Oka’s Celebrates 50 Years
By Brandon Okahara
Sales Manager of Oka’s Auto Body
Oka’s Auto Body grew its roots back in 1965 in a humble garage on the West side of Oahu. Founded by my father Eddie and my uncles Fred and Henry, the brothers grew the business on nothing but hard work, upstanding morals and a commitment to customer satisfaction. For years, the team serviced rural Waipahu and quickly grew to become a household name for collision repair — hence the phrase I hear so often still to this day: “Oh, just take it to Oka’s.”
The Okaharas realized that without continuous education, training and growth, they could not continue to provide their customers the quality and service they deserved.
Fast forward to 2002, when Oka’s Auto Body expanded its modest 7,000-square-foot facility and acquired the adjacent warehouse to create a 19,000-square-foot facility. Equipping the shop with state-of the-art welders, structural frame machines and a top of the line down-draft spray booth came at no small price tag.
But, in my dad’s words, “If you’re going to do something, you should always do it right. If you’re going to spend the money, get the best you can.” This mentality is what made the company what it is today.
With the boom of photo-voltaic systems in Hawaii, it was inevitable that the company look to alternate energy not only as a form of cost savings, but also to decrease our carbon footprint. This led to Oka’s Auto Body receiving the Fit Sustainability Award in 2012 by global paint manufacturer Akzo Nobel, which honors businesses and organizations that advance the concepts of sustainability through three key principles: focus, innovation and talent.
Not stopping there, Oka’s also actively recycles its metal, cardboard and other resources. Oka’s also participates in the National Benevolence Program (where we recondition a vehicle and donate it to a worthy family) and Meals on Wheels, and makes donations to Hawaii Foodbank and other worthy charities.
This May makes 50 glorious years. We and our 20 employees help customers in their time of need, and we do it responsibly for the environment.
My uncle Fred passed away a few years ago, and both my mom Marlene and dad Eddie are now retired, entrusting the shop to be run by my sister Marlo, my brother Kyle and myself. I know I speak for my siblings when I say that I’m proud to open the doors every day. I know the legacy that has been built, and I’m truly blessed and honored every day to call myself part of the team.