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Friday, September 22, 2000

Web site
can offer wine
with dinner

An online grocery can
sell wine, beer and liquor,
but you'll need ID and
must sign for delivery

By Harold Morse

Hawaii's first online grocery business now has permission to sell liquor, beer and wine via the Internet.

The Honolulu Liquor Commission voted 3-1 yesterday to grant a retail liquor license to Hawaii Online Grocery Inc.

The Aiea-based company has been selling food online and making local deliveries since April 7.

"All we have in our store now is groceries," owner Bill Sankey said. "We don't have any alcohol."

When someone reaches and clicks on the wine option, the message is "wine-selling coming soon," Sankey said.

People often order steak, a bunch of spices and a few potatoes, Sankey said. "As you pull the items, you can almost tell what they're having for dinner." One can surmise that they may want wine with their meal, Sankey said.

Deliveries of alcoholic beverages will require buyers to present a valid ID proving they are 21 or older and to sign for the delivery.

Any employee who violates these rules will be fired, owners Sankey and his wife, Julie, told the commission yesterday.

There were no protests against the application and one letter in support of it, commission Administrator Wallace Weatherwax said.

Commissioner Chu Lan Kwock sought assurance that liquor orders won't be processed from midnight to 6 a.m. They won't, Sankey said.

Delivery times now are 5-9 p.m. weekdays and noon-4 p.m. weekends, he said.

"I'm excited about this," because it's something different, said commission chairman John Spierling.

Sankey said he hopes to start selling by Monday or Tuesday.

Sankey said the company gets up to 500 hits a day, and online groceries are moving fast.

"Every week's been busy," he said.

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