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Down to Earth Hilo store to open Nov. 7


Down to Earth Plans Nov. 7 Grand Opening For Hilo Store

Day Long Celebration to Feature 40 Percent Off Sale, Live Music, Sampling, Talk Story with Farmers; Vegetarian Presentations

down-to-earth-logoDown to Earth ALL VEGETARIAN Organic & Natural will celebrate the Grand Opening of its new store in the Waiakea Center, Hilo, on Saturday Nov. 7th. Customers will get at least 40% off on more than 100 great-selling products all day long from 7:30 a.m. until closing at 10:00 p.m. and there will a full day of special activities.

“We are excited to open our new Hilo store, our first on the Big Island, and we are thrilled to become part of the Hilo community,” says Mark Fergusson, Down to Earth’s Chief Vegetarian Officer.

The Hilo store opened Oct. 24 following a Hawaiian blessing by Hilo Kahu Kimo Awai. “The store was immediately busy and did very well for its first day of business. It has been doing really well ever since,” Fergusson added. He says the store has hired 20 full time employees, and the company’s support of local businesses adds a boost to the local economy.

The Nov. 7 Grand Opening will feature a day-long event that includes live performances by the renowned Keawe Trio of the Big Island at 10 a.m. and noon, and a soloist performance by famed artist “Bruddah Walter” at 2 p.m.

Down to Earth’s Chief Vegetarian Officer Mark Fergusson will give a presentation on “Why ALL-VEGETARIAN Organic & Natural” at 11 a.m. The company’s Community Outreach team will give a presentation on “How to Live ALL-VEGETARIAN Organic & Natural” at 1 p.m. and conduct a cooking class for a vegetarian holiday feast beginning at 3 p.m.

There will be plenty of sampling and talk story with local farmers who supply produce to Down to Earth. Store tours every hour at the top of the hour will show customers how to shop healthy.

The new Down to Earth store in Hilo carries the same products as the company’s other stores. The products include a variety of natural and organic foods and groceries including dairy products, local organic produce, bulk foods, vitamins and natural supplements, body care products, and household items.

“Down to Earth stores feature vegetarian delis with a hot table and cold salad bar, fresh juices and smoothies, a great made-to-order sandwich menu, delicious fresh grab-and-go options and a wide variety of tasty eggless desserts made daily,” Fergusson said.

The Hilo store features the new “look” of the company’s recently remodeled flagship store on King Street in Honolulu. The graphics include its new logo which emphasizes the company’s local roots and its new universally appealing slogan, “Love Life!”— which for Down to Earth includes the meaning “Love animals, don’t eat them.”

The décor also includes the prominent display of a message encouraging Down to Earth customers to consider that “The single most important thing an individual can do for their health, for the environment, and for the sake of the innocent animals is to adopt a vegetarian diet.”

“The success of Down to Earth has been based on our unshakable commitment to both our vegetarian mission and our customers,” explains Fergusson. “We have earned the loyalty of practicing and aspiring vegetarians and many other customers due to our uncompromising dedication to this commitment. We remain a community-based business whose mission is to promote healthy living among our island communities, respect for the environment, sustainable organic farming, and a vegetarian lifestyle. Yet, you don’t need to be a vegetarian to shop at Down to Earth. Everyone can benefit from the all-vegetarian, organic and natural products that Down to Earth provides.”

Fergusson believes Down to Earth will be well received in Hilo. He says there are many reasons for his confidence:

The first is price. Down to Earth will continue to offer great values on natural foods and sell only healthy products that are good for people and the environment.

We understand the local market. We have served health-conscious islanders for over 30 years, with natural and organic products, free cooking classes, nutritional seminars, and community outreach. Our customers know they can rely on us for quality products, great value, and excellent service from our friendly and knowledgeable staff. Nothing can take the place of deep local roots and knowledge of local tastes.

And, many of Down to Earth’s customers are vegetarians who will not be comfortable shopping in a store that sells and promotes meat. They know that eating meat is bad for their health and the environment and reject the notion that slaughtering animals to eat them is ever humane. And those moving towards a vegetarian lifestyle appreciate the health and environmental benefits, too. For example, a vegetarian diet supports a “green” lifestyle since it is dramatically more effective in reducing global warming than any other action an individual can make in their daily life. As a 2006 United Nations report said, the livestock industry generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined.

Finally, Down to Earth supports local businesses. Each year we purchase about $2.5 million in products from 400 local vendors including over 150 farmers and growers throughout the state. The trust and loyalty we have developed with them means we will continue to have access to the freshest local fruits and vegetables.

Down to Earth is Hawaii’s only all-vegetarian food store chain and one of only a few in the nation. Its new Hilo store is located in a 5,500-square-foot building next to Borders in the Waiakea Center that was previously occupied by Island Naturals Market.

Down to Earth was founded in 1977 in Wailuku, Maui. Today, Down to Earth is the largest local natural foods store chain in Hawaii with five locations: Honolulu, Kailua and Pearlridge on Oahu; Kahului on Maui; and now Hilo on the Big Island. For more information visit

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