In 1899 Goichi Hanato came to Hawaii from Japan and opened a store and tofu shop in Kona, Hawaii. He married a picture bride in 1905 and their daughter Mary Shizuko took over the store in 1928.

Ice cream was a specialty and when ice was trucked in from Hilo, Mary and husband Fumio Teshima would grind the blocks at night by the light of kerosene lamps.

During WWII when GIs came for the ice cream, they taught her how to make hamburgers.

The store evolved into a restaurant with a focus on Japanese and local Hawaiian cuisine in 1957. Mary’s secret to success was to keep the restaurant intimate and focus on customers. Reviews by diners and professional reviewers rate it among the best in Kona. They call it a gem with addictive shrimp tempura and sukiyaki.


Grandma Teshima raised a family that included five children, 12 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren and seven great-great grandchildren…many of whom work in the restaurant and are working to preserve her legacy and keep the business vibrant.

It was Grandma’s tradition to keep Teshima Restaurant intimate and to focus on the customer.

Not only was Teshima’s her business, it was her home where she welcomed friends, visitors, and family for more than 60 years.

Up until the time she passed at age 106, Grandma was still encouraging her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren to do the best they could to make sure customers were happy and well fed.

Grandma’s natural entrepreneurial skills, cooking talents, and genuine love for people led to her success. She was open to new ideas, like learning to make hamburgers from the WWII GIs who frequented the restaurant and learning the techniques of cooks from Japan to add to her local flavor repertoire.

When she passed her legacy on to future generations, her hope was for all to treat each other with empathy and kindness. Her vision was that the family continue serving good food, enjoying each other’s company and welcoming friends and family to return to Kona and her restaurant.

To put Grandma’s entrepreneurial accomplishment into historical perspective, when she took over the store in 1928...women had only been given the right to vote in the US in 1920...Charles Lindberg flew solo from New York to Paris in 1927...the Great Depression started in 1929...Prohibition was in effect from 1920 to 1933...the Territory of Hawaii didn’t become a state until 1959...the first all-talking movie “Lights of New York” was released in 1928...this was the time period of the surrealist and art deco art movements, flappers, the Charleston and bob haircuts...Hitler published Mein Kampf in 1925...Calvin Coolidge was president, King George V led England, Joseph Stalin led the Soviet Union, Benito Mussolini led Italy, and Emperor Hirohito led Japan.