No more Kammies store

Just read in todays Honolulu Advertiser that Kammies store on Oahu's North Shore will be closing. Michael Thompson was going to buy the property last year and let it stay open but Quicksilver bought it and is kicking every body out to put up a surf shop,a small market and possibly a deli. This is a real shame since Kammies has been there for so long and so many of us have great memories of Mr. and Mrs. Kammie. Where's your soul Quicksilver, and yet another mom and pop store bites the dust due to big money taking over in Hawaii.Aloha,Kokua

So sad to see the small mom and pop stores like Kammie’s and earlier Miura’s Store in Haleiwa go by the wayside. The North Shore is such a different place. You’re gonna have to be a millionaire to live there soon. All I can hope for is that whatever Quiksilver does with the property, it does it tastefully and is a good neighbor to the community.

I shudder to think what Quicksilver is going to do there. I first met Mr.&Mrs. Kam in 1963, when I lived across the street. They were fixtures in the fabric of the North Shore for DECADES. It is a true cultural loss. Enter the BLUE CRUSH era. UGH!

Howzit foamdust, I never thought Miura's store would ever go out of business, I've still got a pair of cord trunks from 1971 they made and I think I'll frame them. I think it's been over 20 years since I visited the North Shore and I would probably go into shock to see what has happened there since then.Aloha,Kokua

End of an era… Kokua, the North Shore is a different place from 20 years ago for sure… The local people haven’t changed much though. I still see a lot of the old timers who were born and raised in Wailua or Haleiwa… Plenty people moved in from all over the place up in the Sunset and Pupukea areas. If you turn left off Kam Hwy towards the Harbor, not much has changed except the Surf Center is now 2 stories and there is a new bathroom way at the other end of the park by the Japanese school…

Haleiwa town still is busy but overall, Haleiwa is still pretty mellow as far as the locals go … The busy traffic and stuff got better after they opened the by-pass road…

Howzit CarveNalu, I was going to drive out in 2000 on my way back from Maui to see Terry Thompson who owns Kua Aina but he was in San Francisco so I passed and came home instead. Glad to hear there still some mellowness there. If I remember right the only time things got busy was during the Sea Spree. Aloha,Kokua

They won’t do it (Quicksilver)…

Howzit tenover, Who won’t do what? It’s a done deal and the notices to vacate have been given. Go to the Honolulu Advertiser web site and read section B and read the story.Aloha,Kokua

I hang out at Haleiwa at least 5 days a week before or after I surf and all day Sundays with the family… Its still Haleiwa. My Dad had his little sail boat in the harbor in the late 60’s and it still has the same vibe for me… Up the coast is just madness during the day… I surf up there only in the morning before the masses attack it… Otherwise, I’m kicking it at Haleiwa with the Blue Tent Crew… You can find me here…

Kammies is where I use to count/collect the change from my 65’ bug ashtray and purchase twinkies and sex wax from. Gas was still under 40 cents a gallon back then. The Haleiwa Sea Spree was the social event of the North Shore. We would the meet the cousins from Wahiawa and check it out. They even had a surf meet at Puena Pt. too. My folks was part owners of the Menehune Camp in Haleiwa past Ali’is where you could camp out in camping trailers. I am going to miss Kammies and the old simple days.

Kammie’s closing at Sunset Beach

By Will Hoover

Advertiser North Shore Writer

The Kam family ran Kammie’s Market since 1961. From left: Gladys Kam, widow of Henry Kam; son Carl; and daughter Cobey Kam-Uhlir.

 	 	 	 	 		 		 		 		 			 			 				ADVERTISER LIBRARY PHOTO  |  March 31, 2005 			 			 		 	 		      <img src="" alt="" class="bb-image" /> <img src="" alt="" class="bb-image" />         

Carl Kam spent most of Valentine’s Day removing shelves, selling or giving away what’s left of his inventory, and scrubbing his famous little North Shore store — Kammie’s Market, across from Sunset Beach.

“I think Thursday will probably be our last day of business,” Kam said as he mopped the floor of the tiny, cluttered store that has grown up along with the North Shore’s world-famous surfing mecca since his dad and mom, Henry and Gladys Kam, opened the doors back in 1961.

Like many area mom-and-pop shops, Kammie’s has fought a losing battle in the face of rising land prices, a changing North Shore and big-box competition elsewhere on the island.

Last year, just when it looked like the store would have to shut down by the end of April, businessman and former pro surfer Michael Tomson announced he was ready to buy the place, fix it up and keep Kammie’s going.

But yesterday Kam said things hadn’t worked out as planned.

“Mike gave us a ray of hope,” he said, "but the last time I talked to Tomson, he was telling me that he was having a difficult time getting things done that he was trying to do.

“Then, in late December I got a letter from Quiksilver (a beachwear company), which had bought the place, that said I had until the end of February to move out.”

Kam tried to be stoic, laughing and shrugging off the thought of losing the family business.

“You know, it’s progress,” he said. “Everybody in the family accepts it. Because, you know that when you don’t own a building, when somebody who does says, ‘Go,’ then you gotta go.”

Carl’s sister, Cobey, born six years before the store opened and working the front cash register for her folks by the time she was 7, helped her brother clean up, looking a little sad.

She had mixed feelings. It would be interesting to have time on her hands for the first time, she said.

“But it’s like anybody losing their job,” she said. “Mostly, I’m going to miss a lot of the customers.”

Carl said he had no idea what he’d do after the store closes, but thought he might try sleeping in late for once, just to see what it’s like.

“You always have to hope things will work out for the best,” he said.

Jerry Coffman, who runs Sunset Pizza next to Kammie’s, was also getting ready to shut down. While Kam said he had heard nothing about what might be going in, Coffman said he has heard some talk.

“One way or the other, the whole place is going down,” Coffman said. “There’s going to be a big surf shop and a small market, and maybe something like a deli. We’ll be closing before the end of the month. We’ve got to get all these pizza ovens out, and clean up.”

According to author and Hawai’i beach authority John Clark, Kammie’s Market dates back to the time the North Shore’s big waves were only beginning to be discovered by California surfers, who swarmed to the coast and helped turn it into an “endless summer.”

When Kammie’s first opened. it was one of a handful of businesses on O’ahu’s northern coast, which was little more than local residents and beach cottages.

Once the surfers arrived in full force, Kammie’s, across from Sunset Beach, was a must stop for virtually every famous surfer in the book. Kammie’s, for which the well-known Kammieland surf break was named, became an institution.

Last year Gladys Kam, whose husband died in 1998, fondly recalled how delightful it all was back in those simpler, innocent times.

She spoke with laughter of surfing legends and hordes of hippies coming in to stock up. Carl Kam, who took over the operation after his folks retired in the 1980s, also remembered the good times.

“Joan Baez used to play here,” said Kam, who once strummed a guitar in a band that also performed at Kammie’s on a regular basis. “They had a table outside and they’d all sit about and sing. Yeah, she was a customer, too, I guess. So, yeah, we had a lot of good times.”

Veteran North Shore lifeguard Pat Kelly recalled arriving in Hawai’i in 1973 and stopping by Kammie’s before laying eyes on Sunset Beach for the first time.

“My brothers picked me up at the airport and brought me to the North Shore,” said Kelly, whose group, Surfjam, will perform outside Kammie’s at a farewell party Saturday afternoon.

“And they brought me to Kammie’s. You had Kammie’s Market, you had a laundromat, you had a pizza place, and you had a little surf shop — you had everything a surfer would ever need, right here in one little corner.”

Boycott Quiksilver? I haven’t bought anything by them in the last 15 years that I can remember but anyway this will futher my non purchasing of Quiksilver products for sure… Quiksilver = Skubala!

What a bummer…many fond memories. Quik is of the devil.

Ditto on that Shipman, History will show Quicksilver and the like sold our sport down the river for a buck. From the sport of kings to the sport of kooks.


Thank you. That’s exactly how I remember Mr. Kam.

Hey Bill,

As Kokua said, and I agree, it’s the sad reality of today’s shake down. Just think back at how Quicksilver got it’s start.

I.L.M. Kam Family - better days ahead

I’ve never been to the North Shore but grew up reading about the place. Mythical. It’s sad to hear. But I always kind of liked Quicksilver stuff, ever since we (Dencho Marine) built a big beautiful catamaran for someone I thought was one of Quik’s owners- Mike Miller, who I also thought was a North Shore guy. And isn’t Jeff Hakman one of the big stakeholders? Don’t they have any say? Don’t they remember? Did they lose their soul? What’s going on?

How about Matsumoto’s Shaved Ice? Is that still there?

Has quiksilver made any official statement regarding the purchase? i looked around their site, but saw nothing

what a shame, corporate greed make me sick to my stomach, especially since i am currently employed by a greedy corporation, and steadily working to change my situation

Howzit Dudley,I doubt Quicksilver is going to advertize such a move on their website due to the repercussions involved. But it’s a fact and all you need to do is read the article from the Advertiser. Aloha,Kokua