The Local General Store Brings Meats and Sweets Under One Roof

At The Local General Store, locally sourced pastries meet the island’s only all-local, full-service butcher counter.



In the weeks since The Local General Store’s new shop opened in Kaimukī, I have walked out with lychee and guava jam Danishes, char siu pastries, venison salami and the secret to the best kālua pig. The store houses O‘ahu’s only all-local, full-service butcher shop, but it is, clearly, so much more.


About seven years ago, Jason Chow had an idea to open a retail counter offering local beef, chicken, pork and other meats. He trained and worked with butchers in Chicago and Berkeley, California. In San Francisco, he met Harley Tunac (now Tunac Chow), a baker who, like him, was born and raised on O‘ahu and shared a vision of returning home to work with Hawai‘i’s farmers. And so, what started as a meat counter is now meat and sweets under one roof.


FAST FACT: The Local General Store took over the space formerly occupied by Kaimukī Superette.


The Local General Store Meats4 Ay

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino


The Local General Store Meats3 Ay

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino


To peer into the pastry case is to glimpse Hawai‘i’s agricultural wealth. Ka‘ū orange is folded into a hazelnut braid, mountain apple laid atop vanilla custard, ‘ulu tucked into flaky pastry. Over at the meat counter, porterhouse steaks, marrow bones, venison rib racks, pork chops, Thai curry sausages, roast beef—all from Hawai‘i-raised animals—only hint at the possibilities. I always leave with something unexpected, like hocks for making kālua pig, or a Denver steak when I came in for a rib-eye. Because The Local General Store is a full-service butcher, the butchers can steer you to overlooked cuts or suggest substitutions when they don’t have what you’re looking for. That’s how I end up slow-cooking pork shoulder with hocks, the skin and collagen of the latter melting into a luxuriously rich and silky kālua pig.


The Local General Store Jason Ay

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino


The Local General Store Harley Ay

Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino


When the married couple returned home four years ago, they expected to open their shop right away. But the pandemic put the brakes on that idea. In the meantime, they sold at farmers markets and built relationships with producers such as Kualoa Ranch and Griffith Livestock in West O‘ahu. So much has changed since the pandemic, since Chow left to study butchery and in the decades since Hawai‘i began shipping most of its cows out of state. But now, with the return of an old-school neighborhood butcher and bakery, Chow says he hopes to play “a small part in the larger picture of building”—and in some ways returning to—“a better food supply in Hawai‘i.”


3458 Wai‘alae Ave., (808) 777-2431,, @thelocalgeneralstorehi


SEE ALSO: The Local General Store Offers Pastry Boxes and Virtual Butchery Classes Focusing on Local Farmers