It’s windward ho! for three local businesses
Three local businesses are expanding, opening new locations at Windward Mall this month.
Ninja Sushi, Ben & Jerry's and Taco Del Mar are at various stages of preparation.
Representatives of S.K.Y. USA Inc., which is opening the new Ninja Sushi, did not return calls. However, mall General Manager Jonathan Kim said the opening is set for this weekend in the former space of Le Nails, which moved two doors down.
Local Ben & Jerry's franchisees Ronni Tai See and Robert Yackley plan an April 12 opening in the former Sushi Man space on the second floor. It will host a free cone day April 29, when customers will be encouraged to bring monetary or clothing donations for the Kidney Foundation. It will also be raising awareness about one.org, a nonprofit seeking to improve lives in third-world countries, Tai See said.
The mall's two other ice cream shops are Baskin-Robbins and Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour, which are directly across from each other on the ground level.
People thought Baskin-Robbins sales would be negatively affected by Farrell's, but "to the contrary, sales went up," Kim said.
People will be drawn to Ben & Jerry's for "its specific ice cream," he said.
The mall Ben & Jerry's will be a counter service operation, as it is about half the size of the Ward Centre location, but it will also have "a full coffee bar," featuring Seattle's Best Coffee, said Tai See.
"Windward Mall has ... promised us more tables and chairs around the area for seating."
It will open with a staff of about 10, but she hopes it will be busy enough to ramp up to 15 or 20.
Tai See is in talks to open at Davies Pacific Center, "which opens up the possibility of cakes and catering to office buildings," she said. It will also have a coffee bar and it may offer sandwiches and salads as well. "We're always looking to increase our catering business and do as many special things as we can," said Tai See.
April 23 is the Taco Del Mar target date for franchisee Roger Watson, whose first location is at Windward City Shopping Center.
He has applied for a license to serve beer and wine at the mall store, where the now-relocated dental clinic was, but he doesn't anticipate approval in time for the opening.
Watson wants to hire 15 to 20 people and plans a job fair this weekend.
Though about 350 square feet smaller than his first store, the seating area is comparable, he said.
It is to be the seventh Taco Del Mar on Oahu, said Ken Nascimento, master developer for Hawaii, Guam and Saipan. He's in permitting for the first neighbor island store, in Kona, and he heads to Maui Friday to begin negotiations there. A new lease on Guam will boost the territory's count to ten by the end of the year.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org