With a mission to make a difference by contributing to the success of our customer, Suisan Company, Ltd. was established on September 7, 1907 as Suisan Kabushiki Kaisha, Ltd. and celebrates its 114th anniversary in 2021.
Over its long history, Suisan has overcome many different challenges, while embracing change and continuing to work with the community to help build a better future.
Despite having their property seized and getting banned from fishing during World War II, two devastating tsunamis that destroyed their fleets and the Fish Market, hurricanes, lava flows, and a fire all of which claimed homes, businesses, the corporate office and part of Suisan’s warehouse, Suisan continued to persist. Within three days of the fire that destroyed the corporate office, Suisan was back in operation at the current office location in the Ben Franklin Building.
However, 2020 presented a new challenge. Due to COVID-19 and becoming unable to supply hotels and restaurants with their usual needs, Suisan was left with 40% more inventory than normal and nowhere for it to go. As a result, they decided to shift their focus from hotels and restaurants to families and individuals.
To help keep the community safe and prevent the need to make multiple trips, they created Aloha Packs. Aloha Packs are bulk groceries that customers could purchase at a reduced price, on a first-come, first served basis in both Hilo and Kona. They varied in theme and prices depended on what food was available at that moment. In addition, Suisan continues to regularly donate food items to the Hawaii Island Food Basket.
In 2021, Suisan took the Keiki Hero Pledge and became a Cape Club Sponsor. “Keiki Heroes was born as a volunteer effort from folks across the business, nonprofit, education and health care spaces, and Suisan has been proud to serve as a partner in that effort,” said Renae Akau, HR manager and member of the Keiki Heroes leadership team. “If we can play a role in encouraging keiki to keep up healthy practices and help our community weather the pandemic we’re happy to do it.”
Suisan helps encourage our keiki to take the Keiki Heroes pledge, by offering $2 off a poke bowl or plate and a free bottle of Waiakea water at our Fish Market, when they show their Keiki Hero Card.
This past year presented many unprecedented challenges, but we as a community were able come together and move forward. Still a major part of the Big Islander’s lives, Suisan continues to provide quality goods and products to their customers and is a major employer.
Visit www.suisan.com for more information.