Family-Owned Gift Shop Closes its Doors for Good
A family-owned gift shop in the Kona Inn Shopping Center is being forced to shutter its doors permanently after 33 years.
The Van Lelyveld ohana announced the closure of their business, Alley Geckos, on Facebook on Tuesday.
“These are times like no other,” the Facebook post reads. “Although the (COVID-19) pandemic did change things radically for the shop and transpire this move to close; we are also realizing that this was the right timing for our father, Rudo, to retire and for our lives to stay focused in one spot all together.”
Deborah and Rudo Van Lelyveld started Alley Geckos with the goal of selling the finest gifts from Hawai‘i. The shop moved to the Kona Inn Shopping Village in 1989, where it has been a staple for the sprawling, boardwalk-style, open-air mall. For the past five years, the shop was run by the couple’s daughter, Oceanna Van Lelyveld.
“The momentous energy of Alley Geckos was a fully immersed part of our family’s life for as long as I can remember,” the Facebook post reads. “In another chapter of my lifetime, I may have continued it on.”
With the closure of the business, Oceanna Van Lelyveld plans to focus on a new business in Port Townsend, Washington.
With that, the Facebook post closes with a “thank you” for supporting Alley Geckos.
“Thank you to all the amazing people who worked at the shop; making it the special, welcoming place it was,” the post reads.