By Elima Pangorang
With the spirit of aloha at its roots, Honolulu Cookie Co. aims to promote this ideal through its myriad selection of premium shortbread cookies. The company’s founders, Keith and Janet Sung, decided on pineapple-shaped cookies to symbolize the islands’ hospitality.
The Sung duo opened up their cookie company in 1998 when they decided to share their cookie recipe with the world. Just a little over two decades later, the Honolulu Cookie Co. now has 19 stores in operation with 11 on Oahu, three on Maui, three in Las Vegas, and two in Guam.
With its success over the years and continual growth, Honolulu Cookie Co. is sure to remain authentic while also growing with the times.
“From the very beginning, our premium shortbread cookies have been produced using only the finest and freshest ingredients,” shared vice president of retail Julie Plant. “The recipe has been refined over the years, but we always carry through that dedication to quality ingredients inspired by the flavors of our island home.”
Honolulu Cookie Co. bakes its cookies fresh every day and adheres to a strict recipe. Once the cookies are baked and complete, they are individually wrapped and packed by hand. This is done at its bakery in Sand Island, which also doubles as a retail store.
More than its recipe, Honolulu Cookie Co. also credits its success to its employees who serve with aloha and genuine hospitality. To do this, Plant mentioned that one of the keys lies in working as one big ohana with the same goal in mind.
“We promote an environment where team members can contribute to the success of the company by working together to support each other and (the company’s) vision by creating world-class experiences for each and every guest,” she said.
Plant elaborated that Honolulu Cookie Co.’s vision is to share the spirit of aloha with world-class products and experiences. As new employees come in, she stressed that it is highly desired for them to believe in the same core values and support the vision.
While the company greatly appreciates those who are well-versed in customer service, it also is open to hiring candidates without prior experience, as Honolulu Cookie Co. loves developing team members with positive attitudes who want to grow with the company. Here, employees receive on-the-job training and are supported with medical benefits, retirement and paid vacation as well as 50 percent off employee bus passes and employee discounts.
Plant further added the company is a great place to grow both professionally and personally. “We love to hire from within. (The staff’s) hard work and development are key to our growth as a company,” she concluded.
This is a sentiment store manager of Honolulu Cookie Co.’s International Market Place location David Liu heartily agrees with, as it was his very own path at the company.
“I entered the job as a sales associate not having any retail or managerial experience, so over the years I definitely learned how a successful business works,” he explained. “I also learned how to better manage my time wisely, coach and develop employees both professionally and personally, and make key decisions for the store and company.”
In addition to growing as a person and worker, Liu appreciates that he gets to sell the best cookies in Hawaii as well as be able to support, train and coach his team so they can do their very best in all aspects of their life. Liu always looks forward to meeting new people and said that Honolulu Cookie Co. is constantly looking for new members to join the team.
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COMPANY: Honolulu Cookie Co.
LOCATION: Sand Island Retail Store 214 Sand Island Access Road, Honolulu (plus 10 other Oahu locations)
BENEFITS: Medical/ dental/vision, 401(k) program, paid vacation, 50 percent off employee bus passes, exclusive employee discounts
Charitable giving has always been a priority for Honolulu Cookie Co. year after year. The arts and education are two causes that it supports. Vice president of retail Julie Plant mentioned, “It’s important for us to give back, as we recognize that we wouldn’t have the success that we do without the help from our community.”
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