My Profile this month is about the people who run the most unique, one of a kind Hawaiian style store in the Pacific Northwest or perhaps, in the whole world! Ante Nani’s Ohana Koffee Korner in the Bothell Country Village is: a coffee place where you can get an Italian Soda or a Mango Smoothie or a cup of Kona coffee...or you can buy Hawaiian clothing/paintings/ perfumes/flower leis/quilts...or you can buy live Antirium plants growing out of lava rocks...or you can learn how to hula...or learn how to make Hawaiian quilts....or learn how to make an Ipu or weave a feather lei or string a live plumeria lei....or where you can drop in some Friday evenings, have a meal and relax to live Hawaiian music. There are a number of Hawaiian themed stores that sell everything from A to Z (but no beverages or meals)....there are Hawaiian themed restaurants that have beverages and great food and live music (but they don’t sell clothes, quilts or plants)......Ante Nani’s Ohana Koffee Korner is truly one of a kind and the owners are equally “one of a kind”....
Where do Police Officers go when they hang up their holsters? Two of them retired after a total of 46 years of Law Enforcement work for the city of San Francisco and decided that after “chasing crooks and robbers”, they wanted a more relaxed, sedate, no hassle, guaranteed income lifestyle so they went into the retail store business. After nearly three years, they’ve pretty much decided that running a retail store is NOT the more relaxed/ sedate/no hassle/guaranteed income lifestyle they had thought it was going to be. but they absolutely love what they do!
Meet Williama Kealohapauole Aven and his wife Lynn “Ante Nani” Aven.
Williama Aven is a tall, handsome, very stately gentleman whose genealogy reaches all the way back to the Kamehameha lineage and includes some of Hawaii’s most notable families including the Pauole, Kealoha and Waipas. Williama was born in Honolulu but spent much of his youth moving back and forth between California and Hawaii. Williama was a Deputy Sheriff for the City of San Francisco for twenty eight years. After retiring from his Law Enforcement career, Williama and Lynn moved back to Hawaii where they resided for a little more than eight years before deciding to move to the Pacific Northwest where they began their retail sales careers. Williama Aven is a multi-talented guy who can sew (feather) or weave (live flower) leis, makes his own Hawaiian scented perfumes, makes various size ipus (gourds ranging in size from miniature ones scented with Hawaiian aromas that you can hang on your car’s rear view mirror as air freshners to medium/larger sizes that are more suited for hula dancing). He had an awesome falsetto singing voice until he suffered a mild stroke which impacted his vocal chords, was a scratch golfer in his younger days and is a great cook and fabulous barista/maker of world class lattes and smoothies! More importantly, Williama wants to ensure that his skills/knowledge of Hawaiian arts will survive and he thus spends many hours teaching those skills to others at Ante Nani’s Ohana Koffee Korner.
Lynn Aven was born and grew up in the Omaha, Nebraska area. She met Williama when both worked for the San Francisco Sheriff’s office. The Lynn/Ante Nani that you meet today is a warm, humorous and gregarious lady filled with Aloha who is nothing like the tough wahine she must have been back in her Police career days when she was dubbed “ Officer Beach” (spelling??). Lynn recalls her “breaking in da haole” days after she and Williama moved from San Francisco to the Nanakuli/Makaha area. It took her months before the “locals” there would accept that “for a haole” she was pretty nice!
Ante Nani’s Ohana Koffee Korner is unique in so many ways. Ante Nani’s is a little place which does not pretend to compete with larger Hawaiian themed stores or restaurants or Hula Halaus or Arts/Crafts sites but is content to just be that unique one-stop place where Hawaiians/Hawaiian at heart people can stop in, relax and eat/drink/maybe buy a few things and learn a little bit more about what makes Hawaiian culture what it is! Ante Nani and Uncle Williama perpetuate our Hawaiian culture by encouraging and promoting Hawaiian cultural activities in their little Hawaiian haven! There are ongoing, continuing Hawaiian cultural activities there where one can learn to dance the hula or to do Hawaiian quilts under the guidance of Louise Simeona (Lou’s Hawaiian Creations owner) or make an ipu or weave a feather lei under Master Williama’s tutelage or bring a ukulele or guitar in and just jam! Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (425) 483-2017.
Mahalo Ante Lynn and Uncle Williama Aven....it’s all the little things you do that help perpetuate our Hawaiian culture Big Time!!!! Mahalo......you da Man (and Wahine)!!!!
Until next time, be kind to each other.....me ke Aloha pumehana........Danny