Ex-pro surfer and surf industry leader/business mogul Michael Tomson has become somewhat of a hero around Sunset Beach and the “upper” North Shore community. However, calling him hero maybe an understatement. One of South Africa’s top international competitors in the 1970s has come to the “rescue” of one of the North Shore’s most cherished institutions, Kammie’s Market.
The building and property that’s home to Sunset Beach’s only true dis ‘n dat convenience store (from dvd’s to hard boiled eggs and EVERYTHING else in between) was up for private sale and the Kam family, who has run their convenience shop since the early 60’s, figured they’d be out on the street before summer even started. Tomson, now a full time resident of the community, has surfed Sunset since the mid-70’s. He came in to the property bid earliar this year and ultimately won the offer for the building and land.
Now, the only question that remains, what is he going to do with it?
Since the property codes restrict altering the building from the outside (adding on) or adding additional height, the rumors bouncing around neighbors about “a high end restaurant on the new second level” and other stories sweeping through the “country” can be laid to rest. Tomson’s first order of business was to give the Kam family a new and extended lease on the old mini-market they’ve called home for over 40 years. The building will definitely undergo a scrubbing and a paint lift.
The property has included, through almost fifty years, Kammie’s Market, Karen Gallagher’s surf shop (the only one north of Haleiwa until recent times), Aricia’s Health Foods, the existing laundromat (to be removed soon?) and today’s Sunset Pizza joint. Oh yeah, and Kammie’s quasi-post office, way back when.
Tomson’s acquisition of the property hopefully will continue the Kammie’s Market legend and insure that–at least for the next few decades– future surfers, travelers, and all those weekend townies will get the same chance to check out a little piece of surfing history that has given the North Shore paradise it’s own unique flavor, of sorts, that Michael got. Just as Michael used to cruise in for his goodies after a long day in the surf, other new faces will get to scoop up a homemade sandwich, chips and brewski (with proper id, of course) and cross the street to the beach for the sunset and a draining of a head full of water! – Bernie Baker