Amid the forest of Goliaths who have been in both the grocery and food-service business for years, smaller shops like Kokua Market have struggled for survival.
Now Kokua is aiming to stay relevant by adding a dinner service of its own, in this introductory stage taking place from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
It’s been a learning process since the launch early last month when entrees were running $18 to $25.
Oh no, no, no. At that rate, my dinner for two, with appetizers and nonalcoholic drinks and a tip was $80. What people want is alternatives to pricey experiences, not fine dining in the food aisle. Only small-biz/keep-it-independent loyalists would pay to dine in the shadow of shoppers browsing produce bins or outside in the parking lot where any ambiance is ruined by the sound of a generator.
Since then Kokua has introduced more casual, budget-friendlier options that top out at $18, and themed outings such as a “Burgers and Beer” event on the lanai that featured cheese and bacon BBQ burgers, grilled chicken or grilled veggie sandwiches at $12 to $14 each.