[R.I.P.] Sidney Kosasa (11/17/06) Founder of Hawaii's ABC Stores
- Sidney Kosasa, 86; founder of Hawaii's ubiquitous ABC Stores
From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Sidney Kosasa, 86, the founder of the ABC Stores chain of convenience
stores catering to tourists in Hawaii, died Nov. 17, the company
said. Kosasa died in his sleep, but the cause of death was not
Kosasa opened his first ABC store in 1964. The chain has since
expanded it to 55 outlets in Hawaii, eight in Guam, two in Saipan and
six in Las Vegas.
He was born in December 1919 in Palolo Valley on Oahu and attended UC
Berkeley, where he earned a pharmacist's degree.
During World War II, he was sent to Tule Lake internment camp in
Northern California. There he met and married his wife, Minnie.
After leaving the camp, he returned to Hawaii with his wife and
worked in a drugstore. He eventually opened his own drugstore and
within 10 years expanded the store to four locations.
While attending a convention in Miami Beach, he noticed all the
tourists near the large hotels and came up with the idea for ABC
Stores, as he predicted Waikiki would someday be as busy as the
ABC Stores now has locations all over Waikiki, serving as a spot for
tourists to buy beach gear, food, souvenirs and local apparel.