Our Islands, Our Future

In a time when businesses are struggling, VIP Cash N’ Carry continues to increase sales according to Store Manager, Leila Maddela. The store in Kahului recently updated its digs, expanded its space, increased staff to 30 employees and added more retail to serve the needs of Maui families. The success comes from a commitment to provide “better value for your ohana” and a willingness to respond to a changing client base. “We adapted so we could serve household consumers, not just food service companies,” Maddela said.

Valley Isle Produce was established in 1951 by the late Roy Okumura and his wife, Lorraine, who still checks into the store along with her son, Nelson, who serves as the president of the company. As a division of VIP Foodservice, VIP Cash N’ Carry opened in 1986 with five employees, primarily offering products for foodservice customers and families hosting large parties. That changed in the last decade with a move to cater more to families, whether they were having parties or not. “Our customers are family to us. We know our regular customers and serve them with full hearts and a spirit of gratitude,” Maddela said. Since its client base is family, Maddela said the store also promotes family-friendly attitudes toward its staff, offering profit sharing bonuses, holding appreciation luncheons and supporting associates in their time of family loss. “We try to support each other,” she said.

Even in its success, Maddela said there is still much more to be told as she finds instances when people are surprised at the broad selection of retail products in the store. Its store name also appears to give the incorrect impression about forms of payments — VIP Cash N‘ Carry accepts cash, major credit cards, debit cards and checks. There are plans in place to open a second location in West Maui. “The future looks great as we continue to provide better value for the ohana of Maui,” Maddela said.