Honest service brings customers to auto shop for decades

HONOLULU (KHON2) – Visit Kaimuki Auto Repair and it’s like stepping back in time. In the early 1970s when the station opened. Long before computers took over the world.

Alan Nakamura grew up at this station on Waialae Avenue and started working here right out of high school.

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He said the mission statement has never changed: keep it as it always has been.

“It’s like the 70s. The early 70s when my dad started it. All the stations were called gas stations. Gas and service, we provide the gas and the repair service,” Nakamura explained .

While many family businesses struggle to survive, Nakamura sees a bright future for the auto shop.

Because his daughter Laurie Marcouiller, who also grew up at the station, is hopeful of perpetuating the family legacy.

“We grew up here doing little things like counting money or standing around while his parents work here. It’s sort of an ongoing thing,” Marcouiller said.

Although she earned a degree in kinesiology, Marcouiller has worked full-time at the auto shop for 15 years.

She said she would continue to work here if she could find other people to stick with her.

While gas stations have moved to a self-service model, Kaimuki auto still offers free, mini and even full service. Something Nakamura said he would never give up as it helps keep the connection with his clients.

“I think that’s the key here – having this personal relationship,” Nakamura said. “And that’s the fun part of it all. I wouldn’t do it any other way and told my daughter that when she comes in you will be the resource person that you take care of and take care of yourself and get to know all the clients.

Long-time customer Dave Kaneshiro said, “Honest and reliable service. I never get cheated here. 100% safe… Old school Hawaii. Honest people – you can’t buy.

And it’s that sense of trust and community that Nakamura says makes every day worthwhile.

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“Appreciate your customers – having a great team. My chief mechanic has been here for over 30 years, he’s excellent. He’s one of the main focus and my family and everyone’s family here.

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