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Wailuku Eats: Takamiya Market


While up on the beautiful Valley Isle of Maui last month, I got a chance for the first time to stop by Takamiya Market, located on N. Market Street in the Happy Valley area of Wailuku.

The history of the company started when Jisho Takamiya, an immigrant laborer from Okinawa working for Wailuku Sugar Company wanted a better job and went off to run a small fish market. Using land he bought in Happy Valley, in 1946, his sons Jin and Kenneth Takamiya, along with son-in-law Sekichi Sakihara took over the business and expanded it into a modest grocery store as Takamiya Market. Later, Jisho’s youngest son James Takamiya introduced ready-to-eat packaged foods with island-style tastes, going on to develop Dani’s catering business.

James has since retired, with the business now run under partnership including his daughter Michele Hondo, son David and nephew Lance.

If you’ve ever been to Alicia’s Market in Kalihi Kai, Ruger Market near KCC, or the now gone Tanabe Superette on Koreamoku, that should give you an idea what Takamiya Market in Wailuku is all about, except taken to another level.

Seriously, if you’re looking for a HUGE selection of ready-to-eat local grinds to take to the beach, hotel or on the plane for your short flight back to Oahu (or wherever you’re from), look no further than Takamiya Market. In a word, AWESOME! I’ve been to Maui a number of times, and nobody ever said “You must check out Takamiya Market!” Well I’m telling you now, Just as you should make it top priority to get some Tasaka Guri Guri in Kahului, Komoda Bakery Butter Rolls in Makawao, and “Dry Mein” at Sam Sato’s in Wailuku, while you’re there at the latter, you MUST check out Takamiya Market!

As for what I tried from there, I picked-up some Pumpkin Crunch, Strawberry Jello Cheesecake Crunch, Musubi and Butterfish Collars. Everything was ono, especially the Butterfish Collars. I mean common? Fatty-good Butterfish (Black Cod)? You know that’s always gonna’ rock!

Yet above all that, WOW!… the Strawberry Jello Cheesecake Crunch? OMG! Off the CHARTS!  Remember how much I raved about the Pumpkin Crunch from Silva Store in Ewa Beach? Well this one’s just as incredible, especially with the combination of the rich cheesecake and slightly tangy-sweet Jello topping, while the buttery-rich and crunchy “crunch” crust completely knocks it out of the park! If you go to Takamiya Market, whatever you do,GET their Cheesecake crunch desserts. Do not leave without it! Broke da’ mout’ winnahz!!!

From here, I’ll let the photos taken at Takamiya Market do all the talking. Enjoy!

For more information, visit the following links:
www.TakamiyaMarket.com – official website
Takamiya Market – Yelp user reviews

19 thoughts on “Wailuku Eats: Takamiya Market

  • June 19, 2013 at 9:07 am
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    Wow! So much variety! The prices for the prepared food is amazing, especially that shrimp cocktail. That would go for over $10 around here.

    Reply
    • June 19, 2013 at 12:07 pm
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      h,

      I found the grocery prices in the supermarkets (Foodland, Times and Safeway), Longs and Costco on Maui to be the same to not much higher than Oahu (average 5¢ to 25¢ higher max), while the gasoline is considerably higher at about 30¢ more per gallon on any given fuel grade. I also looked at the menu prices at Taco Bell and Jack in the Box in Kihei (Maui) just to compare, and it was slightly higher than the locations on Oahu, but nothing to cringe over. Waikiki’s national chain fast food prices are the highest by far that I’ve seen. For example a McDonald’s or Burger King sandwich, fries and drink combo’ outside of Waikiki runs about about $6 to $7, where as in Waikiki it runs about $9 to $10. On top of that, the Waikiki locations don’t honor the national ad promotions.

      From what I hear, Molokai’s prices on just about all consumables are the highest in the state. Funny story, an aunt of mine who lives on Molokai used to bring home KFC chicken from Oahu back to Molokai, being that island doesn’t have much mainland franchises such as KFC there (if any at all), so KFC was like a family “treat”. lol

      What I also find funny are people who sell Krispy Kreme donuts – currently only available on Maui – here on Oahu for fundraisers. Go figure. I’ll stick with Kamehameha Bakery (the best!), thank you very much.

      I should do a blog post, comparing food prices in and out of Waikiki. Some sticker shockers for sure! Location, location, location.

      Reply
  • June 19, 2013 at 1:56 pm
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    This place brings back memories, I used to picked up lunch on my way to work way back in the early ’80s. I’m sure the foods taste the same if not better. I would love to see more Maui. We don’t have any Hawaiian food in Indiana.

    Reply
  • June 19, 2013 at 3:31 pm
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    Ah, good old Takamiya Market. We’ve been going there since small kid time. Used to always get the bentos and the musubis. Haven’t been there in a while since I moved but I pass through Happy Valley on my way to my parents’ for lunch a couple of times a week. I’ve never had the Jello Cheesecake Crunch so will have to try it next time, maybe even tonight, as I’m going to my parents’ for dinner.

    I noticed you mentioned Komoda Bakery’s butter rolls. Guess that means you didn’t have the chance to try the Four Sister’s Bakery butter rolls? Next time!

    Reply
  • June 19, 2013 at 6:27 pm
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    @ Danny – I have lots more to share from this most recent Maui trip. Stay tuned.

    @ David – The first birthday baby luau I flew up there for was partially catered by Four Sister’s. Good stuff! Will share later.

    If you do get the Strawberry Jello Cheesecake Crunch at Takamiya Market, please check back and let us know what you thought of it!

    Reply
  • June 19, 2013 at 7:38 pm
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    Wow, that laulau looked humongous! lol! Oh man, everything looked so yummy! I’ve only been to Maui a few times, should make a point to visit again soon. Speaking of which…I just made my flight res for my trip to Honolulu in August, coincides (of course) with the Made In Hawaii festival. We should arrange a meet-up while I’m in town…any of your readers, you, friends etc. for some local grinds and talk story! What say you?

    Reply
    • June 19, 2013 at 8:22 pm
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      Ann, sounds like a plan! At the new Highway Inn in Kaka’ako, perhaps? I’ll see if Catherine Toth of Cat’s Dish wants to join us.

      Reply
      • June 19, 2013 at 8:36 pm
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        I’ll be there 8/15 to 8/19 (not counting arrival night before and departure next morning)…and my best friend (from Kaneohe) and I plan to go to Hilo Saturday-Sunday, so that only leaves Thursday, Friday, (possibly Sunday evening) and Monday. :shock: I hope that’s okay for everyone that wants to meet up. I’m pretty open on which day, so let me know and a time too. New Highway Inn sounds great!

        Reply
        • June 19, 2013 at 8:50 pm
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          Ann, Ack. Top of mind, I thought Highway Inn in Kaka’ako was going to open in August, however it turns out they’re scheduled to open in mid-October.

          My other option would be People’s Cafe, however, we

          Reply
        • June 19, 2013 at 8:55 pm
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          Ann, Ack. Top of mind, I thought Highway Inn in Kaka’ako was going to open in August, however it turns out they’re scheduled to open in mid-October.

          My other Hawaiian food option would be People’s Cafe, as they’re really good, truly old school, newly renovated (clean!), convenient (downtown area) and not as hectic as Helena’s and Ono’s, where the crowds are overbearing. Otherwise, I’m open to any suggestion you have, based on what you’re most interested in eating while on your very short stay here.

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          • June 20, 2013 at 3:59 pm
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            People’s Cafe is good! Let me ask my friend for a suggestion, and I’ll get back to you shortly.

  • June 19, 2013 at 8:03 pm
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    This was my manju place. I lived right above it in Wailuku. Love the variety.

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    • June 19, 2013 at 8:17 pm
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      OK, so Pat, that said, who would say has the best Manju on Maui? We all know the Home Maid brand (we can buy that here on Oahu). Then there’s the S&J Bakery brand sold all over Maui, including here at Takamiya Market. Then there’s Manju from Sam Sato’s. There was also another bakery brand I remember being sold at Ah Fook’s. Anyone else I’m missing?

      While I’m personally not really a manju fan (as much as I LOVE Japanese cuisine), if I had to pick my personal favorite based on flavor and texture of the wrapper, it would be either the Manju from Menehune Mart on Kauai, or the Sweet Potato Crumble from Mitsuba Delicatessen in Kalihi.

      Man, now that I think about it , a “Great Manju Shootout” is in order!

      Reply
      • June 20, 2013 at 6:37 am
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        The apple manju from Menehune is top drawer stuff. Great office gift.

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      • June 21, 2013 at 3:08 pm
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        While I enjoy Sam Sato’s lima bean manju, I just had one of the best manju I’ve ever had on Maui. Of course, it’s not sold anywhere, it was home made by my wife’s aunty. It was so ono, the crust was perfect and the an (azuki) inside was super smooth.

        Not sure if I’ve ever tried the S&J, but I’ve had Home Maid Bakery many times and to me it’s okay. I really like the peanut butter mochi from Home Maid though. Haven’t been to Ah Fook’s in a while so not sure which brand they sell or have sold in the past.

        Reply
        • June 21, 2013 at 4:12 pm
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          David,

          Ah Fook’s manju is supplied by Desserts by Gary. Here it is…

          Ah Fook's Manju by Gary's Desserts

          My flight back screwed me up, being I was on a buddy pass, and all the HAL flights on Monday (Memorial Day holiday) from OGG to HNL were FULL, FULL, FULL. So I ended up having to get to the airport really early before anyone was open in order to get a seat back home to Oahu. Ah Fook’s opened at 7:30am that morning. By then I was already returning the rental car. I really wanted to bring back FRESH omiyage from Ah Fook’s, including that Manju the day of my flight back, but didn’t have the open window for it. Argghhh! I also should have grabbed stuff from Takamiya Market the day I went there (prior Thursday), as I didn’t get a chance to go back there on that trip (could have, but was lazy to drive back to Wailuku). Oh well, next time!

          My next post will be similar to this one, with a walk around Kahului’s famous Ah Fook’s Market!

          Reply
          • June 11, 2014 at 2:53 am
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            You should have tried the manju from Ah Fook’s. These are the best and most delicious manju I’ve ever eaten. It is so buttery and flaky. The manju comes in a variety of fillings…azuki, lima, and sweet potato. I love hem all. The manju from Desserts By Gary hands down is the best manju in Hawaii. The manju from Home Maid Bakery is so hard and oily and the one from Sam Sato’s is soggy.

  • June 20, 2013 at 12:19 am
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    Pomai, I have so many cousins and some lived on Maui own a grocery store. I now have to check it out with uncle where and and name of it. Last time I was on Maui things sure high price. Oahu is less costly still in food price. In some way lucky living on Oahu to shop for things. Love Maui still so peaceful.

    Reply
  • June 23, 2013 at 5:00 pm
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    Takamiya market is a treasure! It’s an experience to behold… In this mass produced fast world to have such variety… all tasty. In the 80’s amongst all their specialties was their booze cake. And let me say, it was saturated with rum. Takamiya doesn’t chintz on a thing… Thanks, Pomai for bringing back so many happy memories.

    Reply

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