Tears flow as Foodland Hawaii Kai bids farewell after 47 years.. - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Tears flow as Foodland Hawaii Kai bids farewell after 47 years in business

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HAWAII KAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - After nearly five decades in business, Foodland's Hawaii Kai store said farewell to its loyal customers Sunday night.

After a town hall meeting, a petition drive and other last-ditch efforts to save their store, heart-broken customers shopped there for the last time.

At 6 PM, the doors to the popular supermarket closed. But the tears started flowing long before that.

There was a steady stream of customers on Foodland's final day at Koko Marina Shopping Center, customers who say it was more than just a grocery store.

"I'm very sad because I love this Foodland," Douglas Kiang, customer, said. "I've been shopping here since I was about five or six years old."

"The people are always friendly," Mary Kiang, customer, said. "You really get to know the cashiers and the people who work here. It's just heart-breaking."

Inside, many of the store's shelves and display cases were bare. Employees wore lei and continued to serve their customers with smiles.

"I think it's a huge tragedy and travesty for our community," Paula Ota, customer, said. "It's a great place to shop, get poke. They have specialty beers and wines."

As it got closer to the 6 PM closing time, several workers broke down in tears.

"I feel like joining them," Ellen Chiu-Chung, customer, said.

"The workers are getting teary," Mary Kiang said. "It's very sad walking in and whole sections are gone. It's very sad."

The company was unable to negotiate a new lease after 47 years at the site.

"They probably took a chance in opening in a new community," Chiu-Chung said. "They banked on it growing, which it did. The community now remembers how they've always been here for us."

Koko Marina decided to lease the 32,000 square foot space to Walgreen's.

Foodland says its more than 50 employees have been placed at other locations.

"It really felt like a neighborhood supermarket," Douglas Kiang said. "I just really enjoyed shopping here."

Foodland pitched the idea of subleasing half the space, but says it has yet to hear back from Walgreen's.

Copyright 2011 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

  • Hawaii News Now headlinesNewsMore>>

  • Trump: No statehood for Puerto Rico with critics in office

    Trump: No statehood for Puerto Rico with critics in office

    Monday, September 24 2018 10:51 AM EDT2018-09-24 14:51:55 GMT
    Monday, September 24 2018 8:12 PM EDT2018-09-25 00:12:52 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, left, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, right, listen as President Donald Trump speaks during the "Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem" at the Un...(AP Photo/Evan Vucci). United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, left, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, right, listen as President Donald Trump speaks during the "Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem" at the Un...
    President Donald Trump says he's an "absolute no" on statehood for Puerto Rico while critics, including San Juan's mayor, are in office.More >>
    President Donald Trump says he's an "absolute no" on statehood for Puerto Rico while critics, including San Juan's mayor, are in office.More >>
  • Trump leads aggressive, all-out GOP drive to save Kavanaugh

    Trump leads aggressive, all-out GOP drive to save Kavanaugh

    Monday, September 24 2018 2:52 AM EDT2018-09-24 06:52:33 GMT
    Monday, September 24 2018 8:12 PM EDT2018-09-25 00:12:49 GMT
    (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta). FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2018, file photo, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Combat won out over caution. White House aides and congressio...(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta). FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2018, file photo, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Combat won out over caution. White House aides and congressio...

    The new accusation came just a few hours after negotiators had reached an agreement to hold a public hearing Thursday for Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who accuses him of sexually assaulting her at a party when they were teenagers.

    More >>

    The new accusation came just a few hours after negotiators had reached an agreement to hold a public hearing Thursday for Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who accuses him of sexually assaulting her at a party when they were teenagers.

    More >>
  • Mauna Loa macadamia nut products recalled over potential E. coli concerns

    Mauna Loa macadamia nut products recalled over potential E. coli concerns

    Monday, September 24 2018 8:11 PM EDT2018-09-25 00:11:15 GMT
    The Keaau water system tested positive for E. coli, officials said. (Image: Maunaloa.com)The Keaau water system tested positive for E. coli, officials said. (Image: Maunaloa.com)

    A variety of Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut products produced on Hawaii Island earlier this month have been voluntarily recalled due to potential E. coli contamination, according to the state Department of Health.

    More >>

    A variety of Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut products produced on Hawaii Island earlier this month have been voluntarily recalled due to potential E. coli contamination, according to the state Department of Health.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly