Aloha Awamori, A Dream and a Promise.
Many years ago Randy Kuba, owner and founder of Aloha Awamori, visited Okinawa to learn about his family and his heritage. He spent time in the city and at the many tourist sights. While doing the tourist things, he was told by a friend that if he really wanted to learn about the Okinawan culture, he would have to leave Naha city and visit some of the villages in the countryside. Understanding the value of the suggestion, Randy decided to visit a village with some familial connection.
At the village, Randy met a woman who was one of the older residents of the village. She spoke to him of how she lived, the food she ate, the places she walked, the people she visited and the people that visited her. She quietly spoke of the terrible time during the war and after the war. And although there were so many sad memories, she was happy that those bad times were in the past.
She described her village as a place where people could live a simple life like she remembered. She spoke of her happiness that there were people who still practiced some of the cultural arts and crafts that are Okinawan, like textile weaving and ceramics, dance and karate. She spoke of her pride in the people who carried on the traditions. She also spoke of her fear that they may not be able to continue if the economic situation deteriorated. She went on to explain that the village distillery was the economic engine that allowed the village to exist as it did. Her dream was to find a way to help insure the viability of the distillery. It was then, Randy promised to do what he could to help make that dream a reality.
Randy began to import the awamori to Hawaii in an attempt to increase awareness and sales of the Okinawan distilled spirit. He learned that the taste of the traditional awamori was not to the liking of the Hawaii drinker and had to make blending adjustments. After a few years, sales of his blended awamori leveled off and his distributors were asking him if there was anything different. Not wanting to settle for the status quo, Randy began to search for new ways to use awamori and for new tastes. Then, a series of casual and chance encounters brought Randy together with a few like-minded people that were able to think “outside the box”. People who would share Randy’s passion and were willing to fail in the pursuit to succeed. Thus Aloha Awamori was born.
Aloha Awamori invites you to join us in this journey.