About us

History

A few words about us

Our Story

My name is Laukau, and my husband is JP Pani, we are the founders of Aloha Island Market, AZ.  I grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii and Phoenix, Arizona.  Growing up in Hawaii, everything is at our fingertips to prepare the types of food we would like to eat, or make the clothes and jewelry we would like to wear.  Moving to Phoenix, AZ as a teenager, made us yearn for the tastes and all of the Island wear as with everything that was left behind.  So to feel the aloha spirit, my aunts and uncles brought all of the family together.  They started island food catering and we were taught the Island dances they grew up with.   Our family show performed throughout the valley until our Aunty’s and Uncle’s moved back to Hawaii.  However, we kept up with cooking the same old Polynesian way that was done back in the Islands.  Our family and friends would gather often, wishing we had certain items here in Arizona.  We would reminisce of the food only found in the Islands as well as what we wished we had here in Arizona.  These conversations, hopes and wishes of others would start a seed of a dream in the heart of a young woman that was finally provided an unexpected opportunity in her later years in life to start selling from her Mesa backyard.   Every visit made to the islands, from a young age throughout my life living in Arizona, I would start gathering several pieces of items.  These items without my prior knowledge, would actually help to be the beginning of the first items, along with the cooked food plates that would be sold in our backyard.

Forced to stay home to take care of my aging sickly parents, we thought of a way to bring in an income to still help us with our bills.  We checked the demographics and found that there was no Island Market in all of Arizona.   Our cooked food was a big hit as it is the old Polynesian moms and pops food that you would only find when you go to Aunts and Uncle’s house in Hawaii.  The food is Onolicious and the natural flavors of each one of the dishes will have you wanting to come back for more.

COVID hit in 2020, however, we saw that as our opportunity to officially open Aloha Island Market, AZ on Saturday, January 16, 2021.  Many people said we were crazy to open as COVID was still in effect but we saw it as an opportunity to lock in a 5 year contract to start our Market.  We are grateful we did so as the COVID lockdown started to slowly ease up and now here we are now two years in operation.

We offer everything from the South Pacific Islands, not only Polynesian, but Micronesian and Melanesians.  Our motto is “if we don’t carry what you are looking for, we will look for it, and if we find it, we will get it for you”.

Both my husband and I are from a catering and entertainment backgrounds so we also offer these options as well.

Stop by our Aloha Island Market, AZ and feel the richness of the South Pacific Island cultures and it’s unique flavors of the Islands.

JP Pani & Laukau Ioelu, Owner
Aloha Island Market, AZ

Open since 1995

Our history starts over 25 years ago, when we opened our first location

How it all started

January 15, 1995

Opened in 1995

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January 15, 1995

March 20, 2003

The birth of Our menu

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March 20, 2003

Aril 10, 2010

Hawaiian Food Comes to Mesa

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Aril 10, 2010

October 5, 2015

The new team of chefs is formed

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October 5, 2015

May 3, 2019

Restaurant rebranding

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May 3, 2019

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