“Grace Brothers has come to be a strong entity in the building and development of Hawaii, but their early years were on a much more modest scale when John and Walter Grace started the business”.
“They were local boys whose father managed the Ben F Dillingham ranch in Nuʻuanu. When he was killed in a ranch accident, his widow, left with thirteen children and a small dairy, managed to carry on and educate all thirteen, two of whom were John and Walter Grace.”
In 1920, these two opened their doors primarily as suppliers of construction equipment and materials. They operated as factors of commission merchants.”
“That is, they represented factories as sales agents, made the sales as brokers, and manufacturers billed direct to the customer, paying a commission to the partnership.”
“The incorporated in 1931, and were located at 770 Ala Moana Blvd. The older brother, John, became president and motivating force for the new firm.”
“Everything from moving porpoises – to moving mountains, providing construction equipment and materials as well as paving and repairing the roads to get there – is the business of Grace Brothers, Ltd and its associate company Nanakuli Paving & Rock.”
“If a contractor requires cranes, bulldozers, backhoes, loaders, pumps, compressors, trac-drills, rollers, compactors and/or air tools – they have them for sale or rent, and operators are provided on the large equipment.”
“Unusual facet of the hauling business is the transportation of porpoises for Sea Life Park, when these sea-going mammals must go back to the sea for further schooling, or when they are newly caught and must be taken to their new home. The ‘taxi’ is a large flatbed Grace Brothers truck with hydraulic crane.”
“The stretcher-borne ‘passenger’, tranquilized if necessary, is hoisted into a container, packed with wet cloths for his protection and comfort and is taken to his destination”. (Advertiser, September 26, 1967)
The company continued to grow and eventually represented more than 50 agricultural, construction and industrial equipment manufacturers, distributing its products throughout the Pacific.
Prompted by statehood in 1959, the ensuing construction boom of the 1960s and the record number of tourists in the 1970s resulted in major airport and freeway construction in the islands.
Grace Brothers entered the paving industry at an opportune time in 1973, purchasing the paving operations and hot mix asphalt plants at Halawa and on Molokai from Nanakuli Paving and Rock Company.
In 1984, Grace Brothers acquired Pacific Concrete & Rock, a quarry and ready-mix operator on Oahu, and renamed the combined operations Grace Pacific Corporation.
The company expanded its product line to include the manufacturing of hot mix asphalt and the production of crushed basalt, limestone and sand aggregate. Operations grew with the establishment of hot mix asphalt plants and paving operations on Maui and the Big Island in 1988 and again with the purchase of the quarry on Molokai in 1994.
Recent acquisitions that have solidified Grace Pacific’s reputation as a leader in the paving industry include its purchase of Hawaiian Bitumuls Paving & Precast, a highly respected islandwide paver since the 1930s; …
… Niu Construction, a paving contractor on Kauai for the more than 25 years; and SUN Industries, a provider of roadway safety products and services. Grace Pacific continues to diversify its lines of business, featuring more construction services than ever before.
During its rise to the top of the paving industry, Grace Pacific has worked on virtually all of the streets and highways throughout the state of Hawaii.
Recent projects on Oahu include preventive maintenance work on Kamehameha and Nimitz Highways and innovative improvements on the Moanalua Freeway. On Maui, they resurfaced the Haleakala Crater Road and completed guardrail and shoulder improvements along Hana Highway.
On the Big Island, Grace Pacific has worked on Saddle Road and been involved with numerous large projects on Queen Kaahumanu Highway and Mamalahoa Highway.
Grace Pacific, the largest general contractor in Hawaii, was acquired by A&B in 2013; on August 19, 2013, Grace Pacific Corporation changed its name to Grace Pacific LLC. (Grace Pacific)
Hawai‘i born Dick Grace continues a different family tradition. He is son of Guy Grace and grandson of Grace Brothers’ co-founder John Grace. Dick Grace is credited with creating California’s first cult Cabernet.
In 1976, the former Marine and then stockbroker, bought some Napa Valley land and planted 1,100-grape vines on the front acre. By 2000, they had 3.5 acres of vines, which yields roughly 500 cases of wine annually.
Caymus bottled the first Grace vintage (1978) with a Caymus label, noting the Grace Family Vineyards (some suggest that was the beginning of the Caymus Special Selection). In the mid-1980s, they doubled the size of the vineyard and started their own production in 1987.