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Ward Marukai Now Open to the Public

Marukai Market Place at Ward used to be a regular stop for me on my drive home. However I never renewed my annual membership since a few years ago, as Don Quijote a few blocks inland at Kaheha had pretty much everything I needed as far as local and asian groceries, plus a whole lot more, all under one roof.

Well, time to put them back on the shopping trip list, as since April 1, 2015, the Marukai Market Place at Ward is now OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, NO MEMBERSHIP REQUIRED! And this is a permanent policy, not for a limited time only offer. Meaning now anyone can go in the Ward store to shop and get all the savings that Marukai members enjoy at their warehouse club store on Kamehameha Highway, at the end of Dillingham Boulevard, the larger of only two Marukai stores on Oahu, as well as in Hawaii (Marukai has locations in California).

Which to note, you still need a Marukai membership card to shop at the Kam Hwy. location in order to get the lower membership prices. Membership for the Dillingham warehouse club is $15 per year, and can be issued to two people in the same household.

Another couple facts worth noting is that Marukai was recently acquired by Don Quijote back 2013, when they purchased 100% of Marukai’s stocks, however Marukai’s operations for the most part haven’t change since the buyout. Also, Howard Hughes Corporation, who now owns Ward Farmers Market property that Marukai Market Place at Ward sits on, has plans to eventually redevelop the entire Victoria Ward area of Kaka’ako. However there’s no word as of yet when they plan to raze it, thus, so far it’s business as usual at Ward Marukai.

Now with no membership required at the Ward location, this is great news if you happen be at Ala Moana beach park, or driving down Ala Moana Boulevard on your into Waikiki, and are looking for a convenient market with great selection and prices to stop by and grab some grindz and supplies for the beach or your hotel room.

Marukai Market Place at Ward is right there along the way, and easily within just a few minutes walking distance of Ala Moana Beach Park. And they really are a great full-service supermarket, including fresh produce, meat, fish and dairy, plus a mixed bag of American and mostly Japanese imported groceries, all at competitive prices with all the other supermarkets, including the big boxes.

Following is a pictorial walkthrough around Marukai Market Place at Ward that I took yesterday afternoon on my way home from work. Enjoy.

Wrapping this up in further detail of what to expect shopping at Marukai Market Place at Ward, it’s mostly Japanese imported food products and housewares, mixed with American pantry essentials.

Meaning, you’ll still find your regular staple stuff like milk, bread, eggs, cheese and canned goods. While you’ll also find 1001 different types of pickles Japanese vegetables, soy-based sauces and preserved fish, to name a few!

This really is for those who cook Japanese “hardcore”, as I sometimes like to pretend I know how to do. lol

Korean, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and Filipino ingredients can be found here, however there’s not nearly as much as their big sister store over at Don Quijote, where it’s much more the “Jack of all trades”, east-meets-west retail giant of Hawaii. And I’d say, arguably the best. I LOVE DQ!

For Marukai Market Place’ current WEEKLY ADS, please visit MarukaiHawaii.com. Then stop on by their very unique and impressive Ward Farmers Market location, now open to the public, no membership required. Check it out!

MARUKAI MARKET PLACE at Ward
(formerly known as Ward Farmers Market)
1020 Auahi Street (right next to Ward Theaters)
Honolulu, Hawaii  96814
Tel. (808) 593-9888
www.MarukaiHawaii.com

Business hours:
Monday – Saturday
8am to 9:30pm
Sunday
8am to 8pm

20 thoughts on “Ward Marukai Now Open to the Public

  • May 7, 2015 at 12:59 pm
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    Pomai at last my family could go to Marukai in past we past never had a member

    ships cards head somewhere else.  This good for business with no membership.

     

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  • May 7, 2015 at 1:40 pm
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    The Ward Marukai has been open to the general public for a couple years; like you said, anyone could shop, but only members get the discounted price.  Previously, you could buy a one-day membership for $1 (although this might have only been available for non-residents).

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  • May 7, 2015 at 2:06 pm
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    @ Debbie-chan – true, you could do that, but you still had to go through that slight hassle. Only since April of this year did they completely get rid of any stipulations at the ward location. I remember when I used to shop there as a member for years since about two years ago, the cashiers used to often turn away tourists (mainly Nihongin) in my line waiting to pay for merchandise because they weren’t members. I couldn’t believe they were doing that! They’d point them to the customers service counter at the front of the store, which I don’t know how many actually went through that process. If it were me, I’d walk away. Unless the racked-up annual rewards are really worth the hassle of carrying more cards in my wallet, personally, the less memberships I need just for shopping the better, even if those memberships are free. I actually shop a lot more at Times Supermarket ever since they got rid of their “Royal” membership program. I dunno, that’s just me.

    @ Kelike – The Ward Marukai has a very good produce and seafood department, which I think is where you’re family would be most interested in shopping at that store. Their meat department is just basic, but it works. You folks are Chinese, so don’t expect much imported food products there in that regard. It’s definitely a shopper’s paradise for those “fusion” cooks and chefs.

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  • May 7, 2015 at 4:54 pm
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    When we were living in Northern California, we’d drive down to the LA area to visit Disneyland (and my wife’s family).  On the way back, we’d stop at Marukai in Gardena to pick up POG and other Hawaii items we couldn’t find in Northern California.  Since we didn’t have a membership, they’d just charge us the extra $1 when we purchasing the items.  Right before we moved back to Hawaii, a Marukai opened up in Cupertino and IIRC you didn’t need a membership.  Anyway, we always hit Marukai when we travel to California since we don’t have one here on Maui.

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  • May 7, 2015 at 10:21 pm
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    Pomai, DH and I went to Marukai in both San Diego and Costa Mesa, which were open to the public as well.  I personally liked the San Diego store much better, loads of goodies to choose from.

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  • May 8, 2015 at 7:38 am
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    @ David – That whole $1 thing must be a new concept, because as I said, about two years ago and all prior to that, they never offered that in the checkout lines to non-members, nor was there signage that advertised it. It was strictly a members only store at the Ward location. That’s the whole reason I thought this whole “Open to the Public” feature was newsworthy.

    Where’s the best place to get Japanese/asian imported groceries on Maui, besides the “oriental” section of the supermarkets? Any specialty stores you know of?  I know there used to be a Shirokiya in Ka’ahumanu Shopping Center in Kahului, but that’s been long gone. The Shirokiya here on Oahu gave up on Japanese imported groceries, being totally a prepared foods food court called Yataimura now. LOVE that place! I always recommend Yataimura food court to soon-to-be Hawaii visitors who eMail me, asking me for personal recommendations where to eat.

    @ Auntie Doni – Any good stores in Arizona that carry food products imported from Hawaii and asia?

    I didn’t mention it in this post, however another Japanese grocery store just a block over on Piikoi street next to Ala Moana Center is Nijiya Market. Excellent store with reasonable prices!

    There’s also a fairly new, tiny Japanese grocery store on Young Street named J-Shop that Paul Uyehara of Aloha Tofu told me about. I’ll have to blog that place soon!

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    • May 8, 2015 at 8:34 am
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      We live in Southern Arizona and there is not a big Asian population, therefore, we have very few places to shop.  As to places that carry produce from Hawaii, I have found very little to speak of and they are not consistent in their inventory, so I stock up when and where every I can.  I’ll be taking home an extra suitcase on this trip, chock-full of frozen Zippy’s Chili, YAY!!

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      • May 8, 2015 at 9:31 am
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        Auntie Doni,

        Here’s a tip to save you space in your suitcase: instead of taking home frozen Zippy’s Chili, take home plenty Rego’s Purity Portuguese Sausage (or your favorite Hawaii brand). Podagee sausage is “da’ secret ingrediment” to Zippy’s Chili, I swear! Simply chop up the Podagee Sausage in small cubes and fry it, then add it to any good canned chili with beef (not any better or worse than frozen chili), which I recommend the Cattle Drive brand from Costco. Simmer for about a half-hour or so to let the flavors infuse and VOILA! Podagee Sausage + Cattle Drive canned Chili =  “Zippy’s Chili”! Go try ’em before you leave and compare it with the hot one from Zippy’s. Guaranz “money”!

        Another store I highly recommend you visit before you leave Oahu is Pacific Market in WaipaHOO! That store is a TRIP! You’ll never find that many imported Thai, Vietnamese, Filipino, Korean, Chinese and Japanese canned goods, rice, noodles, frozen meats and all else under one roof anywhere else in Hawaii, PERIOD! Well, OK, there’s a newer store called Seafood City, which I hear is super impressive, however I haven’t been there yet. Go check them out too!

        While you’re out there in WaipaHOO!, don’t forget to drop by Tanioka’s for awesome poke and Okazuya grindz. Make sure to get Tanioka’s fish patty! Winnahz!

        You also gotta’ do the KCC Farmers Market, happening every Saturday morning from 7:30am to 11am. You should go there tomorrow morning! Hit me up in an eMail and I’ll meet you there!

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        • May 8, 2015 at 5:24 pm
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          Pomai, I’ve been trying to make my own Zippy’s Chili and this recipe is ono~licious, but not perfect yet; I will give your suggestion a try though once we get back to AZ.

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          • May 8, 2015 at 6:21 pm
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            Auntie Doni,

            Ha ha! That picture you used of the Rego’s Purity, Redondo’s and Gouvea’s Portuguese Sausage came from my “Great Portuguese Sausage Shootout Hana Hou” post…

             

            Eh Auntie, you supposed to credit my site for the photo with a link back, but you nevah. Wassup wit dat? lol Nah, it’s all good, I still love you. ;-)

            But nah, nevah mind all the scratch stuff. I mean that’s much healthier, but ah, humbug. Just use the Cattle Drive canned Chili Con Carne (Costco stay get ’em) and any Hawaii brand Portuguese Sausage. So easy to make, and tastes just like Zippy’s Chili!

          • May 8, 2015 at 6:29 pm
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            I also suggest you try the Frank’s Foods brand Portuguese Sausage from the Big Island. They’re currently available at the Ward Marukai!…

            Frank’s Foods Portuguese Sausage won the original Portuguese Sausage shootout. Only thing, they’re on the pricey side at $5.99 each, but still worth a try. I’m definitely going to try Frank’s Smoked Pork and Pipikaula, also available at Ward Marukai. Will be doing a blog review on it soon!

    • May 8, 2015 at 9:39 am
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      The only place I can think of for imported Japanese items is TJ’s Warehouse, here in Wailuku.  http://tjscateringmaui.com/

      They also sell hot items and bentos for lunch.

      We always hit Shirokiya when we go to Oahu but never end up eating at Yataimura, although we always check out what they have.  We do go back again on the last day of the trip to pick up sushi and other goodies.  Of course, that last day we also hit Don Quijote and Royal Kitchen for manapua.

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  • May 8, 2015 at 9:57 am
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    The first few times I went to Ward’s Marukai, I had to pay the $1 for a one day membership at the membership window before I entered the store.  After that (maybe 3-4 years ago?), they said you no longer had to be a member to shop there, only to get the membership price.  At least two times, I just walked right in and shopped.  Maybe they switched it back to members only again, before going back to open to the public?

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  • May 8, 2015 at 9:59 am
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    I always did want to check out the bigger one, closer to the airport, but it was too much hassle by bus.

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  • May 8, 2015 at 10:18 am
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    Try the porchetta sandwich from Kaimuki Superette.  But, still keep it a secret.

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  • May 8, 2015 at 10:20 am
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    Sorry, I had porchetta on my mind…if you go to the Ward Marukai on Saturday, cross the street to the Ward Farmers Market and try the porchetta sandwich.

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  • May 8, 2015 at 10:31 am
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    @ Momona – OK, you sold me on the Kaimuki Superette Porchetta Sandwich. However, since I’ll be at the KCC Farmers Market this Saturday, what I’ll do instead, is swing by Kaimuki at their restaurant to get it (instead of at the Ward Farmers Market). Then again, after looking at the Kaimuki Superette photos on Yelp, I’m kinda’ leaning towards that Shinsato Pork Sandwich, which everyone raves about as well. Did you ever try KS’s Shinsato Pork Sandwich?

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  • May 8, 2015 at 10:37 am
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    Big mistake, zoomed in on the Shinsato pork sandwich…looks good, but can’t have it today.  Did you happen to catch Andrew Zimmern’s show on Rome?  The Italian chef said that the sound of the crunchy pork skin is like the “gods talking to you.”  Or something like that.

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  • May 8, 2015 at 10:53 am
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    @ David – Mahalos for the tip on TJ’s Warehouse! Dang, these are the kind of places we need to know more about! Ooh, now I have a good idea for a new blog post!

    I guess while we’re in Wailuku, Maui, we gotta’ mention Takamiya Market, another “local kine grindz” hidden gem! And no forget Sam Sato’s for da’ Dry Noodles!

    Yup, cannot go wrong with DQ’s. The one and only thing I don’t like about the Kaheka store, is the building itself is so run down, it’s kinda’ gross, even after they tried so hard to “renovate”. I try not to look at the floors, and the fish department is especially, just yuck. I wish they would raze that old building and build a brand new warehouse style structure and make it look like the Japanese version of Costco. That would be awesome.

    @ Debbie-chan – Hmmm, interesting. As I said, when I was a member up until about 2 years ago, they used to frequently turn away potential customers (mostly Nihongin tourists) at the checkout, telling them they need a membership card, not even offering a $1 visitors fee.

    The larger warehouse club on Kamehameha Highway (not Dillingham at that point) has more Japanese kitchen cookware and housewares products, and I think just a little more food selection. You can tell by looking at their ads, as they say what store has and doesn’t have what. The ward farmers market parcel has a LOT of floor space, and they have everything really spread out. If they really wanted to, I think they could fit all the products the main warehouse carries at the Ward location. I’m sure there’s logistical reasons they don’t.

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  • May 8, 2015 at 1:41 pm
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    I notice that the Ward Marukai’s bentos are not as much and not the same kinds at Dillingham. Since the Ward’s is more like a superette with much smaller inventory if I’m in town anyway I prefer the Dill. store. Plus at about 2 pm ish they discount their made bentos 30% off (I think) and the concessions are either 15% or 20% off.  Their bento selection is huge compared to Ward and Dill. also have the Chinese Dim Sum concession.  I love to buy their discounted pork hash and deep fry it for lunch. Taste moe bettah.

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