Hidden in the looping streets of the Wailuku Industrial Park lies a quaint oriental store, called TJ’s Warehouse Outlet. The name is unassuming of a Japanese store, but for more than a decade, TJ’s Warehouse Outlet has been selling Asian food products from a retail store located in the Maui Chemical and Paper Products building. TJ’s Warehouse Outlet is a wholly owned subsidiary of Maui Chemical & Paper Products, Inc.
What many people do not know, is that besides selling cleaning chemicals and paper products, Maui Chemical has distributed Asian food products for many years. Their customers include supermarkets, grocery stores, restaurants and other retailers. Because of this, Maui Chemical has also been able to sell these same types of products in their retail store, TJ’s Warehouse Outlet. With the closing of Shirokiya, Ooka Supermarket and the tragic fire at Ah Fook’s Supermarket, TJ’s Warehouse Outlet has tried to address the needs of the local & Asian community by offering a large assortment of Asian food products. They carry small appliances like rice cookers, Japanese snacks, canned goods, frozen seafood, a variety of locally made products, pickled vegetables, prepared foods, and Sanrio “Hello Kitty” items in their store.
In 2005, TJ’s Warehouse Outlet built a commercial kitchen to start selling bentos (box lunches). No one knew at that time what a hit that would be. They started with making only a dozen or so a day, which was purchased mostly by their employees. However, word soon spread and more people started coming in specifically for the food. TJ’s now produces hundreds of bentos a day, operates an okazuya with plate lunches and prepared foods. Recently, TJ’s has expanded its food service to offer catering, platters and custom made bentos for every occasion.