May 6: Chef Zone
On May 6, 2015 - 26 HSBP members attended a boardroom at Y. Hata & Co.‘s newly opened cash-and-carry wholesale club called ChefZone. Five years ago, ChefZone was merely an idea to help small restaurants get what they needed, when they needed it. Today, ChefZone is the culmination of that idea. It is Hawaii’s first one-stop cash & carry wholesale club designed specifically for Hawaii’s foodservice businesses. With over 6,000 products including fresh meats, produce, dairy, dry goods, beverages, baked goods, Asian/ethnic, disposables, smallwares, tabletop, and cleaning supplies, ChefZone aims to reduce the number of supply stops for customers while helping them to increase their profitability.
Chairman and CEO Russell Hata said his intention is to bring the company’s mission of “food service beyond expectation” to ChefZone, which in addition to selling wholesale foods also includes a demonstration kitchen, tabletop showroom and “Entrée-preneurship Center. “We’ve worked tirelessly to bring you the best wholesale shopping experience to meet your everyday foodservice needs. We’re able to fit over 6,000 quality food products into 45,000 square feet of dry, chill, and frozen space.”
Our host was Christopher S. Lee, Director of their Cash & Carry Division. Chris explained that the “Entrée-preneurship Center” focuses on helping new restaurants and other small food business operations. They are able to help them with their Business Plans, Human Resources, IT, Accounting as well as Graphics and Design and Social Media. They are able to walk them through everyday challenges and help them find solutions.
We also took a tour of their 45,000 square feet of dry, chill, and frozen space facility. Including the “Chill Zone”. A large chilled room which houses a variety of ready to use products. Many of which are used in many local stores and restaurants. At the end of our tour each member received an “Ohana Membership Card” and did a little shopping.