WAIPOULI — People were busy early Friday morning, preparing food items for the blessing of the new ABC Store at Coconut Marketplace.
“They were here early,” said Jocelyn Awong, wife of ABC Stores Kapaa manager Thomas Awong. “There are lots of things that need to be done before the minister gets here.”
Kahu Mokihana Powers of the First Hawaiian Church in Kapaa officiated at the brief ceremony that marked the opening of the latest ABC Store in the western end of the Coconut Marketplace.
“This is just a temporary store,” said Thomas Awong. “We have another store which will be built as part of the Phase II development of the Coconut Marketplace. We are surrounded by travelers in the hotels and condos. We also have the housing project nearby. There is a need for something to happen here, and a place where customer needs are available at an affordable price.”
The store takes up 3,500-square-feet in the recently completed Phase I section of the shopping center. It will be open daily from 7:30 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. with an offering of gift items, a large liquor selection, sandwiches and cold beverages. The store employs six people.
“This is exciting,” said Leeann Fernandez, store manager. “I’ve been with the company for 26 years and this is my first new store that I’ve managed. With the selection of items we carry, this should also help boost business in the other shops here at the Marketplace.”
Mary Lou Mendes of the Bodacious Plus shop agreed.
“I’ve been here for 35 years and we’re not going anywhere,” Mendes said.
Thomas said the Phase II store will be an Island Country Market, the first on Kauai.
“This is like an ABC Store on steroids,” he said. “We have Island Country Markets on Oahu, Maui and in Kona on the Big Island. This will be the first one on Kauai and will feature a deli, coffee bar and more.”
He said the opening of that store will take place in about a year.
ABC Stores also acquired property across from The Shops at Kukuiula in Poipu and Sueoka’s Store in Koloa, with a provision of letting the Sueoka family operate the business until at least the store’s 100th anniversary.