Hayaku Gas & Go has gone. Welcome the Molokai Fish and Dive gas station!
The truck from Molokai Wholesale Gas filled up the pumps this morning and the new gas station in an old location opened today at 8 a.m. Molokai once again has a second gas station to complement Rawlins Chevron.
About three weeks ago and without notice, Hayaku closed its doors. The station, at the corner of Ala Malama Avenue and Makaena Place in Kaunakakai (530 Ala Malama Ave.), became Hayaku about four years ago to replace the Kalama Gas Station. The reason for Hayaku’s closure is not clear.
Tim and Susan Forsberg, longtime owners of the Molokai Fish and Dive next door to the gas station, decided taking over the gas station would be a good opportunity.
“We’ve been friends with these people for a while, and when we saw them struggling and when the station wasn’t opening, we decided to take a look at it,” said Tim Forsberg.
“It was an opportunity to get it up and running,” he added, “because one station doesn’t work for the island at all, it’s too jammed up over there. It would be a real tragedy if there was just one so me and my wife just decided to do the best we could and try to make a go of it over here.”
Gas is now available but that is the only thing for sale until the inside is remodeled. A fresh coat of paint has laid down the beginning of the refurbishing project that should take four to six weeks. Once completed the store will stock a wide variety of food items.
“(The gas station) will get back on line with the way they used to do it but we’re going to offer a lot more then what was offered before,” said Tim. Improvements, he said, will be seen in “the retail store portion, upgrading the foods, having a lot more foods available, more concession machines.”
“Then the Molokai Fish and Dive does activities so we’ll have this as a small retail space,” he added. “So we’ll have good offering because the Dive Shop has been here for almost 40 years.” The added space will allow Fish and Dive to market and sell tourist attractions such as whale watching and snorkel trips at the gas station.
The Forsbergs said they plan to follow the pricing of Rawlins on gas. “On a small island it’s hard to compete when you are within a block of each other,” Tim said. “As far as we know we’re not going to compete on the price level but maybe compete on the side of offering more varieties of foods and things like that.”
The name will stay Molokai Fish and Dive. “We might change it but I think the name recognition will help us out even though it doesn’t denote fuel,” said Tim. “We thought of many different names but right now, because we are going to be retail and activities, we are still going to call it the Molokai Fish and Dive, we just sell gas now.”
“We’re just looking forward to getting some of the customers that Kalamas has had for years come back,” Tim said. “Just being a small mom and pop operation — which we are here, just me and my wife doing it — we hope the community rallies around it and that we can survive here.”