To mom, with love: Local businesses ready for Mother’s Day

  • Cheri Makalii of Kona Flower Shoppe arranges flowers in time for Mother’s Day. (Courtesy photo/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • Lehua Jewelers owner Sharon Gilbert, left hands 2019 Merrie Monarch Miss Aloha Hula Taizha Keakealani Hughes-Kaluhiokalani her bracelet at the Waimea store. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today file photo)

  • A unique jewelry piece designed for the 2019 Merrie Monarch by the design team at Lehua Jewelers. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today file photo)

  • TOM LINDER/West Hawaii Today Ted Dailey puts jewelry back on display Wednesday afternoon at Kamaaina Diamond Co. in Kailua-Kona.

It’s time to pay homage to the woman you call mom, but with the stay-at-home order still in place and social distancing and gathering rules preventing the perennial buffet brunch, that could mean doing it at a distance.

Now that Gov. David Ige and Mayor Harry Kim have given the green light for certain retail businesses to reopen, local merchants are hoping for a surge in gift buying for Mother’s Day. From florists to jewelers to chocolatiers and more, the opportunity to get mom something special made locally abounds.

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Kona Flower Shoppe owner Cheri Makalii was nervous about whether they were going to be able to deliver for Mother’s Day amid confusion of Ige’s orders regarding floral delivery.

After being told on April 24 she was able to deliver, she placed orders through her suppliers to ensure she had flowers for Mother’s Day. Then the governor said the following day that flower deliveries were not permitted.

“We were praying hard that he was going to let us go, especially since we knew we could do no-contact delivery and it would boost the spirits of our community, not to mention bringing in income for the state from the farmers all the way up,” said Makalii, who invested a substantial amount of money for inventory after being completely shut down for a month.

On April 27, Ige reversed his decision, allowing florists to make deliveries starting May 1.

Makalii was overjoyed and relieved at the news.

“We have a lot of clients whose parents and grandparents have retired here on the island and in a way they have become our extended ohana, so every Mother’s Day we are bringing flowers from the kids,” she said. “To get a little note and some flowers makes a big difference.”

As word got out, orders came pouring in. As of midweek, she had about 300 orders to be delivered, well surpassing last year’s totals.

“We are a smaller, family run business. We got everything from belated Administrative Assistants Day to sympathy arrangements, I miss you bouquets; it was everything. And of course Mother’s Day,” Makalii said.

And those orders are coming in from people who haven’t previously done business with Kona Flower Shoppe, she said adding the new clients are telling her that they want to support local businesses.

“They say ‘we know you guys went through a stressful weekend, what can we do, what can we send?’ So even though it has been a stressful time, we are gaining new clients and new friends, so it’s been fun ‘meeting’ all these people,” said Makalii.

Beside flowers, another mom favorite is candy, and local chocolatier Kailua Candy Co. is ready to satisfy the craving.

Although production has been ongoing and the store has been open throughout the pandemic, owners Cathy and Robin Barrett hope for sales to increase for Mother’s Day because business has declined tremendously since the stay-at-home order went into effect in late March.

“I’ve got wonderful cheesecakes and mousse cakes and Korbel Champagne truffles for Mother’s Day, along with our honus and truffles,” stated Cathy Barrett.

Your mother not the flowers or chocolate type? Jewelry from one of our local artisans may be the gift for her.

Lehua Jewelers owner Sharon Gilbert is happy to be opening up her Waimea store in time for Mother’s Day and graduation.

“We normally do a sale this time of year for Mother’s Day and graduation especially because it takes time for customization, which is our thing,” said Gilbert of her line of Hawaiian jewelry. “Being closed all of April, we are going to extend that sale throughout all of May.”

She will be offering 20% off most of her items.

“As a general population we were all so distracted with this emergency, as well we should have been. We’re hoping there will be people now who are ready to shift gears back into, yeah, mom deserves something. My graduate is not going to get a ceremony, I can do something nice for them,” she said.

Gilbert said they will be practicing disinfecting procedures, sanitizing the jewelry, as well as social distancing at the store.

In addition to the retail store, Gilbert has been updating the company’s website and social media pages “because it’s a great time to be paying attention to these noncontact forms of doing business.”

Mike Schiff of Kamaaina Diamond Co. is also looking forward to welcoming customers back to his store at the Kona Crossroads Shopping Center.

“It’s nice to be able to shop,” he said. “A lot of people have been wanting to get graduation gifts, anniversary gifts and birthday gifts, so we are hoping for a flood of people when our doors open.”

Gilbert said shopping local is especially important as the county begins to open up.

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“Our local merchants really are the backbone, the ones who have a vested interest in making our economy work.”

Missing your brunch get together with mom? Check out your favorite local restaurant for special Mother’s Day take-out menus. A few restaurants open for service are Sushi Shiono, Jackie Rey’s Ohana Grill, Foster’s Kitchen, and Poi Dog Deli, which is offering free chocolate brownies for mom and $5 bottles of sparkling rosé from Italy.

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