LIHUE — The doors of Hawaii’s newest Whole Foods Market will be opening in May, but Kauai residents will still have to buy an airline ticket to get there.
In fact, stores are being built in New Jersey, Indiana, California, North Carolina, British Columbia and at Ward Village on Oahu; but The Garden Island isn’t on the list of locations for Whole Foods’ 470-plus stores.
“Nothing to confirm at this time for Kauai,” said Whole Foods public relations specialist Melissa Kubrin.
The store, which touts itself as “America’s healthiest grocery store”, specializes in fresh produce and healthy food products and currently has three stores statewide — in the Kahala Mall, Kailua and the Maui Mall.
The chain first opened in 1980 in Austin, Texas. In August 2017, Amazon.com and Whole Foods merged in a $13.4 billion deal that has resulted in changes to some stores like home delivery options, gadgets in grocery stores and occasional price cuts.
On Kauai, health food stores include Hoku Foods Natural Market and Papaya’s Natural Foods in Kapaa, Healthy Hut Market & Cafe in Kilauea, and Vim and Vigor in Lihue; though other stores contain health food items.
May will bring a 72,000-square-foot, two-level Whole Foods Market to Ward Village and Whole Foods is filling 300 positions for the new store. Located between two planned condominium projects — Anaha and Waiea — the store is part of an effort to transform Ward Village into a new center of commerce for Honolulu.