Down To Earth Headed To Kapolei

Wednesday - August 18, 2010
By MidWeek Staff
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Chalk it up to supply and demand. Down to Earth plans to add a sixth location to its all-vegetarian, natural-food store chain when it opens in Kapolei Commons Shopping Center next year.

“Customers from Kapolei and Makakilo have been asking us to come to their neighborhood for years,” said Mark Fergusson, chief vegetarian officer of Down to Earth.

“We’re thrilled to be able to do that, as our mission is to help improve the health of our island communities.”

The company signed a lease with the center’s developers The MacNaughton Group and Kobayashi Group in June to break ground for the site in early 2011. At 10,000 square feet, the store will be Down to Earth’s largest and will serve as the company’s new flagship location.

“The addition of Down to Earth to Kapolei Commons also will contribute to the health of the local economy through construction jobs as well as employment opportunities at this new store,” added MacNaughton Group chairman Duncan MacNaughton.

Once completed, the store is expected to employ about 50 people.

In addition to a variety of natural and organic foods, groceries, dairy products, local organic produce, bulk foods, vitamins and natural supplements, body care products and green household items, the new Kapolei store will have its own first-class kitchen to prepare items for its signature all-vegetarian deli, complete with hot entrees, salad bar, fresh juices and smoothies, a made-to-order sandwich menu, grab-and-go options and a wide array of desserts made daily.

Down to Earth was founded in 1977 in Wailuku, Maui, and has since grown to become the largest local natural food chain in Hawaii. Each year the company purchases about $2.5 million in products from 400 local vendors, including more than 150 farmers and growers.

“The trust and loyalty we have developed with them means we will continue to have access to the freshest local fruits and vegetables,” Fergusson said. “We don’t sell products that are bad for people.”

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