Our History

Go Back in Time

1927 Our Founder

At the young age of 17, Maurice J. Sullivan arrived in America from Ireland. His first job was sacking potatoes at the A&P Tea Company in Pennsylvania. Within a year, he worked his way up to store manager in Buffalo,

1942 Hawaii Calls

In 1942 with the onset of Word War II, “Sully” was sent to Hawaii and assigned to the commissary as a buyer for the officer’s mess hall. His buying trips often took him around the island. In Kailua, he met the Lau Family who operated the Lanikai Store.

1946 Lanikai Store

In 1946, after his discharge form the Army, Sully went to work for the Lau Family at the Lanikai Store who he had befriended during his many buying trips for the commissary. He worked there for two years as store manager.

1948 The First Foodland

On May 6, 1948, together with the Lau Family, Sully opened Hawaii’s first modern supermarket at Market City in Honolulu. The crowds were so large that the front doors had to be locked, allowing only a few people at a time.

1967 to 1971 Expanding Statewide

The success of the Market City store demonstrated the popularity of the supermarket concept and showed Sully’s commitment to creating great shopping experiences. The company grew quickly, opening a store a year for the next ten years. It expanded to Kauai in 1967, Maui in 1970 and the Big Island in 1971.

1980 Shop for Better Education

Sully’s enthusiasm about taking care of customers was matched by his passion for giving back to the community. In 1980, Foodland launched its first state-wide community program, Shop for Better Education. In 17 years, the program helped over 300 public and private schools earn more than $6 million in much-needed computers, software, books and equipment.

1995 Locally Owned and Operated

Sully always envisioned Foodland as a family-run, community-focused business. With his daughter, Jenai Sullivan Wall, taking charge as President in 1995 and CEO in 1998, Sully’s legacy continues. The company now encompasses 31 stores statewide and continues to be the largest locally owned and operated grocery store in Hawaii.

1995 Maikai Members

Foodland was the first supermarket in the state to introduce a frequent shopper program to customers through the Maika`i program. Today, over 250,000 active Maika`i members earn points for rewards such as free products, instant savings and HawaiianMiles.

1999 Give Aloha

Give Aloha launched in 1999 which focused on supporting non-profit organizations throughout Hawaii. Through this donation-matching program, Give Aloha has raised over $34.4 million for local non-profit organizations.

2016 Foodland’s Flagship Store Opens

On August 31, Foodland celebrated its grand return to Ala Moana Center to provide customers an exciting and reimagined grocery shopping experience. In addition to a full-service supermarket, the new store featured food offerings prepared by in-store chefs, The Bar at R. Field Wine Company, concierge services and more.

2020 Foodland’s First Full-Service Restaurant
On July 15, Foodland Farms Ka Makana Ali`i opens on West Oahu. For the first time ever in Foodland history, a full-service restaurant and bar, Mahi`ai Table, was opened inside of the grocery store.

2020 No Ordinary Market

KAHALA MKT. by Foodland opened on November 11 offering curated grocery shopping and food experiences, creative grab-and-go cuisine, and opened its second full-service restaurant and bar, et al.