Kailua, Oahu grocery store,
November 06, 2008
The Down-to-Earth store in Kailua is a vegetarian, natural foods grocery store with a sandwich shop/deli and bakery. It has a variety of gluten-free items, enough to provide for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for those who are cooking for themselves on vacation. I was able to find things like gluten-free cereal, pasta, bread, cookies, baking mixes, and frozen dinners.
However, except for half-a-dozen kinds of cookies in the bakery, I found the selection within each type of item fairly limited. For example, I could only find one gluten-free breakfast cereal.
The other drawback to the store is that the gluten-free items are mixed in with all the other foods and are not prominantly labeled as gluten-free. I was unfamiliar with many of the brands they had, so I had to spend a lot of time searching the store and reading packages.
Lastly, some of the foods I tried weren't all that great. The breakfast cereal was a very hard style of cornflakes, the one type of bakery cookies I tried were dry and disintegrated into crumbs on the first bite, and the bakery banana bread was extremely dense, heavy, and not particularly tasty. The frozen pizza was extremely plain and bland, with just cheese and virtually no tomato sauce. (They did have a spinach pizza which I didn't try.) I did like the frozen enchiladas with beans and rice. And they do carry Tinkyada pastas, which I really like. Some of the low quality may be due to the fact that the store is strictly vegetarian and doesn't allow eggs in any of the products it sells.
All in all, it's a place you can get enough gluten-free foods to get by on, but don't expect anything special.
According to their website, they also have stores in Honolulu and Pearlridge on Oahu and two stores on Maui. I only visited the Kailua store on Oahu. I understand that the Honolulu store may have greater selection.
Kailua Store Hours: 8:00am - 10:00pm
7 days a week
Telephone: (808) 262-3838
Fax: (808) 263-3788
Convenient parking beside and behind the store. Outside tables for eating.
I also made a very quick trip to Costco with a relative and found Trio bars by Mrs Mays, a gluten-free bar with fruits, nuts and seeds that I love. I didn't have time to look and see if there were many other gluten-free options.
I was told that the Foodline grocery chain on Oahu has a gluten-free section, but I didn't get a chance to check it out.