Kona Natural Foods has been a staple in the West Hawaii community. But all will change this month, when the store closes its doors after 25 years of providing fresh, natural and organic whole foods, nutritional supplements and body care items.
Located in The Crossroads Shopping Center on Henry Street, Kona Natural Foods was founded in 1988, with the mission of providing “the highest quality products at the most reasonable prices,” and offering “friendly, knowledgeable service to friends, neighbors and visitors.” Its owners are Rick Flack and Gloria Flack-Boggs.
The siblings also own Healthways II, another natural food store in the Parker Ranch Center in Waimea. That store will remain open, Flack-Boggs said.
Kona Natural Foods is closing because of the economy and competition with other store choices in close proximity, Flack-Boggs said.
She stressed it was a very difficult decision — one they didn’t want to make. “Everything we have done at Kona Natural Foods has been out of love and caring for our community,” she added.
For independent grocers like Kona Natural Foods, satisfaction and success depends greatly on loyalty. What Flack-Boggs said they will miss the most are their customers and vendors with whom they’ve built great relationships, as well as longtime store manager Patrick Quander and the handful of employees who have passionately stuck with the business, especially during this “roller coaster-like period.”
“We feel like we’re losing part of our family,” she said. “It’s heartbreaking.”
Flack-Boggs didn’t know exactly when the last day will be for customers, but said the business must be out of the space by July 21. Starting today, Kona Natural Foods will sell merchandise at 25 percent off regular price. Fixtures and equipment are also for sale.