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Alive & Well open again after car plows into store

This place has no drive thru

An SUV backed into Alive & Well Natural Health Foods store in Kahului on Jan. 7, taking out about half of its vitamin section. The store reopened Friday. Alive & Well photos

The Maui News

A wall of plywood is replacing a storefront glass window at Alive & Well Natural Health Foods, nearly a week after an SUV plowed backward into the Kahului store, taking out the windows and damaging half of its vitamin section.

“Nobody was hurt, that was the main thing,” said owner Darren Jones on Monday from the store.

Around 6:30 p.m. Jan. 7, a female customer had just left the store and had thought she pressed her brakes but instead hit the accelerator in her SUV, said Jones, who was not at the store at the time but was notified later.

Jones said witnesses heard the woman revving her engine and saw the vehicle, which was reverse parked, go backward into the store.

A wall of plywood replaces storefront windows after an SUV plowed into the Alive & Well Natural Health Foods store Jan. 7. No one was hurt.

“Luckily, the vitamin section had just cleared out. Our employees had just exited the shelved areas, if not they would have been crushed,” Jones said.

Six employees were in the store at the time, about a half hour before its closing time at 7 p.m., Jones said. His employees tended to the woman, who was not physically hurt.

When asked about how much damage the incident caused, Jones replied: “We don’t even know. I would say $50,000 to $100,000.”

It took Jones, his workers and those from Premier Restoration Hawaii around three days to get the store back up and open Friday morning.

“Everything is working. The cafe is cranking,” Jones said.

Shelving was lost, although the store does have some backup.

Jones indicated he was working to sort out his claim with the insurance company, which he has been in contact with.

Alive & Well has been at 340 Hana Highway in Kahului for 21 years and is family owned and operated.

Attempts to get a response from Maui police about the incident Monday were unsuccessful.