Ohana Market comes to Kittery: Tastes of Hawaii expands

KITTERY, Maine – Ohana Kitchen is expanding to Maine this summer with a marketplace edition of its Hawaiian concept.

The business boom along Shapleigh Road in Kittery continues with the expected opening of Ohana Market, a grab-and-go version of Jay and Stacy Krecklow's stores in nearby Portsmouth and Exeter, New Hampshire. Ohana Market will take over the space at 7 Shapleigh Road most recently occupied by Toast, a sandwich shop that closed in early April.

The launch of the nearly eight-year-old company in Kittery comes at a time when the Krecklows are actively seeking available commercial space in the Dover, New Hampshire area and the North Shore of Massachusetts to potentially open additional locations.

The flagship Ohana Kitchen opened in Portsmouth in December 2017, followed by the Exeter location the next year and the now-closed Newburyport, Massachusetts location in 2019. The couple, residents of Rye, New Hampshire, hope the Ohana Market will attract beachgoers , people running errands along Shapleigh Road, outlet mall shoppers, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard employees and residents of all ages.

“Expansion was always part of the plan and still is. It’s not necessarily going to end anytime soon,” Jay Krecklow said.

“We were suddenly busy and then the pandemic hit. We were still very busy, but the pandemic gave us time to reflect and rethink, and now we are refocused on growth,” said Stacy Krecklow.

Ohana's Poke Bowls are available for delivery in Kittery

In addition to sushi burritos, musubis, crudos and bento boxes, Ohana Market also offers poke bowls – including specialties such as the spicy, crispy ahi tuna and miso salmon dishes. Delivery is offered.

Food is prepared on site in Kittery, where there is parking in front of the building, nearby and along the busy street.

“It will be an upscale carryout,” said Stacy Krecklow, a former regional manager for the Flatbread Company restaurant. “We want it to be something we would enjoy eating. If I can get nice sushi and a really great salad for lunch, I would choose that any day.”

Toast says goodbye for now

Toast, which opened in fall 2021, announced in March that it would close in the spring. The company's last day of operation was April 6. The business was opened by baker Nina Holland, who said Toast could reopen under new ownership in the future.

“Thank you for your unwavering love, kindness and support,” her final message on the company’s Instagram reads in part. “Your great love for all things toast has truly fueled my passion and allowed me to intentionally and thoughtfully promote you over the years.”

Ohana owners are pleased with the location in Kittery

The Krecklows would like to thank Holland for the smooth transition to Unit 7 Shapleigh Road following the recent closure of Toast.

“When I saw that, I immediately jumped on it because we had been talking about doing a market. We knew we needed a little less space and thought, 'Oh, this would be absolutely perfect,'” said Stacy Krecklow. “We already have great community connections and it just seemed like a perfect fit. It’s just the tone for us, this whole area.”

The announcement of Ohana's expansion into southern Maine came April 18, less than a week after the Krecklows closed their Newburyport location.

“It is difficult to express in words our sincere gratitude for your support and patronage over the past five years,” the company said in its April 2 social media statement. “We would like to inform you that our lease at Port Plaza is expiring and we will be closing our (Newburyport) location on Saturday, April 13th…We love this community and hope to find a more permanent location near you soon.” ! “

How Ohana was born

The former owner of the old Radici Restaurant in downtown Portsmouth, Jay Krecklow, sold that business in 2015. Because of Stacy Krecklow's family and professional ties to Hawaii, the couple took time to develop the ohana concept after selling Radici and scout the area for the right place to bring their vision to life.

More: The Oar House restaurant is celebrating its 50th anniversary on Portsmouth Harbour

More than seven years after opening in Portsmouth, the Krecklows are delighting many local residents with their menu of poke bowls and more.

“In Hawaii, when everyone goes to the beach, they eat poke bowls. They pick them up at the grocery store or the gas station in the morning…I thought if they can do that there, we can have a nice little place to move this along quicker,” Stacy Krecklow said.

Ohana Market is expected to open in Kittery in June. The opening times are still being determined.

Anna Harden

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