By Don Robbins
Family owned company, Wholesale Unlimited Inc. possesses more than five decades of expertise in satisfying its customers’ cravings for tasty snacks.
Marc Honma, president of the business, shared, “Our goal is to provide the best local snacks to the people of Hawaii and beyond. Hawaii has such unique tastes and its own food culture and we want to serve that desire.”
He added, “Our customers are primarily Hawaii residents or former residents who have moved away but still crave the flavors of home.”
Wholesale Unlimited started in 1965 by Marc’s mother, Betty Honma. Using a $400 loan, she began whole-selling beef jerky out of the trunk of her car, and today she is still the CEO. Remaining a small family business, Wholesale Unlimited celebrates its 54th anniversary this year.
Today, the company’s products are unique in that they are tailored for the flavors of Hawaii.
“Just as the people of Hawaii have come from places like Japan, China, Korea, the Philippines, as well as the mainland, and mixed together, so are our products,” Marc Honma said.
The company sells things like mochi crunch, dried shrimp, li hing mui and li hing gummy bears — in fact the business sells more than 400 different items.
“Our main focus is on quality and taste. We want customers to feel comfortable that anything they buy will be good,” Honma emphasized. Wholesale Unlimited also bakes its own Betty’s Best cookies, Furikake Mix and and Party Mix.
Wholesale Unlimited’s main store and warehouse are situated in Waipahu in addition to its five Wholesale Unlimited Express stores across the island. They are located at 960 Ahua St. in Mapunapuna, 46-028 Kawa St. No. 11 in Kaneohe, 98-450 Kamehameha Hwy., in Pearl City, 745 Keeaumoku St. in Honolulu, and 590 Farrington Hwy. No. 504 in Kapolei.
Honma stresses that besides its sharp focus on selling delicious food items to customers, the company also has a warm and inviting vibe internally among the staff as well.
“We really do like to feel that this is a family and many of our employees have been here for a very long time,” Honma explained. “Because we are a small business, we need employees who can be flexible and yet work quickly and diligently at whatever task they are faced with. I am always amazed at what our employees are able to accomplish.”
One of those valued workers is employee Mariah Guevara, who shared that working at Wholesale Unlimited is like working with family.
“When in need of a helping hand, someone is always available. However, we can always keep the workplace fun. The managers are always there, making sure it’s a safe and healthy work environment,” Guevara said.
Honma explained that because it is such a small company of about 50 employees, dependability is very important.
“We generally don’t require any special skill. An employee who can work quickly, accurately, and who approaches their work with a positive attitude is what we look for,” Honma emphasized. “We try to foster an atmosphere where we are all part of a family and working together for a common goal.”
Honma also strongly stressed that the company is “grateful to the people of Hawaii for allowing us to serve them for over 50 years. We want to uphold that trust and continue to provide the best products and service possible, while maintaining the feel of a family business.”
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COMPANY: Wholesale Unlimited Inc.
LOCATION: Main store and warehouse at 94-110 Kopake St., Waipahu (with Express stores in Mapunapuna, Kaneohe, Pearl City, Kapolei and Keeaumoku Street)
EMPLOYEES: Approximately 50
BENEFITS: Full medical, dental, vision and drug coverage, a 401(k) plan and employee discounts.
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