When the Coon family shuttered the doors of the Harbor Store during the recession, a void was left in the Manele Small Boat Harbor. Now, several years later, the Coons have revitalized the space and reopened shop under a new name: The Manele General Store.
Bringing the store back to Lanai was a part of brothers Jim and Randy Coons’ long-term plan. The Coons are the owners and operators of Trilogy, a sailing venture in its 44th year of business on Maui and Lanai. Jim’s son, Riley, director of operations and a sail captain in the family business, was tasked with the restoration and launch of the Manele General Store, which enjoyed a successful soft opening this past April.
“My family and I talked about reopening the store for several years before we actually put hammers in the wall,” says Riley.
Following the Harbor Store’s closure, the Coons used the nearly 1000 square foot space beneath the Trilogy pavilion for storage and staging, while their plans to re-open took shape.
A fresh new space
In 2014, the Coon family began meeting with local contractors and former Harbor Store staff to gather input on what the community desired and what was feasible in the original footprint of the store. The renovation required a complete overhaul, and the old shop was stripped to the bones.
The aesthetic of the Manele General Store was inspired by the landscape of Lanai, with rich-hued laminate wood flooring to evoke Lanai’s red volcanic soil, and a bluish-gray ceiling to resemble the open sky. Solid wood cabinetry and granite countertops were installed, along with upgraded appliances, freezer and icemakers. Glass doors and broad shelves showcase a wide assortment of hot and cold grab-n-go food, including poke, fried chicken, bento boxes and musubis made fresh daily.
“Our current selection features Lanai and Maui vendors,” says Riley. “Our goal is to stay as local as possible.”
General store offerings
Along with prepared foods and cold drinks, customers may peruse a selection of branded Manele General Store clothing, beach accessories and island-style souvenirs. The shop also stocks maintenance items like oil, small fishing supplies and other basics for boaters.
Riley believes there is an advantage in converting the old harbor store into a general store model.
“As a general store we have the flexibility to change products to better serve the community,” explains Riley. “For some, Manele Harbor is the gateway to Lanai, and we are able to supply the needs for a full spectrum of people: Manele homeowners who want basic groceries, beachgoers, employees on break, and boaters who need supplies or ice. There is something for everybody.”
The general store is currently staffed by seven employees, including an assistant manager and manager.
“We are lucky to have such great people from Lanai working at the store,” beams Riley. “They help create a welcoming experience for visitors and a welcome home for residents.”
If you find yourself passing through the harbor, be sure to stop in the Manele General Store and see what’s new.
7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. every day
Manele Small Boat Harbor
Manele Harbor Road
Lanai City, HI 96763