There has been some rampant expansion taking place at Healthy Hut on Kilauea Road in Kilauea.
Not only has owner Monique Dehne expanded from a 200-square-foot, closet-like space behind a motorcycle-repair facility on Oka Street into a 500-square-foot space in the Kilauea Stone Building, she has also taken on two new partners, she said in a press release.
Healthy Hut, a health food store in Kilauea, has doubled in size this month.
They are now offering twice as much selection in their organic-produce and refrigerated-foods departments.
They have also added a bulk-foods department and additional health and beauty and supplement lines.
Fresh flowers are also be available.
With the expansion, they will be offering Blossoming Lotus take-out food, and will feature a coffee bar in the morning, where customers can brew fresh cups, “cone style.”
Outdoor seating is now available for customers to enjoy.
Recently, Dehne took on new partners Joseph Fiorilli and Scott Nemeroff.
She said she feels lucky to have new partners. Fiorilli has a degree in hotel and restaurant management from Penn State, as well as a degree from the Culinary Institute of America in New York.
Nemeroff, with roots in Washington D.C., is a retired lawyer who brings over 20 years of business experience to the team.
“Scott and I were looking for a business that would put us into the community and could be centered around Noah,” said Fiorilli of his partner and their son, a 7-year-old son who attends Kula Elementary School.
“We liked Monique’s story, and we really wanted a hands-on family business that we could all participate in.”
Dehne, a single mom to her 10-year-old son, Kekoanalu, spent years struggling to live on U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development housing assistance, food stamps, and a single-parent wage, she explained.
Now, her years of perseverance and dedication are paying off, she added.
She has worked in health-food stores for the past 14 years, and said of the first time she stepped in to one, “I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”
Dehne is conscious to carry product lines of companies whose profits will “stretch back to someone’s family dinner table.”
She calls representatives of companies to find out if they are family-owned, and makes an effort to carry those lines rather than product lines owned by those with large corporations.
These are the little details that shoppers have learned to expect, and feel good about at Healthy Hut, she continued.
“A lot of care has gone into where your dollar will stretch,” she added.
Dehne said that, when she decided to open Healthy Hut, she knew she wanted to do it in Kilauea town.
“I really like the community values that Kilauea has. Healthy Hut is a family-run, community business, and the community is conscious to support it.”
On some days, patrons may see Noah Fiorilli-Nemeroff stocking shelves and Kekoanalu Dehne breezing through on his skateboard.
“The community is so supportive because it’s a comfortable place to come,” Monica Dehne said.
The store is open seven days a week, from 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call 828-6262 for more information.