The Last Day For Satsuma Imports on Sawtelle

The day arrived for the second closure of the old school Sawtelle businesses. First it was George's Hardware next door to GR2 who closed just last month and today was the final day for Satsuma Imports. I remember going into Satsuma Imports as a kid. There was a pond in back and a tiny bridge that would take you across to the other side which had a bit more retail.

If I have my story straight, Don Sakai's uncle purchased the building 1939 and at some point in the early 60s, Satsuma Imports opened just a few doors down. Don told the story today, that at some point Satsuma then moved to its current location and was run by his father. Don and his wife Cynthia have been there for nearly as long as I can remember. 

Don still calls me "kiddo," and I've heard plenty of great stories and wisdom. Cynthia on the other hand offers the biggest hugs on the block. They'll be missed.

The history of their location will always exist, but I was glad to be there to celebrate their final day. One of the best things about today is I got to hear Don tell the story about the time when this tweaker couple threw their dog's shit in their shop. It landed clean on top of their poo bag and Don grabbed it and hustled down the street and shoved it on the girls face. It happened. I was there. Surely there are better stories to tell, but this one came up today. I'll see them in the following few weeks cleaning up, so it's not quite a good bye, and if you see them, give them a wave, they deserve it. 

As a retailer on the block, it's great to be part of the area that they helped create. I hope I can hold my end for a bit longer. 

Watch Don Sakai take Huell Howser Along Sawtelle Blvd. I'm proud to be in this video with them. Here's the link.



  • Aimee LeCompte

    My grandmother was Cynthia’s older sister. We would go to their house almost every summer and to the store. I have many memories there, playing at the makeup counter, ringing up customers, sitting by the pond in the back, eating lunch in the kitchen in the back, and I love the whole neiborhood. Aunt Cynthia and Uncle Don actually lived at the store in the early days of their marriage until they bought their house in Simi Valley. It is so sad that they closed and sold it but I had heard Don wasn’t doing well. I hope Aunt Cynthia is ok now.

  • Lori

    I would just like to say,I miss going to their store,on my way home from ucla, they were very nice people. I had no clue they were closing. I hope Don is doing well. Cynthia was very kind, and was very proud of her children.

  • Eric Fraser

    I love this bittersweet post. I have some pics of the store too, and some great memories of Don and Cynthia.

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