Local companies look for global opportunities

Sen. Daniel Akaka
Sen. Daniel Akaka

By Kristine Uyeno - bio | email

WAIKIKI (KHNL) -- It's a chance for local companies to go worldwide.

Called the American Logistics Association Hawaii Food Show, it gives Hawaii businesses a chance to get their products in military commissaries. It features more than a thousand products, grown, produced or distributed in Hawaii.

"I've been a strong supporter because it's something that our country needed for our military personnel and our families," said Sen. Daniel Akaka.

From this event at the Hawaii Prince Hotel, the Defense Commissary Agency picks local items to sell on military bases.

"We're looking first for great products that meet the taste sensation of Hawaii, something I'm extremely fond of, but we're also looking for great companies," said Richard Page, with the DCA.

Great companies, like Hawaii Coffee Company, which now sells coffee and tea in places like Korea and Alaska. And it's because they were discovered at the show.

"The reason this show is so important, it gives you the opportunity, as a new company, many of which are here, are brand new, small little companies, to get started and that's what we did 10 years ago," said James Wayman with Hawaii Coffee Company.

The folks over at Sushi Chef hope to get their food, such as wraps and sandwiches, in the commissaries.

"We also see a rise in grab and go type of items, and this is something the commissary is not necessarily geared up for," said Dean Matsushima with Sushi Chef.

If chosen, the product will be sold in the local commissary first, then possibly in others across the world.

The DCA will help the companies through the business process, with marketing and distribution plans.