For months and months — dare I say it’s been more than a year — I’ve been waiting for Micronesia Mart on the corner of Kalakaua Avenue and Kapiolani Boulevard to open.
I mean, how often do you get to wander the aisles of a convenience store that’s stocked with all things familiar in Micronesia — without leaving the Islands?
So when we drove past the other day, I turned to my boss and said, “One of these days we gotta check out this place.”
To which he said, “Let’s go now.” He snapped the steering wheel and, before I knew it, we were walking through the door.
Some background: This is a family-run business and many of the items in the store are purchased from local vendors. The shop does have a fair share of products directly imported from Micronesia and other islands in Polynesia, as well as Japan and Thailand.
The store is the retail outlet of Sarau Distributors, a local wholesaler that exported Hawaii products to Pohnpei. But as the Micronesian community grew here, the company decided to open the market to cater to their needs. There are items like canned mackerel, curry sauce mix flakes and some kind of all-in-one detergent called FOM.
Just walking around and seeing all the different kinds of products the store had was fun in itself. But we also sampled a few, too. Let’s just say I’ve been back twice since that first visit. That says a lot.
So here’s a peek into Micronesia Mart:
Micronesia Mart, 1745 Kalakaua Ave. Hours: 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Phone: (808) 840-0878.