Since 1976, The Most Irresistible Shop in Hilo has been living up to its name, offering kama`aina and visitors a plethora of gift items including apparel, jewelry, books, toys, and souvenirs to personally enjoy or as omiyage “gifts.” Originally opened on Keawe Street by former teacher, Sally Mermel, the quaint retail store in Downtown Hilo is now owned and operated by Hilo native, Tracie Yoshimoto, who bought the business in 2013.
“It had been my secret dream for many years – to one day own my favorite shop. The Most Irresistible Shop in Hilo was my go-to place for stocking stuffers and unique quality gifts year round,” shared Yoshimoto.
“One of my favorite things to do is help customers and with their gift-giving, especially when it comes to Hawaii’s special celebrations and multi-cultural traditions. That’s how we separate ourselves from Big Box stores. I love finding and bringing to our customers merchandise that are unique, especially when they have compelling stories, such as with locally handmade items, and global fair trade companies that empower women,” shared Yoshimoto. When considering new lines for the store, she chooses items that will appeal to locals and visitors alike — popular items include Hilo t-shirts, travel bags and accessories, made in Hawaii items like jewelry, food, kitchen and decor. You’ll also find items with a sense of humor and whimsy. “We have a rascal side, too. I love hearing customers chuckle and laugh out loud when they see something unexpectedly funny. A sense of humor is required,” she continues with a laugh.
Retail trends for 2021 is a year for self-care, gratitude and optimism. “2020 was traumatic for all of us – it was all survival-mode, and now it’s time to take back control and take care of oursleves, appreciating everything we have, and planning for better days.“
Yoshimoto and the rest of her staff have been busy during the coronavirus months, pivoting into e-commerce and keeping up with online orders. Reaching customers throughout the State and continent through online sales is a convenient way for customers to support local and to send gifts.
In addition, a long planned store expansion has been ongoing and will offer shoppers double the space to find their next favorite gift items. “We are so excited the renovation and expansion is finally coming to fruition. Our customers have been waiting a long time and we are looking forward to a spacious shopping experience for customers with more Irresistible-ness. Stay tuned!” exclaimed Yoshimoto.
On the back end of the business, Yoshimoto understands and appreciates that the longevity of The Most Irresistible Shop in Hilo comes from the support of the community, its loyal customers, as well as the people she places around her, and gives kudos to her dedicated team, including longtime employees Carole Makanui and Vicki Schulte. “I’m proud of our multi-generational team. They are all smart, talented, dedicated – everyone on Team MISH is a gem. A business is like a child and requires many hands to nurture it.”
The Most Irresistible Shop in Hilo is located at 256 Kamehameha Avenue in Hilo. Call 808-935-9644 to learn more.