1981–1989

Blessing of the first Sun Noodle location
Historic photo of making noodles
Historic photo of the old Sun Noodle factory

The Sun Noodle story starts in Honolulu, Hawaii, in a one-room factory in an industrial part of town. It was where Hidehito Uki first began making noodles in 1981.

Hidehito came from Tochigi, Japan at the age of 19 with one suitcase and a noodle machine. He named his new business Sun Noodle after the sunny skies of his new home.

Hidehito spoke just a few words of English, so he communicated through his noodles, bringing samples door-to-door to prospective customers every day. He made them thick or thin, wavy or chewy — each restaurant had a noodle to call its own.

Hidehito met his wife, Keiko, at the restaurant she owned down the street from Sun Noodle’s factory. Soon after they were married, she joined the business and the two became a true team. Hidehito made noodles in the morning and delivered them in the afternoon, while Keiko balanced the books and managed their small staff.

As Sun Noodle grew, so did the family. Hidehito and Keiko’s first daughter Jamie was born, followed by their second daughter Hisae, and their son Kenshiro. The Uki children spent much of their childhood at the factory, taste-testing samples, packaging noodles, and learning to cook homemade Japanese food.

Blessing of the first Sun Noodle location

The Sun Noodle story starts in Honolulu, Hawaii, in a one-room factory in an industrial part of town. It was where Hidehito Uki first began making noodles in 1981.

Hidehito came from Tochigi, Japan at the age of 19 with one suitcase and a noodle machine. He named his new business Sun Noodle after the sunny skies of his new home.

Historic photo of making noodles

Hidehito spoke just a few words of English, so he communicated through his noodles, bringing samples door-to-door to prospective customers every day. He made them thick or thin, wavy or chewy — each restaurant had a noodle to call its own.

Hidehito met his wife, Keiko, at the restaurant she owned down the street from Sun Noodle’s factory. Soon after they were married, she joined the business and the two became a true team. Hidehito made noodles in the morning and delivered them in the afternoon, while Keiko balanced the books and managed their small staff.

Historic photo of the old Sun Noodle factory

As Sun Noodle grew, so did the family. Hidehito and Keiko’s first daughter Jamie was born, followed by their second daughter Hisae, and their son Kenshiro. The Uki children spent much of their childhood at the factory, taste-testing samples, packaging noodles, and learning to cook homemade Japanese food.

HIGHLIGHTS

Noodles

1981

First batch of Sun Noodles produced.

Oahu

1983

Pre-cooked noodles enter Oahu supermarkets.

California

1986

Sun Noodle begins shipping beyond Hawaii with its first California customer.

Location

1989

Sun Noodle outgrows its first factory and moves to its current headquarters in Honolulu.

1990-2010

Historic photo of Sun Noodle giving away samples

Business flourished, and Sun Noodle started shipping to the West Coast and Vancouver, Canada in the early 90s. Hidehito began expanding his product line: quick-cook noodles for airline meals and cafeterias, and gyoza skins for local restaurants.

In 2004, the year Kenshiro headed off to college, Sun Noodle opened its factory in California and began manufacturing noodles for restaurants across the U.S. It was perfect timing to fuel the ramen boom in cities like L.A. and New York.

In Hawaii, Sun Noodle made a major acquisition: S&S Brand, a local favorite. It began rolling out S&S saimin products to loyal customers in Hawaii, and the fresh saimin noodles gained new fans in the mainland U.S.

Kenshiro began helping out at the California factory straight out of college. The West Coast operation outgrew its facilities and moved to a larger factory in Rancho Dominguez, California, the same year Sun Noodle expanded its international business with shipments throughout Canada and South America.

HIGHLIGHTS

Airplane

1996

Sun Noodle takes to the skies with the introduction of fresh noodles in in-flight airline meals.

United States

2005

Sun Noodle California begins making noodles for restaurants throughout the U.S.

S&S cup

2006

Sun Noodle acquires S&S Brand and begins making saimin under the S&S name.

Global

2008

Sun Noodle moves to larger facility in Rancho Dominguez and begins shipping to South America and throughout Canada.

2011–Present

g3-festival-2
Father and son, Hidehito and Kenshiro Uki

After a few years in California, Kenshiro spearheaded Sun Noodle’s move to the East Coast. His sister Hisae joined the family business and began working at the factory in L.A.

Celebrity chefs like Momofuku’s David Chang, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, and Marcus Samuelsson came knocking, putting Sun Noodle on the map for the East Coast and European markets.

As ramen gained in popularity, Sun Noodle established Ramen Lab in 2014, a ramen counter in the Nolita neighborhood of New York City dedicated exclusively to teaching people about different types of ramen. Ramen Lab’s pop-up concept brings guest chefs from around the world to share their ramen creations.

To keep up with the global demand for fresh noodles, Sun Noodle built a 46,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art factory in New Jersey, increasing its East Coast operations eightfold.

Today, Sun Noodle has more than 600 wholesale and retail products to its name. With factories in Honolulu, Hawaii; Rancho Dominguez, California; and Carlstadt, New Jersey, it produces more than 180,000 servings of noodles per day.

g3-festival-2

After a few years in California, Kenshiro spearheaded Sun Noodle’s move to the East Coast. His sister Hisae joined the family business and began working at the factory in L.A.

Celebrity chefs like Momofuku’s David Chang, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, and Marcus Samuelsson came knocking, putting Sun Noodle on the map for the East Coast and European markets.

Father and son, Hidehito and Kenshiro Uki

As ramen gained in popularity, Sun Noodle established Ramen Lab in 2014, a ramen counter in the Nolita neighborhood of New York City dedicated exclusively to teaching people about different types of ramen. Ramen Lab’s pop-up concept brings guest chefs from around the world to share their ramen creations.

To keep up with the global demand for fresh noodles, Sun Noodle built a 46,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art factory in New Jersey, increasing its East Coast operations eightfold.

Today, Sun Noodle has more than 600 wholesale and retail products to its name. With factories in Honolulu, Hawaii; Rancho Dominguez, California; and Carlstadt, New Jersey, it produces more than 180,000 servings of noodles per day.

HIGHLIGHTS

New Jersey

2012

Sun Noodle New Jersey makes its first batch of noodles.

Bowl of ramen

2014

Ramen Lab opens its doors in New York City.

factories

2017

Sun Noodle moves to its largest factory yet, a custom, state-of-the-art facility in Carlstadt, New Jersey.