2012 Founders & Visionaries- Hawaii's Best
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Perhaps one of the most remarkable traits of Hawaii’s vast community is its members’ strong commitment to treating others like family. It’s no wonder that businesses that keep this idea at the forefront are thriving. Each month, Hawaii Business highlights companies featured in the popular “Founders and Visionaries: Hawaii’s Best” series.
FRONT ROW L - R: Danilo Managad, Jacinto Tabayabn,
In Hawaii, the name Aloha Shoyu has become as synonymous with soy sauce as salt has with pepper. Gracing the kitchens and tables of residences and restaurants throughout the state, the flavorful blend of soybeans, wheat and salt has become an Island staple.
Created more than 65 years ago by five Japanese families, the first Aloha Shoyu Company factory opened in Kalihi, Hawaii (just outside of Honolulu). The name was born of a desire to capture the families’ Island heritage as well as their Japanese origin. “Aloha” represents the Island greeting as well as the principles of kindness and humility. “Shoyu” is a Japanese term that has become widely accepted in Hawaii, which means soy sauce.
“We are so fortunate to have established our business in a state that is recognized globally for its beauty, grace and uniqueness,” says company president Brian Tanigawa, who represents a third generation of one of the founding families. “Our name says it all.”
Since its inception, the Aloha Shoyu Company has grown to become Hawaii’s leader in soy sauce sales, capturing more than 65 percent of the market share in Hawaii. Tanigawa attributes this to the product’s high quality as well as the hard work and dedication of the company’s employees and an incredible amount of local support.
Brian Tanigawa, President
Over the years, Aloha Shoyu has expanded its product line to include a variety of flavor enhancers, such as vinegars, local-style barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauces and glazes. But its growth has not been limited to an expanded product line. The drive to bring the products to a wider market led to a decision to spread out beyond Hawaii.
The Aloha Shoyu Company board of directors, which includes members of three of the founding families, have formed Aloha Shoyu Company West, in Hayward, California, with the goal of carrying on the presence of the Aloha Shoyu staple into the U.S. Mainland and beyond.
Though the company is branching out, it remains dedicated to serving the clientele that helped bring it to fruition here at home. “We are still a local, family-style operation that depends on the support of the local people,” Tanigawa says. “Although our operational activity has grown significantly over the last 10 years, we continue to maintain much of the culture and traditions that were established by our founding members.”
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