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce is looking to add new members during its annual membership drive next week. And multiple businesses around the island continue to expand. A Hilo skateboard shop expands to Kona while a Keaau water company expands on the mainland.

Here’s a look at what’s happening in business news around the island this week.

Var Moves Back to the Airwaves

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Yisa Var has stepped down from the helm of the Big Island Weekly to return to her radio roots.

A fixture on Big Island airwaves for more than a decade, Yisa Var has returned to her radio roots as part of the team at the Wave 92 FM. Photo courtesy of Yisa Var.

A fixture on Big Island airwaves for more than a decade, Yisa Var has returned to her radio roots as part of the team at the Wave 92 FM. Photo courtesy of Yisa Var.

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Var, a professional singer who performs regularly around the island, left her position as editor at the Stephens Media publication to be the morning drive personality for KHBC’s Wave 92 FM, which plays adult contemporary music.

The station was shuttered in 2010 along with KHWI when then-owner Parrott Broadcasting LP shut down operations and the stations were sold.

Var has truly come full circle. Before spending 11 years as the mid-day disc jockey for New West Broadcasting’s  B97/B93, she got her start in radio at KHWI in 1999 when it was a rock station.

Hawaiian Springs Expands Across the Mainland

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Hawaiian Springs LLC, bottlers of artesian water, continues to expand its distribution on the mainland.

The 100% natural bottled water is pumped from an aquifer at the base of Mauna Loa in Puna and bottled at the firm’s Keaau facility.

In a released statement, Hawaiian Springs said its sales increased 52% in 2012 compared to 2011 sales.

The firm also announced that it is now distributed in more than 3,500 retail locations nationwide, including Fresh Market stores in 24 states. It has also increased its presence in Southern California, thanks in part to the addition of three new distribution partners.

New Skateboarding Shop in Kona

Oasis Skateshop in Hilo has opened a sister store in Kona. Photo courtesy of Oasis Skateshop.

Oasis Skateshop in Hilo has opened a sister store in Kona. Photo courtesy of Oasis Skateshop.

Dan Madsen and Jeremy Hale have expanded their Oasis Skateshop to Kona.

After three years of operating a successful shop in Hilo at 794 Kilauea Ave., the duo decided to launch a sister store in West Hawaii.

The entrepreneurial pair is well known for hosting contests and community events that promote positive aspects of skateboarding.

The new store, which is located in the King Kamehameha Shopping Center, 75-5626 Kuakini Hwy., is open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information about the Kona Oasis Skateshop, contact (808) 329-ROLL.

KKCC Annual membership Drive April 24

The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce will hold its 2013 annual membership drive on April 24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the KKCC office, 75-5737 Kuakini Highway. Suite 208, Kailua-Kona.

The Chamber is offering 14 months of membership for the price of 12, which also includes a savings of $100 on a vendor booth at the upcoming Building & Design Expo.

For more information contact the Chamber office at 329-1758 or email Chamber president Vivian Landrum at [email protected]

Reed & Jay Photography Now Action Photos of Hawaii

Reed & Jay Photography recently changed its name to Action Photos of Hawaii-Hilo. Owners Ed and Lynn Suzuki, who started Action Photos of Hawaii on Maui in 1987, purchased Reed & Jay five years ago.

Reed & Jay Photography has changed its name to that of the the firm that bought it five years ago: Action Photos of Hawaii.

Reed & Jay Photography has changed its name to that of the the firm that bought it five years ago: Action Photos of Hawaii.

After they purchased the company, the Suzuki’s son Kai and his wife Shirrie moved from Maui to Hilo and have managed the Big Island location ever since.

Kai Suzuki said his family felt it was time to switch the name to Action Photos of Hawaii-Hilo.

He added that Action Photos of Hawaii-Hilo, which is one of the few portrait studios in the state with its own photo printing lab, is looking to hire additional staff in the coming months.

***Updated May 1 to correct location of Hawaiian Springs bottling plant.***

If your business has an opening, closing, promotion, retirement, new product release, special event, award, new location, or expansion, please let us know. Email us at [email protected].

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