By Wayne Harada
With Bath and Body Works set to open a store at Ala Moana Center next March, one of the chain’s popular buy-to-bring-home omiyage will lose their gifting charm: those scented hand-wash liquid soaps, in handy plastic pump bottles, noted for their glorious hues and scents.
These have been favorites, among non-edible gifts, particularly for folks who travel to Las Vegas. Other travelers have been able to stock up on Bath and Body omiyage during airport stopovers, too.
As more Mainland stores open in Hawaii, it becomes more challenging to buy trip omiyage.
Vegas visitors still haul beef jerky, smoked clams and other snacks for family and friends here, but remember when Ethel M candies were the must-buy Vegas treasure, the way Big Island Candies treats are the No. 1 Hilo carry-on-the-plane? OK, Ethel M shut down the shop it launched at Ala Moana Center a few years ago, so it’s back on the buyables list.
But there’s no need to bring home See’s Candies, the all-time omiyage fave. It’s still a delectable treat, but you can get ‘em here. Everything, from the lollipops to the seasonal chocolate specials.
Remember when you’d tuck a couple of jars of Knotts Berry Farms’ boysenberry jam into your carry-on, after loading up your biscuit with the purple treat when you munched on fried chicken at the Knotts Berry playground in Southern California? The boysenberry product is widely available on supermarket shelves.
And Godiva chocolates? They were the desirable (and perishable) treats from a big city jaunt like New York or Chicago. Until outposts popped up here or selected boxes showed up in Macy’s chocolate counter.
While it would be grand if Trader Joe’s did some Hawaii trading for hometowners, its snacks — chocolates, preserved fruits and nuts — just might lose appeal as omiyage.
Do you have recollections of stuff you used to bring home for gifts, but don’t anymore because anyone can find them here?
Do you buy See’s Candies on the Mainland anyway to bring home?
Or do you have a “find” that is under the radar that you’d like to share?