Oct 05, 2016
#WeAreWard: Sandy Oshiro
Photos by Sandy Oshiro, @oshsandy on Instagram
For more years than she can count, Sandy Oshiro has been in love with Ward Village.
Whether it's grabbing a quick snack, shopping, or dining at one of the many restaurants that call the Village home, Sandy has been a steady and devoted patron for decades. In the interview below, Sandy discusses her favorite haunts here, her thoughts on the new developments, and what makes this such a special place.
Can you start by telling us a little about yourself?
Sure thing. I was born and raised right here on O'ahu and I currently work for Higa Foodservice in the sales department. There are a lot of great perks with the job, but one is that I get to eat out quite a bit and I'm always trying new places. That's part of the reason why I spend so much time in Ward Village. It's convenient and one of our great customers, REAL a Gastropub, is located right in the heart of it, so I get to spend a lot of time with them. It's a fun job and I love it.
What's your favorite aspect of Ward Village?
Gosh, you know, there's so much. I've been spending time and shopping and eating here since Spaghetti Factory opened up way back. We would go there to play PAC-MAN and grab a bite. Over the years, I've seen so many many changes. But overall, I love how convenient Ward Village is. Whether it's shopping or dining, it's all here. I love Merle Norman, Eden In Love, and Hakubundo for shopping. Whether I'm looking for new outfits, grabbing a coffee at a cafe, or buying new makeup—it's all right here and so convenient. I also love to shop at Marukai Market for groceries as well.
On average, how often do you find yourself shopping or eating here?
Hmm…my office is on Nimitz near Aloha Tower and I live in the Ala Moana area, so I'm there quite often. My coworker teases me a bit; he thinks it's my second home. I would say I'm in Ward Village almost every day. I was just there last night grabbing dinner at Brian's Hawaiian Kitchen. I go so often, that I'm on a first-name basis with almost all the owners!
That's great that you're on a first-name basis with so many of the people and shop owners. Would you say that you have a favorite place to shop at Ward?
Again, that's a hard one because I love so many places. I do love to give credit to Eden In Love. They're locally owned and they're always changing things around and hosting lots of pop-up shops and trunk shows. It's so much fun seeing what they're up to. I buy bags, clothes, and stationery from there all the time. I really love that place. Sometimes I'll order lunch from nearby and then go take a peek at what they're doing while I'm waiting for my food. Their merchandise is great, affordable, and always new. I really love Big Island Delights as well. They have the most delicious cookies and snacks. There's also Hakubundo and Cinnamon Girl, too! When you go every day, you really do learn to love all of these places. I try to support as many locally owned businesses as possible.
There's also the new South Shore Market as well.
Yes, I'm really excited about it! I'll be there to support and shop for sure. It's really exciting to see all of the new development.
When it comes to grabbing a bite to eat, do you have a favorite?
To be honest, there are so many places I like to eat at Ward that it's hard to pick just one. Like I said before, I'm really there almost every day, so I'm always mixing it up. My boyfriend and I really love going to Pa'ina Café. Who doesn't love their poke bowls? We also went to Rice Fest this past weekend and it was such an amazing event. I've been going to the event for a while and it's been great to see it grow into what it was this year with all of the food trucks. Buca di Beppo is always fun and my boyfriend and I love eating there and then going to the movies. It's a perfect date night!
How do you feel about the neighborhood evolving, with new shops, residential towers, and new restaurants opening soon?
It's impressive to see how fast it's changing. It can be a little sad seeing things change, but change happens and I'm looking forward to seeing all of the new restaurants and shops.
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