June 11, 2013
By Stephanie Silverstein
Pacific Business News
Lanikai Juice has expanded to Waikiki with the opening of a storefront at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, and has plans to double the footprint at its popular Kailua location.
Owner Pablo Gonzalez said it was a good opportunity for his company, which is known for its smoothies and fruit bowls, to break into the Waikiki market, which can be risky for small businesses, and called it a win-win situation for his company and for the Hilton.
“I think the idea to open at the Hilton is based on the needs of both,” Gonzalez said. “We are the right fit for the right big hotel in a business where the health conscious people are looking for more options.”
The Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort is the largest hotel in Hawaii, with 2,860 guest rooms.
Gonzalez declined to say how much it cost to open the store, which opened Friday, but said the Hilton has made it affordable for Lanikai Juice to be there.
“It’s good to be here, and they make it really simple for us to be here,” Gonzalez said.
The Hilton location is the company’s fourth; the other stores are located in Kailua, Kahala and Haleiwa — the company’s only franchise location. Gonzalez said he will not franchise any additional stores.
However, he is planning to double the size of the Kailua store by expanding into the existing Subway store, next door to Lanikai Juice in the Kailua Shopping Center.
Subway is relocating to the former Little Sprouts store, a few storefronts down.
The expansion will bring the store from about 450 square feet to about 900 square feet.
“We need it. We are losing customers based on how busy it is,” Gonzalez said, adding that he is losing local customers while the visitor business remains strong. “The shop is too small.”
The Subway store is still open for business during construction on its new location, and Gonzalez expects to start construction on the Lanikai Juice expansion in September or October.
“We don’t want to do anything before [summer ends],” Gonzalez said. “We have to do this when the season is getting slow.”
Aloha Salads, located on the other side of Subway’s current location, will also expand its footprint to take a portion of the existing Subway store. Aloha Salads will double in size to about 800 square feet.
Kimo Steinwascher, executive vice president and chief operating officer for landlord Kaneohe Ranch, said all three of the food and beverage stores are successful with sales.
“Their biggest problem is the lines are too long and they thought they were losing sales because people had to wait too long and there was not enough seating,” Steinwascher said, adding that
Kaneohe Ranch has increased the outdoor seating options near those businesses. “All of them are great merchants of ours, and great merchants of Kailua.”