Dollar store, café planned for downtown Hampshire
By Denise Moran For The Courier-News December 31, 2012 3:30PM
Don and Maile Edmonson plan to open two new businesses in Hampshire. | Denise Moran photo
Updated: February 2, 2013 6:11AM
HAMPSHIRE — Two new businesses are coming to the former Ace Hardware store building at 129 S. State St. in the village.
Don and Maile Edmonson of Hampshire have announced that they purchased the building on the day after Christmas. They are looking forward to opening Ohana Dollar Store and Mai Café & Gifts around mid-March 2013, after the building is renovated.
“Everything for sale in the dollar store will cost one dollar,” Maile said. “It will not be a Dollar General or a Dollar Tree store. We are the store’s owners. Mai Café & Gifts will sell 100 percent organic Kona coffee, tea, hot chocolate and pastries. We will have Wi-Fi and live entertainment on the weekends. We want to give our customers a place to relax and get together. We welcome groups like book clubs.”
Maile was born in Honolulu and moved to Kona, the Big Island, when she was 13. The new café will offer coffee grown in Kona.
“You can’t get 100 percent Kona coffee anywhere around here,” said Don. “A friend of ours owns a coffee plantation on the Big Island. We have an agreement to market and sell Kona Purple Mountain Coffee in Hampshire.”
The two new store names have special significance. The Hawaiian word “ohana” means “family.” The village where the new businesses will be located is where Edmonson grew up.
Ohana is a word often used in the 2002 Disney film titled “Lilo & Stitch.” Maile became a professional Polynesian dancer at the age of 14. She later formed her own dance and event planning company known as Maile Productions in California. The company performed at the premiere of “Lilo & Stitch” at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood. Maile, along with some musicians and dancers, also performed at Graceland in Tennessee for the movie’s premiere there.
In the Hawaiian language, “mai” means “here” and also “this way.”
“It is ‘Mai’ café here in Hampshire,” Maile said.
The building has been a part of downtown Hampshire since 1890. Part of the building was once the Ella Johnson Memorial Public Library. The library is now located at 109 S. State St.
The Myers family ran Myers Ace Hardware for 30 years until they sold the business and the building to Dean and Marge Marlowe on June 1, 1981.
Marlowe’s Ace Hardware went out of business in 2012.
Don has been in the manufacturing business for 35 years. He has also been a chief financial/executive officer for 25 years. He worked in southern California for 27 years and decided four years ago to move back to Hampshire.
The Edmonsons have been very involved in their community. Don is active in the Hampshire Lions Club. He is also active in the Hampshire Coon Creek Country Days Committee. The Burlington-Hampshire Area Food Pantry is the primary beneficiary of the annual summer festival.
“Our hope is that the dollar store will provide products that have been missing in Hampshire,” Don said. “It will fill a gap that needs to be filled in the community.”