For J’s Hawaii was founded in 2001 by Janis Tanga as a way to share her passion for delicious homemade food. She was frequently asked for her recipes and would receive catering requests, from this, For J’s Hawaii was founded.
When the business began it started with one product, ‘For J's Poi Puff Mix’, and from there the company continued to grow and expand their product offerings. Currently, For J’s Hawaii offers thirty products (with another line launching in October 2021) that encompass gourmet sea salts, infused sugars and flavor filled sauces. The product offerings use flavors local to Hawaii—lychee, mango and pineapple to name a few.
Over the years, one thing that has never wavered is Janis’ commitment to quality with each and every product. Natural ingredients, thorough development guidelines and unparalleled packaging allowed the company to receive a number of distinctions, such as, the Hawaii Seal of Quality, named Hawaii’s Finest and has a certified Made in Hawaii status.
As a food manufacturing business that served the tourist market in Hawaii, the COVID-19 pandemic left For J’s Hawaii with a sense of uncertainty of the future. Tourism to Hawaii came to a halt in 2020 and the company needed to find new ways to reach their customers. She knew the company website could use an update but was looking for information and guidance on how to go about it.
For J’s Hawaii has developed a close working relationship with the Innovate Hawaii, part of the MEP National Network™ team, as the company has previously been a recipient of the MAP (Manufacturing Assistance Program) Grant. Janis received an email sharing the news about the upcoming e-commerce cohort and she immediately knew that this is what her businesses needed.
I highly recommend Innovate Hawaii and their e-commerce cohort to any company looking to update their understanding on the changing business landscape. The COVID-19 pandemic showed us that our traditional way of doing business could be interrupted and that we needed to be better prepared on our e-commerce strategy. The information gleaned from the cohort and industry professionals has given us the tools to prepare our business for success today and the future.
Janis started the May 2021 e-commerce cohort looking for information and guidance on increasing her company’s online presence while making the e-commerce side of the business more accessible to customers. The cohort has been full of information that she has been able to put into immediate practice within her business.
Janis has learned more about website development, website analytics and best practices for developing a SEO strategy. Working one-on-one with SEO expert Neal Kido, allowed her to get her specific questions answered so that a strategy could be put in place for the company. She has been able to implement a social media strategy focusing her attention on Instagram and Facebook to reach more customers that way as well.