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KTA opens first store since 1990 on Big Island

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    Customers shop at KTA Super Stores in Hilo in 2014. KTA Super Stores has opened its first new store since 1990 in Kealakekua.

KTA Super Stores opened today its first new store since 1990 in Kealakekua.

The family-run grocery chain, which has been in business for more than 100 years on Hawaii island, opened KTA Express Kealakekua at the site of the former Kamigaki Market, another long-time kamaaina business.

“We are happy to expand our presence and be a part of the community,” Barry Taniguchi, CEO and chairman, said in a news release.

KTA Express, which is slightly smaller than the regular stores, is the third KTA location in West Hawaii for the South Kona population. The store at 81-6602 Mamalahoa Hwy. will have similar offerings to the other locations, including produce, seafood and meats and the private-label Mountain Apple Brand, as well as AFC Sushi and L&L Mix Plate.

The property is still owned by the Kamitaki family, which also operates HouseMart, Ben Franklin Crafts and HouseMart Ace Hardware stores.

“We had a good rapport with the Kamitaki ‘ohana … and they were ready to lease out that property to us,” said Debbie Arita, administrative assistant. “When the opportunity arose it was a good chance for us to serve the Kealakekua community.”

KTA Super Stores was established in 1916 as K. Taniguchi Shoten run by Koichi and Taniyo Taniguchi in Waiakea. The mom-and-pop operation built in 1977 the state’s first in-store bakery and full-scale deli department on the island and has since grown to seven stores and more than 700 employees.

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