Brian Tanigawa, Aloha Shoyu Company Ltd.

Aloha Shoyu: Tried, true and transforming

Hawai‘i is home for our company. Although we’ve expanded to the mainland, first in California and now in Las Vegas, we’re still a local, traditional Hawai‘i company.

Aloha Shoyu Company Ltd. was started in 1946 by five local families, three of which are still active on the board. I represent the third generation and my son and my cousin’s son are with us as part of our succession plan.

One of the things we’re doing, is consolidating operations. Our primary production is in Pearl City with offices, warehousing distribution and sales in Kapolei. We purchased a property in Kapolei and are in the process of building it out. For instance, we have moved our bottle manufacturing operation there. We bring in some bottles from the mainland but for the most part, we try to manufacture as much as we can locally, like our gallon jugs.

Growth at home

We recently acquired Malolo Beverages and Supplies. To the consumer it may be best-known for its syrup line. In the foodservice industry though, it is known as a distributor of a wide range of supplies from disposable cups, tapa-print food trays and containers, utensils and additional paper goods, as well as products from condiments to cleaning supplies. For us it’s a very similar company. Locally owned — family owned, with traditional local values that we all share.

There are synergies with respect to the customer base. Many of our customers would possibly be Malolo customers and vice-versa. We both carry the types of products that people will use. We brought on about 15 employees and we are operating out of Kalihi until we can build out additional space in our Kapolei facility.

Also an ESOP

We’re a minority ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) with 65 to 75 current and former employees participating. The benefit is offered to employees after a vesting period. I think that makes a difference in that we all work together to move the company forward and share the successes. We’re all shareholders.

Brand reach

We are so grateful that the people of Hawai‘i support us and our products. With about 65 percent of the shoyu market share in Hawai‘i, we realized years ago the need to grow. Production was expanded to the mainland where people were looking for Hawai‘i products. Hawai‘i has gotten to be more sales-saturated for us and by going to the mainland and setting up shop there, it’s really an opportunity for expansion and growth — and yet our roots are still in Hawai‘i. We set up e-commerce on our website where people can buy a variety of Aloha Shoyu food products, but also branded merchandise like caps, T-shirts and saimin bowls (the latter is currently sold-out). We’re working to expand on that area.

Food trends help the brand

The growth trend in Asian cuisine has been a great opportunity for us. Another trend has seen our gluten-free shoyu, which is lower in sodium than regular shoyu, and our tamari, which is also gluten-free, take off. We also recently started a line of dressings (Ginger Sesame Miso; Ginger; Black Sesame; Ume Shiso) and a kalbi short-rib marinade. We work with our customers to bring their recipes to market.

Out of our Las Vegas facility we partner with Samurai Brand’s “Hawaiian Frost” ice cream product and work with hotels, buffets and other outlets. We also work with other Hawai‘i brands like Purity Sausage, Sun Noodle and others. We try to align with local partners and companies to showcase their products out of our facility.


We’re really appreciative of the support from local people, local chefs and restaurants and in turn, we try to give back to the community. We support Big Brothers/Big Sisters with scholarships. I’m a pharmacist by training so we fund a scholarship to the U.H. Hilo Pharmacy program. And whenever Kristi Yamaguchi comes down for an event we support her Always Dream Foundation. (Editor’s note: Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi is the celebrity face of Aloha Shoyu Gold premium soy sauce.) We do additional giving back to the community through other partnerships. We align with people we think we can do more with together, than we can do individually.

Working with chefs like Sam Choy, Russell Siu, James Aptakin and Las Vegas chef Terrence Fong, is good. When you can work together with the chefs, it makes a difference in the business. We’re open to working with other chefs too, all they need to do, is ask. The main thing is, economically, whether it makes sense.

Behind its longevity

Much of the credit for our longevity goes to our management team and their level of commitment and loyalty to the company. It’s outstanding actually. In my mind, our people who shine share simple character basics including reliability, dependability, integrity, and we’re local-style. We’ve had to incorporate a corporate structure in what we do, but when it comes down to taking care of our people, our employees have the committment from me but also from the board of directors.

Forefathers (and mothers)

In addition to the three original families who have representation on the board, I think we have other board members who are also somehow related, because it was such a family oriented-type of company in the beginning, which has stood the test of time. We may not be your typical corporate-type board, but a family oriented type of board. We have an attorney, my cousin who is into real estate; another board member has a fairly good-sized security business, and so on. We couldn’t do it without  the people before us.

The bottom line is, we’re a small local company. Bigger is not always better, but if we have an opportunity, we want to try.


See original article here.


Fancy Foods San Francisco

Dates: January 21-23, 2018


Catersource Las Vegas

Dates: February 20-21, 2018


Foodie Con Los Angeles

Location: The REEF – 1933 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Dates: April 7-8, 2018


Vegas Food Expo

Dates: April 15-16, 2018


Little Tokyo Demo in Los Angeles

Location: 333 S Alameda St suit 100, Los Angeles, CA 90013

Dates: April 27-29, 2018


California Market Demo in Los Angeles

Location: 450 S. Western Ave. Los Angeles CA 90020

Dates: May 1-7, 2018


Asian Food Festival 2018 in Los Angeles

Location: Little Tokyo Marketplace, 333 S. Alameda St.

Dates: May 9-13, 2018


NRA Show (National Restaurants Association)

Dates: May 19-22, 2018


Made in Hawaii Festival

Location: Blaisdell Exhibition Hall and Arena

Dates: August 17-19, 2018

Booth #436


Hawaii Lodging, Hospitality and Foodservice Expo

Location: Blaisdell Exhibition Hall and Arena

Dates: July 11-12, 2018

Booth #141


ALA Hawaii Exhibition (Tentative)

Dates: August 2018


Food and New Product Show (Tentative)

Dates: October 2018



16 lamb chops, 5 Spice Marinade, Garlic Mash Potatoes, and Kahuku Sweet Corn Coulis

5 Spice Marinade

3 cups Aloha Regular Soy Sauce or Aloha Lower Salt Soy Sauce
1 bunch cilantro chopped
2 tablespoons chili flakes
2 oz. sesame oil
1 tablespoon dry 5 spice mix
1 lb. box brown sugar

Combine all marinade ingredients and mix well. Marinade lamb chops over night. Grill Lamb to order request.. Place garlic mash potatoes in center of plate and fan lamb chops around the mashed potatoes. Drizzle Kahuku sweet coulis over the dish and serve.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

2 º lbs. potatoes
4 whole cloves garlic
½ lb. butter
3 oz. Cream
white pepper and salt to taste

Peel and cut the potatoes into 1 in. cubes. In a pot, cover the potatoes with cold water. Add garlic and bring to a boil. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until done. Drain. Puree in a food processor, or whip with an electric mixer. Add the butter and cream. Season with salt and white pepper.

Kahuku Sweet Corn Coulis

2 cups corn, fresh whole kernel
2 oz. minced yellow onion
1 oz. minced garlic
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 ½ tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt and pepper
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 oz. cornstarch and water thickening mixture

In a saucepan, stir onion, garlic, and corn on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add turmeric and sauté for another minute. Add heavy cream and bring to a boil and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Add honey and season with salt and pepper. Finish off with cornstarch mix to thicken.

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Aloha Regular Soy Sauce or Aloha Lower Salt Soy Sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3/4 cup lime juice
1/2 teaspoon garlic minced
1 oz. ginger, smashed
1 oz. wasabi paste
8 oz. sashimi(snapper sliced into 1 oz. strips)

Mix sugar, shoyu, vinegar, lime juice, garlic, ginger and wasabi paste in a bowl. Place sashimi in bowl and marinate for 1 hour. After marinating, place sashimi atop a bed of daikon curls, spoon marinade liquid over fish and serve chilled

(recipe allots for 2-dozen oysters)
1ea raw Pacific Oyster
1oz Luau Sauce
1/2t Tomato Ogo Salsa
1/4t Spice Mix

Season oyster with spice mix. Nappe Luau sauce and broil for 2 minutes till golden brown. To finish add a dollop of Tomato Ogo Salsa.
Luau Sauce

3 cups Yellow Onions (med. dice & sweat)
3 cans (13.5 oz cans) Coconut Milk
1 qt. Heavy Cream
2/3 cup sugar
1t salt
1/2t dry white pepper
2T unsalted butter
1 egg
1 cup Luau Leaves (blanched, chopped)

Sweat onions with butter, add heavy cream and coconut milk, stir for 1 minute and simmer. Add sugar, salt and white pepper. Mix until blended. Bring to a boil. Thicken with cornstarch mix until nappe. Whisk in 1 egg to 1-1/2 cup of sauce, add cooked luau leaves and mix thoroughly. Coat over oyster and bake under salamander until golden brown.
Tomato Ogo Salsa

4 oz. Tomoto (diced)
1 oz. Yellow Oniion (diced)
1/4oz. Green Onion (diced)
1oz. Ogo, Thick (chopped)
2t Aloha Shoyu Regular Soy Sauce
1-1/2t Fish Sauce
2t Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water
1/4t salt

Combine all ingredients and mix well.
Hawaiian Chili Pepper Water

2qt. water
2T Hawaiian Salt
1t Garlic (minced)
1/2 cup Aloha White Distilled Vinegar
1 cup Hawaiian Chili Pepper (remove all seeds and stems)
1/2 cup Red Bell Pepper (chopped)
2T Red Pepper Flake

Boil water, add remaining ingredients. Cook for 5 minutes and let cool.
Spice Mix

3 of the 1lb-10oz salt
2-1/2lb Paprika
6oz. Cayenne
2lb Black Pepper (fine ground)
2lb Garlic (granulated dry)
1lb-4oz Onion Powder
12oz Oregano
12oz Thyme
10oz Shichimi

Combine all ingredients and mix well.

Spinach (fresh not frozen)
1 ½ cup shredded carrots
½ cup tahini (Mid Eastern sesame paste found in most supermarkets)
3 tablespoons Aloha Shoyu Regular Soy Sauce or Aloha Shoyu Lower Salt Soy Sauce 
4 tablespoons Aloha Apple Cider Vinegar
1 chopped garlic cloves

Immerse spinach leaves in a pot of cold water, rinse well and strain. In a bowl, mix together ½ cup of the carrots, tahini, ALOHA SHOYU Soy Sauce, ALOHA Apple Cider vinegar with chopped garlic. (You can adjust the soy sauce and cider vinegar to taste.) Toss the spinach and dressing. Add the remaining shredded carrots and serve.

Yield: 4 servings

4 c Cooked quinoa
1/2 c Pecan halves
3/4 c Golden raisins — plumped in hot water — drained 1/2 cup
Thinly sliced scallions
1/3 c Olive oil
1/4 c Rice vinegar or lemon juice
1/4 ts Pepper
2 tb Aloha Shoyu Regular Soy Sauce or Aloha Shoyu Lower Salt Soy Sauce
Lettuce leaves — washed and dried
A sprinkle of paprika Parsley; to garnish

Lightly toss salad ingredients. Chill for 1 hour. Arrange on lettuce leaves, add a sprinkle of paprika, garnish with parsley and serve.

(Yield: 6 servings)

1 ts Sesame seeds
8 c Chicken broth (preferably homemade)
2 tb Garlic, finely chopped
2 tb Ginger, finely grated
1/2 c Rice
1 tb Aloha Shoyu Regular Soy Sauce or Aloha Shoyu Lower Salt Soy Sauce
1 ts Toasted sesame oil
1 ts To 2 ts hot chile paste
1 c Shredded cooked chicken
2 Scallions, finely chopped

In small dry skillet, toast sesame seeds over medium-high heat, shaking often, until lightly browned and aromatic, about 1 minute. Transfer to small bowl and set aside.

In large pot, combine chicken broth, garlic and ginger; bring to a boil over high heat. Add rice, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the rice is tender, 12-15 minutes. Stir in soy sauce and sesame oil; add chile paste to taste. Add chicken and heat until just warmed through. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with scallions and the reserved sesame seeds.

1 pound Bacon
1 head Lettuce – rinsed and shredded
2 large Tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup of Aloha Teriyaki Sauce
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pinch salt
2 cups seasoned croutons

1) Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat, turning frequently, until evenly browned. Drain, crumble and set aside.

2) In a blender, combine mayonnaise, Aloha Teriyaki Sauce and black pepper. Blend until smooth. Season the dressing with salt.

3) Combine lettuce, tomatoes, bacon and croutons in a large salad bowl. Toss with dressing, and serve immediately.

1 lb –  shredded cabbage
7 Table spoon –  Aloha Barbecue Sauce
2 Table spoon – cane sugar
1 Table spoon – Aloha White Distilled Vinegar
1/2 tea spoon – sea salt
1/2 tea spoon – black pepper
1/4 tea spoon – red pepper

Mix the cabbage with the rest of the ingredients and allow at least 20 minutes but longer if possible in the frig.