Award Year: 2017
Over 115 years ago, Mitsuzo and Ayako Nagasako came to the islands to work in the sugar cane fields of Maui. They opened their first retail establishment, a candy shop, on Lahainaluna Road to generate extra income, utilizing Mitsuzo’s previous experience in Japan as an apprentice candy and cracker. In addition to selling from their storefront, the couple even delivered treats to central Maui. Over time, their business evolved into a general store in 1952, relocated to the Lahaina Shopping Center in 1965, and then opened as Nagasako Supermarket where sons Masao and Takehiko had a 30 year run. Today, the third and fourth generation family members continue the family business through the operation of Nagasako Okazu-Ya Deli and Nagasako General Store at the Old Lahaina Center.
Over the course of over one-hundred years, the Nagasako family has built up a reputation for being generous and supportive of the community and going out of the way to help others. During the plantation era, they would visit camps, collect orders, and make deliveries; they allowed families to open charge accounts so that those who were struggling could feed their families during tough times; and they donated candy and fruit to the annual Christmas Parade for Santa to pass out. The Japanese Cultural Society of Maui recognizes Nagasako Company Ltd. for their outstanding support of the community they have called home for over a century.