For Immediate Release
September 15, 2009
Sam Kanakanui, Managing Partner
Truly Hawaiian, LLC
5710-K High Point Road, #165
Greensboro, NC 27407
Family recipe for more than 100 years to be carried in all The Fresh Market store locations.
Truly Hawaiian, a Greensboro, NC—based company, is bringing its first product to market through an agreement with The Fresh Market. A new teriyaki sauce, based on a Truly Hawaiian family recipe that’s more than 100 years old, will be private labeled for The Fresh Market as Truly Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce and will be offered in all The Fresh Market store locations.
Truly Hawaiian, LLC, is the brainchild of four siblings in the Kanakanui family who learned the recipe from their father and grandfather. Sam Kanakanui has spearheaded the movement on behalf of the family to launch Truly Hawaiian. “We had been giving the sauce away as gifts for years and years,” says Sam. “And people would always come back and say, ‘Oh, let us know if you ever decide to bottle this, because I want to be your first customer!’ Finally, in late 2008, we started seriously considering marketing our family recipe.”
The family recipe for Truly Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce has its roots in neighborhood gatherings in Honolulu in the early 1900s. Honolulu was an amalgam of different cultures and flavors at this time and under the shadow of Diamond Head, a mile from Waikiki Beach, a small neighborhood had regular “block parties” where the “ohana” (Hawaiian for families) would come together and share food, fellowship, and fun.
William A. “Bill” Kanakanui, who sometimes hosted music sing-a-longs at his home, was a regular contributor to the block parties. His special recipe for teriyaki sauce, handed down from his father, was a popular choice for marinating steak, chicken, and ribs. When cooked on a grill, the sauce would caramelize and provide a distinct smoky, yet sweet, flavor – “ono ono!” (Hawaiian for absolutely delicious.)
Bill’s youngest son, Richard, took the recipe with him as he made his way to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Later, as he courted a girl in West Virginia, Richard introduced the recipe to his future in-laws and extended family. When asked if the West Virginians thought the sauce was “exotic,” Richard replied, “No, they just thought it was good!”
There were four Kanakanui children born to Richard and his wife, Judy. Photographs from the early 60s show the children enjoying teriyaki spareribs as prepared by their father. As the children grew up and created their own lives from California to West Virginia and North Carolina, they all impressed their friends with this special family teriyaki recipe. Spareribs in Los Angeles, steaks in West Virginia, chicken and ribs in North Carolina—and one of the constant comments was, “Wow, this sauce is great —why don’t you bottle it? I could drink it straight from the bottle!”
Truly Hawaiian Teriyaki Sauce will be available on The Fresh Market shelves beginning September 19th, 2009.
The sauce is recommended as a marinade for steak, chicken, pork or ribs. It can also be used as a glaze and poured directly onto already cooked food—grilled fish, stir-fry vegetables, tofu, or rice. Other recipes can be found at the Truly Hawaiian website, www.TrulyHawaiian.com.