After 41 years at the helm of a concrete business he bought after leaving the Army, Maui native David Miyake is stepping back as his company merges with a fifth-generation Hilo supply business today.
HPM Building Supply, which has five locations on Hawaii island, one on Oahu and two on Kauai, will be renovating and rebranding Miyake Concrete Accessories as Miyake – HPM Building Supply, with plans to hire more staff and expand services at Miyake’s four building supply stores and one truss manufacturing plant on Maui.
“When you own your own business, you have a lot of sleepless nights. It’s 24/7,” Miyake said Sunday, the day after the deal closed. “I felt it’s time for me to kind of step out.”
Miyake, the CEO of the company he bought in 1979, said his decision wasn’t related to the pandemic; in fact, after a few years of downturn, business has taken off in recent months as people use the extra time to work on home projects. However, talks over selling to HPM have been brewing for about six or seven years now. Over the last two years, the companies really got serious about HPM buying the inventory and the business.
Miyake said that what helped seal the deal was HPM’s local roots, the increase in products and services that they could offer and the benefits for his 35 employees. With the merger, all Miyake staff members will become HPM owner-employees, and Miyake added that HPM plans to hire “at least another 12 or 15 employees,” possibly including sales clerks, truck drivers and warehouse staff.
“That was one of the key elements in me deciding to sell because of what they were offering my employees and the security with my children,” Miyake explained.
He added that customers will have a wider range of products to choose from at each of the Maui stores, allowing for one-stop shopping.
“They have a bigger buying power than us, so hopefully they’ll be more competitive, which would be good for the community,” Miyake said.
HPM plans to integrate merchandising, systems and operations at Maui stores through the end of this year, according to a news release. All Maui locations will remain fully operational during the transition period with no anticipated interruptions.
Miyake, who served in the U.S. Army 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, first started working at a Wailuku concrete accessories store when he returned to civilian life in 1970, according to the news release. After the store’s owner retired, Miyake eventually bought the business in 1979 and changed the name to Miyake Concrete Accessories Inc. The store specialized in concrete and rebar and served professional builders and homeowners.
Eventually the company also began offering lumber, drywall and hardware and expanded to four more locations in Makawao, Kihei and Lahaina.
The family operation has also included Miyake’s wife Irene and son Tyson, now Mayor Michael Victorino’s chief of staff. Daughters Michelle and Stacie, son-in-law Gil Tuquero and grandson Codie Miyake-Bautista still work for the company.
HPM Building Supply, meanwhile, was founded in Hilo in 1921 by Kametaro Fujimoto, the great-great-grandfather of current President and CEO Jason Fujimoto. HPM specializes in lumber, building materials, paint, tools, trusses, wall panels, metal and composite roofing, kitchen and bath and pre-designed house plans.
The company was one of Hawaii’s first businesses to establish an employee profit-sharing plan in 1959, and in 1977, became one of the first companies in the state to be employee owned.
“As longtime family businesses, we understand each other, and we are stronger together because of our shared island values, deep local roots and commitment to serving customers, employees and our communities,” President and CEO Jason Fujimoto said in a statement on the merger.
Miyake, who declined to disclose how much he sold the company for, said he still plans to help out a little at the beginning, but is looking forward to retirement.
“I want to do my fishing and diving, stuff that I’ve neglected,” said Miyake, who’s 73 and has been in the business for more than 50 years now. “I got to take care of my own home, my own yard.”
He also hopes to take his kids on vacation once the pandemic ends.
“Hopefully when the dust settles and everybody gets back to work, we can take some time off together as a family,” he said. “We’ve never done that. Either me or some of my children always had to be there (at the business). We could never say, let’s all go.”
After years as the secretary and taking care of the company’s accounting, Irene Miyake said she hasn’t even thought about what she wants to do in retirement. However, like her husband, she’ll also be home more often and get to focus on “things that I haven’t done for years.”
For more information on the newly merged company, visit miyakehpmhawaii.com.
* Colleen Uechi can be reached at [email protected].