Convenience Plus was opened in 2003 by sisters Audrey Maxwell-Hodgdon and Daphne McKeehan. It seemed logical that they joined to open a Convenience Store/ Fueling station, as they grew up in the business owned by their father Alfred (Fred) Jose Andrade, Sr. since 1960. Convenience Plus is a family business employing 14 community members.
The current building was constructed in 1959 by the Hamakua Sugar Company’s Construction Division. Mr. Andrade built the gas station, repair shop and its canopy area and continued its structure to the rear of the gas station utilizing military barrack quasits that he purchased from Camp Tarawa in Waimea. These quasit buildings were in use from 1943-1945 but since World War II had ended, they were sold as surplus to the public. The station’s grand opening event was held on March 5th, 1960, and the business was named Andrade Service Inc. which also incorporated part of his excavation/land clearing business into it. The name Convenience Plus was given to the business when the sisters began running it in 2003.
What are the most important personal satisfactions connected with your profession?
Serving the community has been the main focus of the business. Opening as early as 4am to closing at 11pm. The pandemic changed the store hours but not the desire to serve. Convenience Plus has a large generator with the capability of powering the store, providing ice and fuel during power outages.
How was your business impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Convenience Plus did not close at any time during the COVID-19 pandemic, however we did reduce our hours, making employee schedule changes as necessary. We increased areas of disinfection and wrapped our hot dog buns and utensils. We also started selling individual masks for those trying to enter without a mask. Everyone entering was monitored for masks and mandated to sanitize their hands using our hands-free hand sanitizer dispensing unit.
Do you feel that HCFCU played a role in your business outcome during the pandemic?
During this difficult time, Convenience Plus relied on the HCFCU for financial help and advice to continue on. HCFCU’s assistance became akin to a business partnership enhancing continued viability and productivity. We are truly appreciative of all the help received during this transitional part of our business life.
If there is one word you could use to describe your experience with us, what would it be and why?
The word is ‘Solid’ because we can always count on HCFCU for all our needs, both business and personal. We know that we can walk in with a question, need, or concern and always come out with a solid solution.
Do you have any other stories you’d like to share?
Many of our childhood memories revolved around the gas station as we both worked there since we were about 9 or 10 years old. Back then, our customers never got out of their vehicle. We not only pumped their gas, but we also checked the oil, water in the radiator, air pressure in tires and cleaned their windshield. I can’t remember any time that I received a tip. Back then it was a service expected with any fuel purchase. Imagine that! One of the pluses of growing up next to the gas station was the ability to get candy and hot chocolate from my dad’s vending machines. He also vended chicken noodle soup, coffee, ice cream, soda, bubble gum and cigarettes.
Our grandmother, Rose Andrade Correa, donated land to the County for a rodeo arena and one of her sons (our uncle), William Andrade Sr., was one of the founding fathers of the Hawaii Saddle Club (1954). Since then, many of Rose’s children, grand and great grandchildren, have continued to participate as entrants and rodeo club members today. Convenience Plus continues to support the rodeo in as many ways possible.