Atebara Plans New Chips
Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2006, 6:00pm HST
Last Modified: Thursday, October 26, 2006, 9:53am HST
In its 70th year and under new ownership, the Big Island munchie brand Atebara is rolling out new flavors that some of Hawaii’s best hotels will carry.
Raymond Atebara of Hilo founded his company in 1936 and son Walter kept it going, making potato chips, taro chips and shrimp-flavored chips. Nimr Tamimi, also of Hilo, and his father-in-law Clyde Oshiro have continued the Atebara brand since 2002.
“I remember eating Atebara potato chips when I was growing up in Hilo,” Tamimi said. “And now Clyde and I are helping carry on that name. Amazing.”
Hawaii Island Gourmet Products is adding locally grown, locally produced purple sweet potato chips and a variety of cookies that also use the sweet potatoes and locally grown taro. Soon the company plans to sell chip fragments covered in chocolate.
Atebara products are served at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, the Kona Village Resort, the Hilton Waikoloa Village, and the Halekulani hotel in Waikiki. “We’re using crops from small local farms to create these,” Tamimi said.
Under the imprimatur of their own company Hawaii Island Gourmet Products, founded in 2004, Tamimi and Oshiro also are growing their own pesticide-free dry-land taro and sweet potatoes on leased Kamehameha Schools land just outside of Hilo. Tamimi said the two keys to the quality of their product are using fresh local ingredients and putting the chips through a couple of extra steps in production to reduce starch and oil.
“The other thing,” said Oshiro, “we like supporting Big Island farmers.”
Beginning next Wednesday and running through Christmas, the company will have its own direct sales kiosk at Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo.
Hawaii Island Gourmet – Hawaiian Snacks – Handmade in Hawaii Since 1936
717 Manono St. Hilo, HI 96720 – (808)969-9600