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Wednesday, May 24, 2000

Y.Hata lands
$67.5 million
military contract

The local wholesaler wins a
five-year deal to provide
food services

Star-Bulletin staff


Y. Hata & Co. is celebrating its victory with the U.S. military in Hawaii.

"We're just having a little champagne for all the employees," President and Chief Executive Laurence Vogel said late yesterday afternoon.

The U.S. government has awarded the Hawaii-based wholesale food distributor a five-year, $67.5 million contract to provide food services for all branches of the military in the state, including its 47,000 active-duty personnel.

"It's a huge contract, and a very exciting opportunity for our company."

Y. Hata already holds another five-year, $40 million contract to serve Hawaii's naval ships, which has another three years to go, Vogel said.

In the private sector, Y. Hata customers include Denny's Restaurants, Panda Cuisine and all the movie theaters in the state.

To beat out competition for the latest military contract, Y. Hata invested more than $2 million to increase freezer room and update its computer system, Vogel said.

Y. Hata plans to hire more employees in all departments, but Vogel could not give a specific number yet.

The family-owned company started business in a Hilo garage almost a century ago.

Vogel joined the company in 1998 after serving as president of Duty Free Shoppers Group Ltd. for several years.

"Now the work starts," Vogel said.

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