Japanese organic chain has isle plans
Another aspect of the organic-retailing wave is washing up in Hawaii in the form of a California-based Japanese organic foods chain that has signed on for 11,000 square feet in Pucks Alley.
Torrance, Calif.-based Nijiya Market, specializing in imported organic Japanese food, has plans to open its first Hawaii store at the Moiliili location.
Besides a broad selection of its own brand of organic rices, Nijiya Market runs its own organic farm and offers fresh fish, produce, a wide assortment of sushi, prepared foods, and a full-sized bakery.
The Honolulu store would be No. 12 for Nijiya, which has stores mostly in California -- from San Francisco to Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. Nijiya also opened a store recently in Hartsdale, New York.
"It was always our dream to open up in Hawaii," said Nijiya Market vice president Alfred Blanckensee. "We just thought the time was right now."
He said the Nijiya hopes to begin construction soon and to open in the middle of next year.
Nijiya will occupy space between the existing Cafe 2600 and Curry House Coco Ichibanya. The company is also planning to expand to other locations in Hawaii.
The lease for two vacant spaces was signed in September, according to Colliers Monroe Friedlander leasing agent Ikuyo Kato.
Puck's Alley has 52,000 square feet of ground retail space, with offices on the second floor near the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Down to Earth Natural Foods and Kokua Market Natural Foods Coop are nearby.
Kamehameha Schools acquired Puck's Alley last June, with plans to revitalize and upgrade the area.
New tenants include the PR Store and the Varsity, a new bar that opened at the former Magoo's space.