July 11: Sun Noodle
If you have enjoyed a good bowl of ramen lately, chances are good that you were eating Sun Noodles. They supply noodles to 80+ ramen shops and restaurants, as well as several grocery stores and Costco.
On July 11, 2019, HSBP members were treated to a talk and tour at Sun Noodle’s Honolulu facility in Kalihi. We were hosted by President Ahmad Yu and were pleasantly surprised when founder Hidehito Uki and his wife stopped by to speak with us.
The company has humble beginnings. Sun Noodle is a family-owned business, founded in 1981 by Hidehito Uki. Today the family-owned company operates locations in Hawaii, California, and New Jersey, manufacturing fresh, tailor–made ramen noodles, pre-cooked yakisoba, udon, soba, saimin, gyoza skins and more. Mr. Uki’s son runs the New Jersey operation while his eldest daughter oversees California. His youngest daughter is a teacher, but occasionally helps with the business as well.
We learned the noodle-making process and toured the factory which is surprising small considering the volume they produce. (Unfortunately photos were not allowed inside the factory.) The factory operates 6 days a week to keep up with demand, sometimes 7 days a week. It was neat to see the many varieties of noodles- thick and thin, soft and chewy, wavy and straight.
This was a special experience and we all left with a greater appreciation for the delicious noodles that have become a part of local life and culture.