Kenzo Urabe (1898-1971), the founder and proprietor, together with his wife, Shizue Urabe (1903-1959), of Urabe Retail outlet – a Kapaa landmark on Ulu St. for lots of a long time right up until it shut in the mid-1990s – was born in Japan and immigrated to Kauai with his moms and dads, Katsutaro and Chika Urabe, in 1899.
Prior to opening Urabe Retailer in the early 1920s, he farmed land in Wailua and Kapaa Homesteads, when Shizue cooked for Rev. Willey of All Saints Episcopal Church.
Shizue generally ran the shop, although Kenzo built deliveries, picked up products, did bookkeeping and so forth, and they and their six little ones lived on the 2nd ground earlier mentioned the shop.
At some point, their son, Ralph Urabe (1924-2009), and Ralph’s wife, Katie Urabe (1924-2015), acquired the store, with Katie working full-time in the retail store, and Ralph assisting just after his typical career with the publish workplace.
Urabe Retailer was a accurate mother and pop common store, best recognized as a fresh fish and fishing merchandise retail outlet, to begin with open 7 times a week, but was later closed on Sundays.
Mainly because it was a fishing keep, fishermen would go there from all more than the island to provide their catch.
Ralph Urabe would dry fresh new akule for sale, and on a blackboard outdoors the retail store would be composed what varieties of fish had been obtainable.
Urabe Store also marketed meat, chicken feed, garments, Christmas trees, shave ice, dry merchandise and kerosene, and Katie Urabe would make and sell “hard ice,” a concoction of Malolo syrup, drinking water, and condensed cream – a scrumptious snack for 10 cents!
The retailer also accommodated a barber shop exactly where for some years Pedring Ponce reduce hair.
Just after university or church, children would always end by the retailer to purchase soda, ice product, or candy, and there was a bench in entrance of the keep, wherever prospects, mostly plantation staff, would sit and converse story.
Inside, Katie’s friends, salesmen and delivery gentlemen would sit by the cashier counter and converse tale when enterprise was gradual.
Kauai Maritime &Mower began leasing the retailer in the 1990s and is continue to functioning there right now.