I have many fond memories of my childhood in Wahiawa. One of the most cherished is of the little candy store down the street called B-Sweet. Growing up, sweets were in short supply in our house, so Dad and I would walk down the street to B-Sweet for ice cream when I was behaving myself and deserving of a special treat. Later when I started school, I would visit the shop every afternoon to buy snacks: Coke in the glass bottles, M&M’s, ring pops, funyuns, haw flakes, crack seed, or pop rocks to keep me wired enough to make it through my 3rd bell class at Japanese School.

Bill Sugimoto, the candy man with the kind face and generous spirit, would always tease and joke with me as I made my daily purchase. For reasons that will now forever be unknown to me, he would call me “Jonesy,” even though he knew my real name. In the early days, before he passed on, I recall Bill’s elderly father sitting outside on a rickety folding chair, watching as kids would come and go from the store that he founded in the late 1950’s.

I wish I had visited Bill before he passed away on June 14. According to the article, he collapsed into a customer’s arms while he was working at the store. Despite his age, 85, he was still dedicated to running the store for the children in the area and did so until the very end of his life.

The closing of B-Sweet marks the end of an era and I will always look back upon those daily after-school visits to Mr. Bill with fond remembrance.

Rest in peace, Bill.

Love, Jonesy.

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9 Responses to B-Sweet

  1. Shari says:

    I don’t remember when the last time I visited B-Sweet…he use to always call me Watanabe…I go that’s not my name…that’s my Mom maiden name…but everytime I would to visit there even before japanese school he use to call me by that last name…for some funny reason even when me, and donna was all grown up we use to visit him from time to time, and he use to still call us those names…LOL…

  2. Thank you for sharing this. It must’ve been great to have known the Candy Man. He, his store, and your fond memories are what make Hawaii a special place.

  3. Sugimoto Family says:

    Thank you everyone for your kind thoughts with the beautiful posters, flowers and prayers. Bill(husband and father) enjoyed everyone of you. Again, thanks for being part of his life and making B-Sweet.

    The Sugimoto Family

  4. sista sherry says:

    B-Sweet cany store has always remained with me even when we moved from Wahiawa to Waipahu in the late 60’s. We used to live on Cypress Avenue and on Lei Awapuhi Street which were both within walking distance of the store. Bill always had a smile for us kids. He was simply “The Best”. I went to visit him several years ago for I HAD to buy some candy and ONLY from B-Sweet for old time sakes. And I was amazed that he remembered me. As a little kid, the store looked so huge and when I went back a few years ago I realized it wasn’t that big but it was big on aloha…thanks to Mr. Bill.
    Thank you for the wonderful memories that all of us will forever treasure.
    Much aloha,

  5. Shyla says:

    It’s nice to see that a lot of other people have fond memories of Bill & B-Sweet. I was born & raised in Hawaii & went to Wahiawa Elementary & the Japanese School too. We moved to the Mainland in 1989 (almost 20 years ago) & my older sister & I still talk about B-sweet. I remember that even though my sister & I never really had much money, Bill always made sure that we walked out with a treat. My favorite was always Big Hunk. You can’t really find it here in North Carolina, but every time I see one, I have to buy it & I always think of B-Sweet. Thank you for remembering Bill & his store as landmarks in Wahiawa, HI.

  6. Matsu says:

    🙁 one of things that I allways thought would be there

  7. Jamie says:

    I remember always going to B-Sweet to buy hi-chews and candy for my little brother. Bill was such a happy person and you would never see him in an upset mood. He always made me laugh when I went to purchase goodies. Thanks Bill for everything, the laughs, the candy, and the memories that shall remain in our hearts forever. May you watch over us. Once again, thank you Bill for serving us all these years!

  8. Alan says:

    Hi. Thanks for posting this. I was just talking to my wife about this shop about 3 hours ago and decided to google it. No… it CAN’T be over… My mother was from Wahiawa and we’d spend our summers there at our grandparents house just around the corner from B-Sweet. EVERYDAY and probably just after B-Sweet opened, you would find us in there getting a little something. OK… sometimes a lot of a little something. He was a great guy. Always smiling – making that little shop one of the best things about Hawaii in my heart.
    At my grandmother’s death, we all gathered back in Hawaii for the funeral and stopped in on B-Sweet. Still there and still a great guy. A lot older, but time kind of stood still for me at the moment when we talked about the times when we were kids, which he remembered. My grandparents now long gone, even my brother gone now… I always thought that B-Sweet would still be there – forever. And that he would still be there doing it all “just for the kids” as he would say.
    Even as I read this, I can believe it, sure… but that little shop in Hawaii will always be there in my heart, and Bill always here with us, watching over his “kids.”


  9. Alan says:

    PS – thank you Donna!

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