Safeway opening set

LIHUE — The Safeway store in Hokulei Village is scheduled to open at 6 a.m. Friday and Shelley Schuppert is delighted.

“Absolutely thrilling,” Schuppert said. “The store opens with $5 Friday and it should be really exciting. I am going to be working at the store as a checker, too, so I’m really excited.”

The long-anticipated 56,000-square-foot Safeway, the second on Kauai, will be the anchor tenant of the 14.25-acre complex that also recently saw a Petco pet supply store and a Jack in the Box restaurant open.

The store will employ about 150 full- and part-time workers.

“The banners announcing the opening should start going up next week,” said manager Lesah Merritt. “It’s been really hard, especially for visitors who come up to the door with their bags and see the sign that says we’re not ready, yet.”

Douglas Gampon and Tommy Yomen of R Electric are excited about next week.

“We’ll be, us and the plumbers, the last guys out,” Yomen said. “We did most of the electrical work for the store so we were one of the first ones in. Now, we’re just working on last-minute changes. Once we leave, that means they’ll be open.”

Letty Okino of Lawai was loading up her shopping from Petco, which opened several weeks ago in Hokulei Village.

“We’re having a Safeway in Lihue?” Okino said. “The other one is so far (from Lawai) so I’m glad they’re having one here in Lihue. It also has a Starbucks so it is perfect. All I need is one of those and I can shop for a long time. It will be nice to be able to see variety instead of stores that just have the same things.”

Merritt said the Hokulei Village Safeway will be open 24 hours a day.

In addition to the Starbucks and a pharmacy, the Safeway store will also host a Bank of Hawaii inside the store led by Brandon Sassone as the branch manager.

Bank of Hawaii will celebrate its grand opening celebration starting at 8 a.m. Friday with food, refreshments, and giveaways while supplies last.

Joining the Safeway opening celebration, Hokulei Village and Terramar also have a slate of events from 2 to 6 p.m. Friday, including music, food and prizes.

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