Business

SBA Honors Kealakekua Ranch, ChoiceMART

May 3, 2016, 11:57 AM HST
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Kealakehe Ranch Center website photo.

Kealakehe Ranch Center website photo.

The 2016 Small Business Association State of Hawai’i Family-Owned Business of the Year award recently went to the 135-year-old Kealakekua Ranch/ChoiceMART.

Kealakekua Ranch/ChoiceMART was selected from hundreds of nominations by a panel of 14 judges.

The business was established in 1881 as a cattle operation and has been led by four generations of the Greenwell family. Over the years, the business has been transitioned from ranching to agricultural and commercial operations.

An original general store opened by Henry Nicholas Greenwell after his arrival in Hawai’i in the 1850’s now operates as a living history museum run by the Kona Historical Society.

Meg Greenwell and Nick Greenwell run the company today with Chief Executive Officer Rhonda Kavanagh.

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“We are so honored to receive this award and thankful to the community for supporting us all these years,” says Meg Greenwell of Kealakekua Ranch, while brother Nick Greenwell added he is “very humbled and thankful to the community” for the statewide accolade.

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Kealakekua Ranch includes a regional shopping center and independent supermarket, ChoiceMART. Over 80 staff members are employees and hundreds of local farmers, fishermen, ranchers, and producers are supported through the offerings of local products.

“This award wouldn’t be possible without the support of our customers; hard-working local suppliers; and amazing team of employees,” said Kavanagh.

Kealakekua Ranch/ChoiceMART will be honored this week at the 29th Annual United States Small Business Administration Awards and Luncheon.

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Criteria in the selection of the Family-Owned Business of the Year award includes demonstrated success in job creation, potential for long-term business success and economic growth, and community engagement.

Nominees in the Family-Owned Business category must also demonstrate a business track record of more than 15 years and success in passing ownership and operation from generation to generation.

The United States Small Business Administration celebrates the achievements and contributions of small businesses during National Small Business Week each year since 1963. This year, the week runs from May 1 to May 7.

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