Local gym provides the right ‘fit’ for all | Hawaii Jobs

Local gym provides the right ‘fit’ for all

Alan Ichinose, Michele Tokuda, and Debbie and Chris Faildo are owners and instructors of Kakaako Fitness, a local gym that sets itself apart from its corporate competitors by catering to individual members.

By Ellise Kakazu

There is strength in numbers, a sentiment evident at Kakaako Fitness.

The gym, which opened in July 2015, is owned and operated by a collaboration of personal trainers, including Alan Ichinose, Chris and Debbie Faildo, and Michele Takuda. Each can hold their own, but as a team, they are even stronger.

“What’s unique about it is everybody is different — we all have our strong points,” Ichinose said. “When we come together, we just work, it just gels.”

The powerhouse team’s mission is to ensure Kakaako Fitness is a place “where people of all ages can come and enjoy their healthy lifestyle of health fitness without intimidation and stress,” according to the company’s website. Ichinose also said the goal is to keep the gym around for the long run, as the team has seen many other local gyms close down in the past.

Ginnette Oliberos trains under the guidance of Debbie Faildo.

“(Kakaako Fitness is) more for the people of Hawaii,” Ichinose noted. “We cannot compete against corporate gyms, but it’s a local gym that we cater to the members.”

One way Kakaako Fitness puts members first is by listening. The fitness center uses a suggestion box to allow gym-goers to share their concerns and suggestions.

“When something needs to be done, we do it right away, rather than having to wait for an OK from corporate from the mainland,” Ichinose said. “So, if equipment is broken, that day, it’s fixed.”

The can-do attitude also is mirrored by the clientele at Kakaako Fitness. And with members representing a spectrum of demographics, backgrounds and skills, the gym truly is a place for all.

Kakaako Fitness has seen high school and college athletes, body builders, pageant contestants and everyone in between train at its facility.

“I deal with a lot of people, a lot of personalities,” Ichinose said.

There are a dozen personal trainers who work with members at Kakaako Fitness, and it’s averaged that about 60 percent of members work with a trainer — which is higher than other fitness facilities.

Chris Faildo works with Lucky Sandkuhler.

“I don’t really see this as a gym, I see it more as a training center,” Ichinose explained. “When you come here, you will notice, yeah, there’s some people that come on their own and train like a regular gym, but if you really look around, there’s a lot of trainers training people.”

Ichinose noted that his job is very rewarding.

“I would say, for me, 75 percent of athletes, or whoever comes to me, reaches their goals,” Ichinose said. “So it’s rewarding when I see that they are so happy. If they’re happy, then I’m happy.”

And it’s not just about helping those within the fitness center’s walls. Ichinose said Kakaako Fitness also gives back to the community. Most recently, the company donated Christmas toys to the Institute for Human Services.

Looking toward the future, Kakaako Fitness hopes to expand its facilities and team.

Contact Patrick Klein at pklein@staradvertiser.com if you desire to have your company featured in this section.


THE 411

COMPANY: Kakaako Fitness

LOCATION: 815 Waimanu St., Honolulu

PHONE: 888-4180

WEBSITE: kakaakofitness.com

OWNERS: Chris and Debbie Faildo, Michele Takuda and Alan Ichinose


BENEFITS: Full-time employees receive medical and dental coverage, while all employees receive complimentary gym access.

NOTEWORTHY: Kakaako Fitness plans to add approximately 4,000 square feet to its facility, with the expansion slated to happen this year.