New Malama Market Pahoa opens

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald A tall wooden ceiling welcomes customers to the new Malama Market in Pahoa.

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald The new Malama Market in Pahoa officially opens to the public today (Wednesday, March 31, 2021).

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Cory Gravelle stocks sunscreen in an aisle while working Monday at the new Malama Market in Pahoa.

  • Kelsey Walling/Tribune-Herald Darlyn Bondallian scans barcodes Monday in the beer aisle of the new Malama Market in Pahoa.

  • Employees stock merchandise Monday in the center of the new Malama Market in Pahoa. (Kelsey Walling/Hawaii Tribune-Herald)

  • Fely Suniga-Kato puts prices underneath bottles of liquor while working Monday in the new Malama Market in Pahoa. (Kelsey Walling/Hawaii Tribune-Herald)

  • Cory Gravelle stocks sunscreen in an aisle while working Monday at the new Malama Market in Pahoa. (Kelsey Walling/Hawaii Tribune-Herald)

The new Malama Market Pahoa officially opened Wednesday in the Puna Kai Shopping Center.

Malama Market’s new location will be the largest in the state. At 35,000 square feet, it is more than three times larger than its previous location down the road.

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The new store provided 60 news jobs for residents, bringing the total number of employees to 130. Employees from the previous location transitioned to the new Malama Market.

“All of us at Malama Market are honored to have served the resilient, inspiring community of Pahoa for the past 16 years,” said store manager Mike Yamashiro. “We’ve worked hard to create a store that builds upon all the things our customers love and long for, from added convenience to more prepared food and a wider breadth of offerings.”

A tall, intricate wooden ceiling welcomes customers to the store, which will have a hot food counter, an expanded deli lineup, a full-service bakery and an Anytime Bar, which will serve juices, smoothies, tea, coffee as well as wine, cocktails, beer and kombucha.

Last Monday, employees were busy stocking shelves and making the last-minute touches needed to open.

“This is really awesome to see it all come together,” said employee Cory Gravelle. “It’s so huge and should be great for the area.”

Malama Market also will introduce its first-ever hardware and garden “store-within-a-store.” This new addition will be a place for customers to find items for home projects and home repairs, as well as items needed to start and maintain a garden.

The store also features an original mural created and hand-painted by students and faculty of Hawaii Academy of Arts &Sciences, under the direction of art teacher Shelby Smith.

The 26-foot mural celebrates the community of Pahoa and is titled, “O Wai Oe,” which translates to “Who are you?” and “Where are your waters from?”

Malama Market is part of the Sullivan Family of Companies, which owns and operates Foodland and Sack ‘N Save Food, among other Hawaii businesses.

Malama Market has served Pahoa and surrounding communities since opening in March 2005. The store is one of five locations statewide and one of three on Hawaii Island.

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The store will be open from 6 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. Everyone entering the store will be required to wear a face mask and practice social distancing.

Email Kelsey Walling at kwalling@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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