Now Open: Take a Look Inside the New Down to Earth in Kaka‘ako
More local produce. More baked goods. More hot bar choices. More to love (and scarf down) at the locally owned health food giant’s new location.
Photos: Enjy El-Kadi
Sometimes size matters. A lot. Case in point, the new Down to Earth on the corner of Keawe and Pohukaina streets in Kaka‘ako. The 13,000-square-foot spot is the biggest location (for now, more on that later). It’s almost three times as big as the Down to Earth in Pearlridge, which means there are a lot more vegetarian options to eat, drink and obsess over.
Let’s get right to the main attraction—the deli bar. Yes, the other five Down to Earth locations have them, but this one is the mother of them all. The smell of fresh-baked pizza and wok-fried-veggie stations lead you to the back of the store where there are more than 75 items in the hot buffet, salad bar and bakery. Our web producer, Enjy El-Kadi, is still talking about the strawberry cream cheese scone that was so big it wouldn’t fit in the takeout box. And, what goes with a made-to-order beet burger? Freshly fried chips and fries. The Kaka‘ako location is also the first to offer on-tap kombucha elixirs and cold-pressed juices. The dine-in area includes more seats and tables than the others, as well.
Another Kaka‘ako exclusive we went nuts for is the pistachio butter, which is ground onsite and delivered to you still warm. It has the same earthy richness as other nut butters, but there are notes of sweetness. Side note: It is $31 per pound, but no one said spreading (pistachio) love is cheap.
The rest of the store is an expanded version of what you’ll find at other Down to Earth locations, including organic (some local) mangoes, bananas, papayas, greens, bell peppers, pineapples and everything you need to crush your salad game. “Forty percent of our produce is local,” says Mark Fergusson, Down to Earth’s CEO. Next to the fruits and veggies are the fill-your-own-bag healthyish bulk section with a vast selection of grains, beans, trail mix, faux gummies and chocolate-covered-everything.
Locally grown papayas
For beauty buffs, the wellness section carries a wide variety of organic makeup, lotions and hair products. “Everything here falls in line with our commitment to carrying products that are 100 percent vegetarian-based,” says Cynthia Cruz, Down to Earth’s marketing manager. “In our other stores, the beauty necessities can probably fit on one stand.”
The store will validate for one hour of free parking in the attached Keauhou Public Parking Garage. Or, if you plan to stay longer, find a metered parking space on Keawe Street.
In the fall, the Pearlridge Down to Earth will move from its spot next to Bed, Bath and Beyond to a bigger standalone store next to the soon-to-be-closed Toys R Us. In 2019, the store will open its biggest store in the state in the old Macy’s in Kailua.
500 Keawe St., (808) 465-5512, downtoearth.org. Down to Earth Kaka‘ako store hours will be 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The deli closes one hour before store closing.