Arnold T. Hiura

Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

No matter how you look at it, running a successful business for 100 years is cause for serious celebration. Still, the hoopla surrounding the centennial anniversary of KTA Super Stores’ founding in 1916 has even taken some of the company’s top executives by surprise.

This year, the venerable Big Island company’s story has already been featured in newspaper and magazine articles in Hawai‘i Island and on O‘ahu, as well as in other forms of testimonials. In January, for example, the Japanese Community Association of Hawai‘i’s banquet honoring KTA sold out in a flash, leaving many still clamoring for tables.

Third generation KTA chairman and CEO Barry Taniguchi and his son, president and COO Toby Taniguchi, acknowledge that the centennial anniversary has added many demands to their already-hectic day-to-day responsibilities. Instead of having one big event, the company’s six stores are each holding their own celebrations, Barry explains. “For me, what’s most gratifying is to see our associates (employees) get so excited and involved.”

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