HALEIWA, Hawaii (KHON2) — The waves up north were certainly big, so how did businesses fare?

Tourists that passed through Haleiwa told KHON2 that supporting local was just as important to them as the surf.

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Canadians may not know how to measure waves in feet, but they can still spend American dollars.

“I don’t know anyone who can surf that. Must be pretty pro,” said Vancouver resident Ming Li, “so, not sure what feet are, we measure in meters in Canada, so, pretty sure it’s, uh, big!”

“Yeah, we had a whole itinerary planned out, so making stops like this along the way,” said Vancouver resident Will Gladman.

“Had amazing coffee at Island Vintage Cafe, yeah we just kind of searched best places to eat,” Li said.

A couple of Rhode Islanders staying with family in Manoa had some local knowledge.

“It was right on the way back to their place and,” Rhode Island resident Kevin Jones said.

“My family lives around here so they recommended coming to check out the different stores and boutiques in this little plaza,” Rhode Island resident Gianella Salvaggio said. “We went in every store, they were all really awesome.”

The big action was down at Waimea, but Haleiwa businesses and visitors both said it feels good to shop small and support local.

“I think it’s really important because that’s what kind of makes community, a community! So yeah, you wouldn’t be able to have such a cute town without local businesses.

Ming Li, visiting from Vancouver

“You know, we’ve been pretty busy this week, constant flow of people coming in and out. I think in the beginning of the week, we were kind of slow but maybe picking up Thursday through now was pretty busy,” said Alan Velasco of Matsumoto’s Shave Ice.

Matsumoto employees see tourists every day, but the visitors ask different questions when The Eddie rolls in.

“They’re just asking if we, like, know any kine local surfers and all that. Sometimes, we do; sometimes, we don’t,” Velasco said. “We see some of the bigtime surfers here and there. They always ask us how they are, ‘Where we can find em?’ We try to keep it a little more private for them.”

Businesses hope for some residual customers in the coming days as traffic dies down, while visitors were just happy to take home a taste of the islands.

“And, you can find small, unique things and different things,” Salvaggio said.
“Different stuff that you can’t buy at home,” Jones said.

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“We’re all friends here; so, we might as well help,” Jones said, “help the little guy rather than the big corporations, right?”