At the young age of 17, Maurice J. Sullivan arrived in America from Ireland. His first job was sacking potatoes at the A&P Tea Company in Pennsylvania. Within a year, he worked his way up to store manager in Buffalo, New York.
In 1942 with the onset of World War II, "Sully" was sent to Hawaii and assigned to the commissary as a buyer for the officer's mess hall. His buying trips often took him around the island. In Kailua, he met the Lau Family who operated the Lanikai Store.
The Lanikai Store
In 1946, after his discharge from the Army, Sully went to work for the Lau family at the Lanikai Store whom he had befriended during his many buying trips for the commissary. He worked there for two years as store manager.
The First Foodland
On May 6, 1948, together with the Lau family, Sully opened Hawaii's first modern supermarket at Market City in Honolulu. The crowds were so large that the front doors had to be locked, allowing only a few people at a time.
The success of the Market City store demonstrated the popularity of the supermarket concept and showed Sully's commitment to creating great shopping experiences. The company grew quickly, opening a store a year for the next ten years. It expanded to Kauai in 1967, Maui in 1970 and the Big Island in 1971.
Shop for Better Education
Sully’s enthusiasm about taking care of customers was matched by his passion for giving back to the community. In 1980, Foodland launched its first state-wide community program, Shop for Better Education. In 17 years, the program helped over 300 public and private schools earn more than $6 million in much-needed computers, software, books and equipment.
Locally Owned and Operated
Sully always envisioned Foodland as a family-run, community-focused business. With his daughter, Jenai Sullivan Wall, taking charge as President in 1995 and CEO in 1998, Sully's legacy continues. The company now encompasses 32 stores statewide and continues to be the largest locally owned and operated grocery store in Hawaii.
Foodland was the first supermarket in the state to introduce a frequent shopper program to customers through the Maika'i Card. Today, over 365,000 active members earn free groceries, free travel and free products while receiving instant savings every time they shop.
A second major community focused program, Give Aloha, launched in 1999 focused on supporting non-profit organizations throughout Hawaii. Through this donation-matching program, Give Aloha has raised over $32.7 million for local non-profit organizations.
On the eve of its 60th anniversary, Foodland opened its 30th store in Hawaii.
Food, Family & Friends
With over 2,500 employees serving customers at 32 Foodland and Sack N Save locations statewide, a friendly store is always nearby. Foodland is committed to providing an outstanding shopping experience where customers are offered great food and always welcomed like family and friends.
Foodland’s Flagship Store Opens
On August 31, 2017, Foodland celebrated its grand return to Ala Moana Center to provide customers an exciting new reimagined food shopping and dining experience. In addition to a full-service supermarket, the new store features new food offerings prepared by in-store chefs, The Bar at R. Field Wine Company, concierge services and more.