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View Full Version : If you're ever in Hilo, Hawaii



johnson430
05-10-2017, 08:48 PM
Buyer Beware:
Hilo Ukulele & Guitar is not Hilo Guitars & Ukuleles.

This guy worked for then screwed over Ken Cameron and then just switched the name when he opened his own store...at the exact same location in Hilo.
Ruthless.

Kyle23
05-10-2017, 08:58 PM
I don't understand really. He sold him the store? I'm confused as to what happened to the original store since it's in the same place.

gtomatt
05-11-2017, 07:56 AM
Hi Johnson,

Not sure what you mean by the new guy screwing Ken over.... maybe you could elaborate (your thumbnail for the article didn't open)?

I know that Ken closed his store because he was moving to Oregon for cancer treatments. I bought my HF-2 from Ken years ago and found him to be a great person. He let me stay well beyond closing while I was trying to decide between two K brand concert ukuleles. Very patient... no eye rolls as I switched between ukuleles yet again.

I wish him the best with his treatments - the world needs more folks like Ken

Brad Bordessa
05-11-2017, 08:13 AM
I haven't known the new proprietor for a super long time, but we roomed together for a week at a workshop. Seemed like a pretty heartfelt, well-intentioned guy. He said he was thinking about buying the shop when I talked to him the other day. Never met anybody who's as excited about bringing together the Big Island 'ukulele community as him. He's always talking about doing workshops and festivals to give exposure to all the low-key uke players out here.

I'd sure like to see more context and background about this before we start ripping on him. A Facebook snapshot isn't necessarily the best way to get the full story...

Doc_J
05-11-2017, 01:18 PM
I haven't known Rick for a super long time, but we roomed together for a week at the Hawai'i Island 'Ukulele Retreat. Seemed like a pretty heartfelt, well-intentioned guy. He said he was thinking about buying the shop when I talked to him the other day. Never met anybody who's as excited about bringing together the Big Island 'ukulele community as him. He's always talking about doing workshops and festivals to give exposure to all the low-key uke players out here.

I'd sure like to see more context and background about this before we start ripping on him. A Facebook snapshot isn't necessarily the best way to get the full story...

Here' the web link to the original, now closed, Hilo Guitars & Ukuleles, owned by Ken for nearly 15 years. This gives you Ken's view of what transpired. Sounds like an employee, he trained, indicated interest in buying the store for many months, then didn't. Immediately after Bob closed his store, the former employee opened his new store, same business with very similar name. Some people might not notice the difference in the names. Ken didn't receive any payment for the value of the business he built.

http://www.hiloguitars.com

Brad Bordessa
05-11-2017, 01:38 PM
Here' the web link to the original, now closed, Hilo Guitars & Ukuleles, owned by Ken for nearly 15 years. This gives you Ken's view of what transpired. Sounds like an employee, he trained, indicated interest in buying the store for many months, then didn't. Immediately after Bob closed his store, the former employee opened his new store, same business with very similar name. Some people might not notice the difference in the names. Ken didn't receive any payment for the value of the business he built.

http://www.hiloguitars.com

Huh. I just went by there at the beginning of the month. No sign and the place looked pretty empty. Guess this is a very recent development.

mds725
05-11-2017, 03:27 PM
Ken could get a lawyer to write a "cease and desist" letter. Usually the threat of a lawsuit is enough to get people stop (as a lawyer might say) engaging in the wrongful conduct.

johnson430
05-11-2017, 04:53 PM
Here' the web link to the original, now closed, Hilo Guitars & Ukuleles, owned by Ken for nearly 15 years. This gives you Ken's view of what transpired. Sounds like an employee, he trained, indicated interest in buying the store for many months, then didn't. Immediately after Bob closed his store, the former employee opened his new store, same business with very similar name. Some people might not notice the difference in the names. Ken didn't receive any payment for the value of the business he built.

http://www.hiloguitars.com

Thanks for posting this.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
05-12-2017, 08:25 AM
I wouldn't jump to conclusions quite so quickly when only knowing one side of the story. Ken has been a friend of mine for many years and in fact carried my ukes in the early days. He's always been fair to me. Like Hippie Guy, I've known the other party, Rick, for a shorter period of time but I don't know him to be the malicious sort. (He's a local uke performer.) I won't call him the new proprietor as I don't know what his role is. He wrote me the other day and told me he had 4 backers that enabled him to open the store. My guess is that's it's a hui, a partnership, that enabled the opening of a new store. Same location because, why not? In a tiny town like Hilo there's not much good available space. The choice of the new store name is unfortunate (at best) since it could easily be confused with the old store.
I was there during the closing of the store and people were in such shock and felt such a loss of it closing, I could imagine that some people got together after it closed and made the attempt to keep this valuable resource in Hilo. Or it could have all been orchestrated beforehand thereby denying Ken of the sale of his business. I just don't know and neither does anyone else I've spoken with. I'll know shortly though; it's a small island despite it's name.
I wish both parties only the best in the future. I wish Ken well on his move to Portland and hopes he can put this behind him so that he can focus on healing and getting the medical attention he needs. I wish Rick well with the new store as we sorely need it in Hilo and the Big Island. There's is no other uke store I would recommend to people. It's unfortunate there is such negativity surrounding this situation but as I've said, we've only heard half the story. Karma is a bitch so it'll work out the way it should in the end anyway.

slackkey007
05-12-2017, 08:34 AM
I wouldn't jump to conclusions quite so quickly when only knowing one side of the story. Ken has been a friend of mine for many years and in fact carried my ukes in the early days. He's always been fair to me. Like Hippie Guy, I've known the other party, Rick, for a shorter period of time but I don't know him to be the malicious sort. (He's a local uke performer.) I won't call him the new proprietor as I don't know what his role is. He wrote me the other day and told me he had 4 backers that enabled him to open the store. My guess is that's it's a hui, a partnership, that enabled the opening of a new store. Same location because, why not? In a tiny town like Hilo there's not much good available space. The choice of the new store name is unfortunate (at best) since it could easily be confused with the old store.
I was there during the closing of the store and people were in such shock and felt such a loss of it closing, I could imagine that some people got together after it closed and made the attempt to keep this valuable resource in Hilo. Or it could have all been orchestrated beforehand thereby denying Ken of the sale of his business. I just don't know and neither does anyone else I've spoken with. I'll know shortly though; it's a small island despite it's name.
I wish both parties only the best in the future. I wish Ken well on his move to Portland and hopes he can put this behind him so that he can focus on healing and getting the medical attention he needs. I wish Rick well with the new store as we sorely need it in Hilo and the Big Island. There's is no other uke store I would recommend to people. It's unfortunate there is such negativity surrounding this situation but as I've said, we've only heard half the story. Karma is a bitch so it'll work out the way it should in the end anyway.


I commend you sir, well said!:agree:

:shaka: