HONOLULU (KHON2) – What started as a man delivering groceries on his bike turned into an island-wide multi-store supermarket chain making a mark on Hawaii forever. The story of KTA Super Stores has a heartwarming beginning.
Many residents who live on the big island or visitors stopping by might have seen a KTA Super Stores as there are seven stores and one pharmacy. This successful local business was founded in 1916 by Koichi and Taniyo Taniguchi.
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They opened a 500-square-foot store and started delivering grocery orders to Hilo families on a bicycle. Something that started out to help the community eventually started gaining more attention and the couple received enough business to start expanding.
A branch store was established in Hilo in 1940, which KTA Super Stores said was a wise decision because the original store was wiped out due to a tsunami six years after opening the branch supermarket.
By 2018 the business opened its seventh location in Kealakekua. Other locations on the big island include Waimea, Waikoloa, Kailua-Kona, and Kahaluu-Keauhou.
Over a hundred years of history, KTA Super Stores went through renovations and expansions at many locations and opened a pharmacy as well.
The business was the first to have an in-store bakery in 1977 and UPC barcode scanners in 1979 in the state of Hawaii, as well as the first to have a full-scale deli on the Big Island in 1984. They also started a KTA television show called Living in Paradise in the year 2000.
KTA Super Stores employs more than 800 people today with a mission “To do our best at fulfilling the food, household and health care needs of the Hawai‘i Island community.”
All these accomplishments wouldn’t be possible without the four-generation leadership of the Taniguchi family. Toby Taniguchi (great-grandson of Koichi and Taniyo Taniguchi) has been the president and chief operating officer of KTA Super Stores since 2014.
KTA Super Stores credits its success to family and community support and being involved within many community organizations.
To learn more about KTA Super Stores, click here.