Walking through our stores, you can’t help but notice the sushi bar in the deli. If you’re like me, you find yourself mesmerized by the master sushi chefs from Hissho Sushi as their hands fly over the rolls, tossing mouthwatering ingredients in and wrapping everything so quickly. You’d swear it was an illusion.
What’s equally impressive, yet not quite as obvious when you’re standing there, is the deep-seated commitment and passion Hissho Sushi has for excellence in every aspect of their operation—from sourcing fresh ingredients and creating products that are on-trend, to their commitment to food safety and providing remarkable service.
Our partnership with Hissho Sushi was only natural given those are many of the same foundational elements our company was built on. It’s a partnership that was formed in 2002 and has only grown stronger during the past 11 years.
Hissho Sushi (hissho, meaning “certain victory” and sushi, meaning “seasoned rice”) was founded by CEO Philip Maung. He was born in Burma and grew up working long hours in his parents’ food business. They were a hardworking family and took immense pride in their work, but lived in impoverished conditions. With strong determination, Philip graduated from a university in Burma with a chemistry degree. He knew, however, in order to be successful he needed to leave his family and his country for a life with more opportunity.
Philip arrived in Los Angeles in 1989 with $13 in his pocket and a strong drive to succeed.
Fast forward to 2013 and you see the same hardworking, passionate man; now with a few more dollars in his pocket. Philip started and shaped the company with a mindset of putting restaurant quality sushi in grocery stores. He’s done exactly that and more.
To ensure their quality is the best, Hissho makes sure their ingredients are the best. Every item in their sushi rolls is guaranteed fresh. Choice seafood is sourced from all over the world, primarily from areas in Asia and South America, and from sustainable suppliers whenever possible. The produce used in their sushi is always purchased locally to provide you with the freshest products available.
Exceptional ingredients are nothing if they’re prepared poorly—that’s why Hissho makes certain their chefs are the best, too. Every sushi chef goes through extensive classroom and hands-on training. In the classroom, chefs gain a deep understanding of the products while learning the importance of things like food safety and providing every customer with exceptional service. Hands-on training includes preparing and cutting fish, understanding each sauce, and proper sushi rolling technique. Much of this hands-on training is done in the field at an actual sushi bar. There, the new sushi chefs are critiqued on their skills and performance. Once they’re working at one of our stores, follow-up training is required throughout their careers.
Hissho is a wonderful partner of ours because of their commitment to excellence in every aspect of their product, service, and company. Plus, running a family-owned company like a family works pretty well for us, too.
Partnering with Hissho has given us yet another point of differentiation as we’re the only grocery store in the Twin Cities to sell fresh Hissho Sushi. That feels really good to us.
Having them as a partner has also allowed us to create a special deal for our customers: Sushi Wednesday! We launched this program in conjunction with our other five buck daily deals. It’s just one more way you can save in our stores. If you haven’t stopped by the sushi bar in our delis, your taste buds are missing out. We offer $6 sushi every Wednesday, with more than 10 sushi varieties to choose from. I have to say my favorite is the Philadelphia Roll. Who can say no to cream cheese? I certainly can’t!
Because sushi is such a specialized offering, it’s great to have an expert doing it. I know I can count on Hissho to deliver on the brand promise we make to all of our customers: extraordinary food, exceptional service, and passionate expertise.
So the next time you visit one of our stores, stop by the Hissho Sushi bar in the deli and watch their master chefs at work. If it’s possible, the sushi will taste even better knowing about the care, excellence, and tradition that fills each roll.
We take pride in the quality of our food because we know you come to us for the best. Our fresh sushi is no exception.
Byron Hanson, director of food service and bakery