Eating Salad with Chopsticks, Local Style
A number of years ago, I remember sitting at lunch with our produce supplier, Mark Teruya of Armstrong Produce and a couple of local farmers. Our purpose was to find out how we could build better partnerships with them. What I remember about lunch was how much I enjoyed their company and learning about their businesses. What Richard Ha of Hamakua Springs Country Farms tells me he remembers is that I ate my salad with chopsticks! Richard claims he had never seen anyone eat salad like that before, but now even he does it all the time. And while I’m not sure that was the first impression I was wishing for, he’s been a great friend and partner to Foodland ever since. (Be sure to try his Hamakua Springs Vine Ripened Beefsteak Tomatoes sold exclusively at our stores and our very own Hamakua salsa made with his tomatoes).
I share the story about that lunch years ago because in many ways, it was the start of our push to grow the amount of local produce we offer in our stores – a push that has now culminated in a big change in the way we merchandise our produce departments. Now, for the first time, all of our local produce is grouped together so it’s easy to identify what’s local and what’s not. Customers have told us that they had no idea we carried so much local produce. And I have to admit, that our previous layout -- with local items spread throughout the produce department and not always signed clearly – made identifying local items a challenge. We hope we’ve fixed that problem.
Why the focus on local? Because as a locally owned and operated company, we are committed to supporting local farmers. We feel doing so is important to our community and our customers -- not to mention that some of the local produce we carry is better and fresher than anything you’ll find on the mainland. We all should be proud to have such great farmers in our community, I know I am. And yes, like my friend Richard Ha, I still prefer to eat salad with chopsticks whenever I can because somehow I am able to eat it more slowly and thoroughly enjoy every bite and flavor that way!
Today's consumers are presented with more information than ever before about products available in grocery stores like ours. Signs and labels saying “local,” “organic,” “grass fed,” “gluten free,” and more help us choose what products we want to buy and eat, and they help us identify the foods we feel comfortable and safe serving to our families.
Introducing Eat Local Tuesdays!
Have you ever thought about how much locally grown or locally produced food you eat every week? If you are like many of us here in Hawaii, you probably don’t eat local food very much.” In fact, while most of us know that buying and eating local is important for our community and good for us, we continue to rely heavily—and spend the majority of our food budgets—on imported food.
"Wow! Woo Hoo! Thank you!" These are the first words that came to mind for all of us at Foodland as we learned that you had voted us "Hawaii's Best Grocery Store" in the Honolulu Star Advertiser's People's Choice Awards -- for the fourth year in a row and "Hawaii's Best Poke" for the fifth year in a row. To be recognized by the customers we work so hard to serve is a tremendous honor and we are grateful to all of you for the support and confidence you have in us.
May is always an exciting month here at Foodland because it is when we celebrate the anniversary of the opening of our company's first store at Market City Shopping Center on May 6, 1948. With 32 stores and 2,500 employees throughout the state today, we've come a long way over the last 66 years. And yet, while we are pleased that our company has grown its services, stores, and customers, what makes us especially proud are the things that remain the same here at Foodland today.
If you’re out in our stores this week, you might notice our employees wearing new, bright green t-shirts announcing that Foodland was voted “Hawaii’s Best Grocery Store” for 2013 by readers of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Designed by Nelly Tang, a talented, young member of our creative team, the shirts are one of the ways we are celebrating and thanking our employees for the important role they all play in making this wonderful recognition possible. Foodland is a great place to shop ... more »
May 6 is a very special day here at Foodland as it marks the 65th anniversary of the opening of our first store – and Hawaii’s first supermarket – at Market City shopping center in Honolulu. The pride all of us who work here feel can be summed up in the words of Joanna Sullivan, wife of our late founder, Maurice J. “Sully” Sullivan who recently explained her excitement about our 65th anniversary saying, “I’m so proud that Foodland remains locally owned and operated and continues to ... more »
How excited all of us were to learn that we were voted “best grocery store” by the readers of Honolulu Magazine – for the second year in a row. This recognition means a great deal to us as it came not from a panel of editors or experts, but from the people who know us, our stores, and our employees best --- all of YOU!
For those of us who grew up in Hawaii, certain local foods always stir feelings of comfort. These are the foods we think about on a cold wintry day at college and the ones we long for after night upon night of eating out when traveling. Simple and unfussy, they are foods that make us feel good -- dishes we associate with the warmth and comfort of home.
All of us here at Foodland are excited to announce the arrival of the newest member of our family -- Foodland Kapolei. If this sounds a bit like a birth announcement, that's because opening a new store really is a bit like having a baby. Not only are there the months of preparation and planning of every last detail and the steps taken to ensure the new addition will be happy and healthy, but there's also the anxiousness, excitement, and ... more »
How excited all of us here at Foodland are that you have voted us Hawaii’s Best Grocery Store in the Honolulu Star Advertiser's People's Choice Awards - AGAIN. Your confidence and support is heartwarming, humbling, and thrilling — all at the same time. For a local company like ours, there is no greater honor than to have those people we work so hard to serve, tell us they think we are the best. Mahalo to each and every one of you. We feel truly blessed to have such great ... more »