Established: February 13, 1951
July 11, 1908 – May 11, 1994
Born: Honomu, Hawaii
Family Origin: Hiroshima-ken
Helen Momoyo (Ogi) Matsumoto
July 22, 1911 – March 11, 1989
Born: Hilo, Hawaii
Family Origin: Yamaguchi-ken
Born in Hawaii, Mamoru Matsumoto’s family returned to Hiroshima when he was a toddler. The family struggled to make ends meet. He worked as an apprentice at a sake factory and other odd jobs, but the income was insufficient.
Mamoru and his older brother boarded a ship to Hawaii to find jobs to supplement the family’s income. His brother later became ill and returned to Japan, while Mamoru continued to labor on the sugar plantation, the railroad, and eventually became a salesman for the Sakai Store (currently occupied by Pioneer Ace Hardware Haleiwa). In order to expand his knowledge, he attended night school to learn English and Math.
Through friends and relatives he met his wife, Helen Momoyo Ogi, and they were married at the Haleiwa Jodo Mission. Mamoru worked long hours while Helen became a seamstress. They dreamed of opening their own business and purchasing a home for his family in Japan and for themselves.
Mr. Kazuo Tanaka gave them the opportunity to open their own grocery store, M. Matsumoto Store Inc. in the previous Tanaka Store at 66-087 Kamehameha Highway, in Haleiwa, Hawaii. At first, Mamoru peddled his wares on a bicycle, until he was able to afford a panel truck. He went from camp to camp, taking orders and delivering goods, while Helen manned the store and did some sewing.
With the birth of their three children, Glenn, Janice and Stanley, they needed to expand their business. With the perfect location along Oahu’s beautiful North Shore, a decision was made to start selling shave ice. The warm weather, big waves, and small town feel brought people from across the globe to this quaint store to purchase shave ice cascading with their homemade syrup.
As the business grew, their dreams and aspirations were materialized. However, the couple needed help handling the influx of customers. While Glenn and Janice attended the University of Hawaii, Stanley(the youngest of their 3 children) decided to remain home and assist his parents in running the business.
Stanley, and his wife Noriko, successfully converted the groceries to T-shirts, souvenirs, and snacks, and he eventually became the proprietor while his parents semi-retired and later passed away. Continuing his late father’s wishes, the store is still a family owed and operated business(with only one location in the world!).
Today, on a warm sunny day, the store produces over 1,000 shave ice. Everyday, locals and different people from around the world come in for a cool treat.
Please take a relaxing drive to the small historic town of Haleiwa and visit us soon!