Ishigo’s Bakery in Honomu, Hawaii: An Immigrant Success Story


While vacationing in Hawaii with my family, I visited Mr. Ed’s Bakery in Honomu on the Big Island.  Inside the store, formerly known as Ishigo`s Bakery and stillbearing the sign (see photo), I found the following tribute to the immigrant founders of the store.

“Inokichi Ishigo, an immigrant from theJapanesevillage of Kayumura and Maki Ishigo, his wife, from the village of Hugitamura in Fukuoka Ken, the founders of ISHIGO’S GENERAL STORE and BAKERY on the Island of Hawaii came to the United States with a dream: A dream of hard work, perseverance, and a confidence in themselves to be successful in a foreign country. From their first store in 1910 and through the years, they worked hard, scrimped, saved, and built up their business.  For the Bakery, what they did not know, they learned from others.  Wisely, they learned from the Chinese how to make pies, the Portuguese to make bread.  That, along with their knowledge of Japanese pastries made their products in great demand to everyone.  Cookies were their latest product.  All the founder’s acquired knowledge and experience were passed on to their sons and their sons to their sons, who now carry on the family tradition.  To this day, ISHIGO’S BAKERY products taste-tested through generations and shunning all chemical preservatives, boast of that good, old-fashioned home flavor.”

Such immigrant stories make up an important part of the American national mystique, and serve as an inspiring testimony to a world in which immigration has become a universal phenomenon.

Incidentally, the store serves on Sundays as a local church site, as a daughter church of the Living Waters Assembly of God in Hilo.  The young lady who attended us just beamed when I asked her about the church, so proud of her membership there and excited to talk about it.  If you ever visit Honomu (perhaps to visit nearby Akaka Falls State Park), be sure to stop by the store.  The home-made jellies are amazing!


Acerca de Joseph Castleberry

A missionary to Latin America for 20 years, I currently serve as president of Northwest University in Kirkland, WA. I am the author of Your Deepest Dream (NavPress, 2012); The Kingdom Net: Learning to Network Like Jesus (Influence Resources, 2013), and The New Pilgrims: How Immigrants are Renewing America's Faith and Values.
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