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Best grocery store near Kona ?

brooklyn ny
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Best grocery store near Kona ?

Hi All --

We will be visiting the Big Island for the first time in a few weeks and are very excited of course. We will be staying in a timeshare and would like to stock up on some groceries. I was doing some brief searches and it seems that Sack n Save, KTA and Wal Mart seem to be popular choices. Which of these would you recommend for price and overall quality?

I really prefer not to shop at Wal Mart due to their labor issues etc but from what I've read it seems their prices are the most competitive. Is there really that much of a difference price wise?

We also would like a grocery store that has a decent mix of local and mainland favorites. I saw Sack n Save has many varieties of poke prepared which we loved on our last visit to Kauai. I'm near certain that Wal Mart doesn't sell fresh food like this - am I correct?

Thanks so much in advance!

Texas
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1. Re: Best grocery store near Kona ?

We were just in Kailua-Kona for three weeks. There is a KTA on Palani that has a lot of local favorites; also KTA in Keahou about 8 miles to the south. Sack and Save owned by Foodland is on the other side of Palani Rd. from KTA and we liked that store (be sure to get a Makai card for discounts at checkstand).

Then there is Safeway next to Walmart on Henry St. They also have a discount card.

More local offerings at KTA and Sack and Save. We enjoy the local markets the best.

Plus several days a week in downtown Kailua-Kona there is a farmers' market set up, with local flowers, fruits, clothes and souvenirs; it's on the corner of Alii Drive and Hualalai.

Edited: 01 June 2013, 19:12
brooklyn ny
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2. Re: Best grocery store near Kona ?

Awesome, thanks for the detailed reply! Sounds like Sack n Save and KTA are good choices. And we will definitely be hitting up the farmers market.

Do you know any places to get lychee fruit? We love to buy big bags of them to snack on throughout the trip.

Canada
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3. Re: Best grocery store near Kona ?

I like Safeway, KTA on Palani, and Target.The Costco has some good local options as well.

Edited: 01 June 2013, 20:00
Kona
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4. Re: Best grocery store near Kona ?

KTA is your best bet. That's the grocery where you're likely to find locally-produced foods (their Mountain Apple brand). They have always been supportive of local farmers (good selection of Kona coffee, for example) and they are locally-owned.

Safeway is OK but nearly everything in the store is imported from elsewhere. When they first came to town, they made it clear that they were not going to support local agriculture; they required a $2 million liability insurance policy from every small local farmer who wanted to supply their store. Stick with your inclination not to shop at WalMart - most of their produce is pesticide-laden imports of poor quality.

Island Naturals in the "old industrial area" close to town has a nice selection, and a trip to Costco, as Wanderlust mentioned, might be good - they do carry some organic and local items.

That so-called "farmers' market" at the corner of Hualalai and Ali'i Drive is a joke. It's a well-known place for thieves to sell stolen goods, and many of the produce vendors buy from Costco and re-sell there. None of the trinkets and souvenirs are made in Hawaii - they're imported from the Philippines and other places. There are many GREAT farmers' markets on Hawaii Island, but you'll have to travel out of Kailua-Kona to find them.

Island of Hawaii...
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5. Re: Best grocery store near Kona ?

Target is excellent for your packages foods and dairy, for example the Viva brand "island" milk is very affordable. I also recommend the Hawaii produced Mountain Apple milk sold at KTA.

The truth is there is no one store best for everything. The local stores with great prices on local items will be very high on something like a box of cereal or canned goods, which are very affordable at Target. But Target's produce is very limited and its fresh meat and fish are essentially non-existent. So we go to two stores, minimum.

I don't buy groceries at Walmart. Their selection is not to my taste at all. But I do buy toiletries and household cleaning and paper products there, and water toys and swim accessories. Also good on Mac Nut products and gift food items including some Asian favorites.

Big Island, Hawaii
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6. Re: Best grocery store near Kona ?

I refuse to shop at Wal-Mart too because of their labor issues, but truthfully the parking lot there alone is enough reason not to go, lol. Target as KK says is fine for non food stuff. Agree about Sack n Save and KTA as well as Island Naturals. But the wine selection isn't good at any of those places. If you're into that, the Safeway is ok, or even better, head up to Waimea to Kamuela Liquors (Alvin's). You'll want to make a day trip up there anyway for the Saturday farmers markets. Much better than Kailua Kona's, which as wahine notes, are a joke. There's a mid-week farmers market on Wesnesday too in Waimea that I actually prefer, but it's much smaller. Plenty excellent produce from actual local farms, not re-sold Costco stuff, lol.

brooklyn ny
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7. Re: Best grocery store near Kona ?

Thanks guys for the replies, very much appreciated!

We do not mind making multiple stops for groceries, so it looks like that's what will happen. We of course will be renting a car and love to zip around the island.

Where is the best farmers market and what days are they on? I'm looking to find a market that would have bags of lychee. We had them on our last trip and we were beyond addicted!

Canada
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8. Re: Best grocery store near Kona ?

I like the Saturday markets up,in Waimea the best

http://www.konaweb.com/konaweb/farmer.shtml

British Columbia...
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9. Re: Best grocery store near Kona ?

There was a guy selling lychee fruit from his pickup on the side of the road when I went to the Waipo Valley lookout yesterday (Saturday). No way of knowing if he'll be there when you're here, though :) We usually find them at FMs when we're on the other islands.

Big Island, Hawaii
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10. Re: Best grocery store near Kona ?

There's bags of local lychee at the Waimea and Mauna Lani Foodlands right now, so probably KTA and/or Sak n Sav too.

The two in Waimea on Saturdays are the best farmers markets on the west side, but they also have a smaller but still good midweek farmers market.