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Business // Entrepreneurs
Alana Folen

Producing Tastier, Local Pork Rinds

The bag says it all. Photo courtesy Pork Grinds Hawaii

Self-proclaimed pork rind enthusiasts Joie Yuen and Darrin Muramoto, owners of Pork Grinds Hawaii, began their business in August 2010 when they were not satisfied with the quality of pork rinds found locally.

So instead of settling, they took it upon themselves to create their own unique local flavors.

“What sets Pork Grinds Hawaii apart is that we produce high quality products that our customers enjoy,” says Yuen, an Aiea native. “We cater to local customers and we also cater to the military – basically customers who are looking for a healthy snack alternative.

“Most people don’t realize pork rinds have only 80 calories per serving and our products are transfat free. Rinds do have cholesterol, but they have fewer calories than a similar amount of potato chips,” he adds.

Pork Grinds Hawaii offers 11 flavors of pork rinds, including salt and vinegar, furikake, kim chee, teriyaki, original, spicy barbecue and lava barbecue.

A few unique flavorings also include char siu, ketchup, nacho cheese and white Cheddar.

According to Yuen, these onolicious pork grinds are priced around $4 for a three-and-a-half ounce bag, and can be purchased at Longs, Times, K-Mart, Don Quijote and military commissaries at Hickam, Schofield and Pearl Harbor.

Yuen says Pork Grinds Hawaii products are derived from personal recipes and made in a production facility in Aiea.

“I plan to exhibit (our product) at the American Logistics Association Hawaii food show Aug. 22 at Hawaii Prince Hotel, and through that show by meeting commissary buyers, I envision taking Pork Grinds Hawaii to Mainland military commissaries and overseas.

“It’s rewarding to serve our nation’s military servicemembers a snack food that they enjoy,” he says. “And seeing the satisfaction our customers express when they enjoy our product is a rewarding feeling as well.

“Yet it’s sometimes challenging getting enough exposure for our product and working long hours.”

Although being an entrepreneur isn’t always smooth sailing, Yuen and Muramoto know that the recipe for success entails hard work and determination.

Yuen advises up-and-coming entrepreneurs to “have a detailed business plan before you invest time and money. Do your homework.”

For more information on Pork Grinds Hawaii, visit porkgrindshawaii.com.

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