Fresher look, new foodie de­lights at Aina Haina su­per­mar­ket

MidWeek Islander (East Oahu) - - FRONT PAGE - By JES­SICA GOOLSBY

Food­land Farms opened Feb. 17 at Aina Haina Shop­ping Cen­ter, re­plac­ing its 60-yearold for­mer self — the decades­old Food­land store that closed last Au­gust.

When the lease ex­pired last year, of­fi­cials at the lo­cal gro­cery chain de­bated whether to leave or stay put and ren­o­vate in a bad econ­omy. They chose ren­o­va­tion and rein­ven­tion.

“We are de­lighted to cel­e­brate the re­birth of our Aina Haina store as Food­land Farms, and are es­pe­cially thrilled that we have a brand-new store to share with the cus­tomers who have sup­ported us here for nearly 60 years,” said Food­land CEO Je­nai Wall.

A preview party Feb. 16 high­lighted new fea­tures and of­fered tours and spe­cialty sam­ples from ev­ery depart­ment amid prize draw­ings and live en­ter­tain­ment. The event also kicked off a fundraiser for Aina Haina Ele­men­tary, Nui Val­ley Mid­dle, Kalani High, Honolulu Wal­dorf and Holy Na­tiv­ity.

“For ev­ery dol­lar cus­tomers spend at Food­land Farms be­tween now and March 31, Food­land will do­nate 10 per­cent of gro­cery sales (ex­clud­ing al­co­hol and gift cards), up to $10,000 per school,” said com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor Sh­eryl Toda. “We want to make sure that we en­cour­age folks to choose a school at the reg­is­ter each time they shop with us, be­cause oth­er­wise no funds are do­nated.”

The com­pany hired about 25 ad­di­tional em­ploy­ees to sup­port its new look and de­part­ments within its orig­i­nal 25,000-square-foot space.

New for 2010 are an in-store flo­ral de­signer, a Mondo Ge­lato bar, an R. Field Wine Co. out­let and fresh foods pre­pared by in-store chefs. “We re­ally wanted to take the drudgery out of gro­cery shop­ping,” ex­plained cor­po­rate chef Keoni Chang.

Food­land op­er­ates 31 stores statewide, with its 32nd planned for Kapolei next year.

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