Successful business owners, Keith Sung and Janet Sung, were ready for a new challenge. They noticed that Kauai, Maui and the Big Island each had signature cookies, and decided the market was right for Honolulu to have its own gourmet cookie.
1997 - After an 18-month quest to find the perfect gourmet cookie, Sung perfects his recipe, using a precise blend of premium ingredients to produce the finest shortbread cookie in the Islands. He plans and constructs the ideal custom kitchen, and searches the world to find the right equipment. The final touch is the distinctive pineapple shape to reinforce its Hawaiian heritage. Thus Honolulu Cookie Company, developed with a winning formula – make a great cookie, make it unique, and make it right here in Hawaii – is born. The first four flavors are selected, and simple, yet sophisticated packaging is developed to appeal to the local market, as well as tourists looking for a distinctive Hawaiian gift.
1997 - The first cookies are introduced to the wholesale market and made available to select Hawaiian retailers, with primary distribution to the tourist market. The owners continue to develop the brand, concept, packaging and equipment to ensure a premium product and the finest presentation.
2001 - The Sungs adopt a vertical integration approach, allowing them to retain full control of their product from production to proprietary retail stores, and into the customer’s hands. The wholesale distribution is phased out, and the first wholly owned retail store at the Kalihi factory location is opened. Direct marketing is established with a website and catalog, and a proprietary mailing list is started to enable the company to maintain contact with customers worldwide.
2002 - The Ward Warehouse Center store is opened. Its location just outside of the main shopping corridor of Waikiki allows it to serve both a tourist and local customer base.
2003 - The company opens its first Waikiki location in the Hilton Hawaiian Village to primarily target the tourist market. This prime location quickly becomes popular, with Japanese customers forming the majority of the customer base. The company also begins mailing the catalogs to their customer list. The Aloha Card, a customer loyalty program, is introduced.
2004 - The kiosk at the Ala Moana Center opens, serving customers in the state’s largest regional shopping center. Its location at the edge of Waikiki attracts both a local and tourist customer base expanding their reach to the local market.
2007 - Capitalizing on the success of previously opened retail stores, several new locations are added in a wave of expansion. The company makes its first entry into the neighbor island market with two stores on Maui, in Whalers Village at the popular resort destination of Ka’anapali, and on Front Street in historic Lahaina town. New retail boutiques open in prime locations at Waikiki Beach Walk, the Outrigger’s newly renovated shopping district on Lewers Street, and on Royal Hawaiian Avenue, adjacent to DFS. Expansion continues with the opening of a beautiful flagship store at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki on Kalakaua Avenue, the main thoroughfare in Waikiki.
2008 - A new store is opened at the Waikiki Beach Marriott, followed by a store in the newly remodeled Royal Hawaiian Center, the premiere shopping district of Waikiki. Increased emphasis is placed on direct marketing efforts as the catalog is mailed more aggressively, a new website is developed and an email plan is implemented. Corporate partnerships are formed with Japan Airlines (JAL), the Japan Travel Bureau (JTB), Japan Credit Bureau (JCB), and H.I.S. International Travel Service.
2009 - Renewed commitment to the local community is addressed by expanding the Ala Moana Kiosk and fashioning it to look like a Honolulu Cookie Company store. The larger, more efficient use of space results in incremental sales. A new Kiosk opened at Pearlridge Uptown serves the military and local markets. Three new flavors are added: Coconut, Dark Chocolate Coconut and White Chocolate Coconut.
2010 - The new decade begins with emphasis on branding. New packaging and an updated logo are introduced. Increased visibility leads to full page, premium position print ads and diversification of media, targeting local, business and tourist markets. A ‘store within a store’ at DFS Galleria Waikiki opens early August. In November, Honolulu Cookie Company partners with Neiman Marcus to launch an exclusive butterfly shape premium shortbread cookie collection sold in the Epicure department in Honolulu. To address the incredible growth, Honolulu Cookie Company acquires property with plans to complete a new corporate office and bakery by the end of 2011.
2011 - Exciting new packaging is introduced and quickly jumps into the top ten in sales. The Company is awarded its first patent on an in-house designed gift box. By Nov 2011, the new Corporate Headquarters and Bakery is 85% complete. By December, administration and segments of production move in. All operations are projected to move into the new facility by February 2012. Due to increased capacity, a Corporate Sales Executive is added to expand wholesale and corporate business. At year’s end, a new retail store is opened on Kalakaua at the Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach hotel.
2012 - An exciting new retail location at the Hilton Hawaiian Village brings increased visibility and business. The new corporate headquarters goes green as solar panels are added to reduce dependency on the grid and give back to the grid when we produce more electricity than we need
As each new store is opened, major expansion has occurred in the company’s production facility to keep up with increasingly successful sales results. Having experienced tremendous reception in the local and North American market, along with strong results from the Japanese market, the owners realize that a professional senior management team is instrumental in assisting them to further develop future opportunities for the company. As part of the Honolulu Cookie Company management team, these highly skilled individuals have contributed their expertise in manufacturing, retail, advertising, direct marketing, accounting and human resources to place Honolulu Cookie Company in an ideal position for future expansion.