HONOLULU (KHNL) -- It's a place we all know and love. And the perfect place to shop, especially if your looking to buy mayonnaise by the gallon.
From mayo to toilet paper and everything in between, Costco employees are proud to offer top quality products at excellent prices.
But all those items on the shelves don't just appear on their own.
It takes work. And that's where you come in.
"Good morning Howard. You're late!" said Jerry Ilo, Costco warehouse manager.
It's 8:00. But compared to the rest of the morning crew, I really am late. Preparing the warehouse begins at 4 a-m.
And you best be on your toes.
"Forklifts have the right of way at all times," said Jerry.
"So get out of the way?" I asked.
"Get out of the way," said Jerry, laughing.
Jerry's crew runs a tight ship. And the proof is in the numbers. The Iwilei store in Honolulu is the #1 Costco in the world!
"Here, check it out. Here's something you don't see everyday. Every line is empty. No waiting."
Of course as we all really know, its always crowded when the doors open. It's a different kind of crowd before customers arrive.
"Every isle is full of palates we have to get them off by the time we open, our stockers have to fill the shelves by the time we open," Jerry said.
The key here is to keep things moving.
""Wait a minute, wait a minute. We got time for a jacuzzi," I asked.
"Did you bring your speedo?" asked Jerry.
"Oooh, I think we'll pass on the jacuzzi but it looks good. Look at that thing."
The jacuzzi is nice. But of all the items Costco offers...
"This is our number one seller," said Jerry.
That's right, toilet paper.
"Ah geez, about maybe 20-30 palates," Jerry said.
Every day. And at 42 packages per palate, and 36 rolls per package..that's about 45,000 rolls each day.
The other top two sellers are a bit heavier.
"Boy, you get a good workout, huh," I said to a Costco employee. "Don't need to join a club."
And would you like one scoop or two?
"We've got more than a ton of rice here. May as well hop on, what another 170 pounds. Hoo, okay."
After going in circles. I realized, they normally use a forklift for this.
"Oh man. Some how I feel like I just got worked."
Next stop is the butcher shop.
And another top seller. Rotisserie chickens. About a thousand every day.
"People come from after work, they buy a chicken, a pot of rice and dinner is served," said Jerry.
No snacking for us. Before the customers come in, the shelves need to be tidied up..
"C'mon Howard, we're burning daylight here," Jerry said. "Chop-chop let's go."
I'm glad Jerry was having a good time. As for me, the icing on the cake was in the bakery.
"Have you ever seen so much frosting in your life? Look at this."
Seeing how I've probably purchased a dozen of these monster cakes, I figured I'd give it a try.
But while my instructor whips up a masterpiece, I struggle.
"Ahh man, writing is hard (ha-ha)."