THE Kahiki (Production)
In THE Kahiki is where all of our manufacturing happens. We take all of those fresh and natural ingredients and turn them into the great tasting Kahiki products you love. THE Kahiki is made up of over 150 dedicated and hardworking teammates that take pride in the work we do. We’re a flexible team that is always thinking about ways to add capabilities to make the next great product.
Henry Liu - Po Kumu
I’m Henry Liu and am the Po Kumu in the production department.
What is Po Kumu, you might ask? The person who gave me this name said, “It is the night time teacher.”
Yes, teacher, and I happened to be a teacher for some years before I started working at Kahiki. I am not teaching anymore from books in the classroom, but I think I am still doing the teaching function in Kahikilandia; I am teaching, coaching, motivating, leading and stirring up our teammates to be the best, passionate, devoted and loyal Kahikians producing the best specialty frozen foods to delight and excite our customers. A couple months ago, my fellow Kahikians threw a surprise party to mark my 23 years of service with the Kahiki! After 23 years, I am still here at Kahiki, becoming the oldest manager to see and experience all the great changes with this company, going from a few folks to 200+ teammates! 25 years ago, a few of the Kahiki chefs started to use the best Kahiki egg roll recipe to make frozen egg rolls and sell them in groceries stores throughout Columbus. They also started to use the recipe for Kahiki General Tso’s and Beef & Broccoli to sell in cafeterias and dining rooms in various colleges and universities. 25 years later, we are still making the great egg rolls and famous General Tso’s chicken and Beef & Broccoli! The difference is that we used to make hundreds and thousands; now we are making millions and millions. And I am very fortunate to a part of it then and now.
Higinio Quintana - Kaizen Koa
I’m Higinio Quintana, better known as Taco. I’m currently the Kaizen Koa at Kahiki and I’m responsible for developing and executing training plans for THE Kahiki group in manufacturing. I spend most of my days working with our wonderful staff trying to provide and coach the team so that we have the necessary skills to support our growth out on the manufacturing floor.
I’ve been a Kahikian for over 13 years and have had a chance to work in many different areas of the company and I’ve learned a lot along the way. I started out working in sanitation and have progressed through all areas and levels in operations eventually being promoted into management. All that I’ve experienced and learned has helped me support our company goals. I’m somewhat of an, “expert”, you could say when it comes to making all our great products like Yum Yum Stix, Family Feast, and StirFresh just to name a few.
I grew up in San Jose Solis, Mexico and at the age of 9, I was given the nickname, “Taco”, and I’ve been called that ever since. I have two small boys at home that keep me busy and I have a big extended family that I love to spend time with.
Mayra Buentello - Tairi
I’m Mayra Buentello, the Tairi of the production department. Tairi means war goddess. I chose that fun name because I am a valiant warrior. I have been at Kahiki for 4 years now. I started as a supervisor and was later promoted to an area manager in the production department. I’ve also worked 3rd shift sanitation to help improve start–up time frame pre-ops. Currently I have been assigned the task of leading the HOKO team (Idea Generation) for 1st shift and by the way we are in 1st place. I am also leading a team to reduce spring roll waste in packaging room. As I continue my journey at Kahiki I look forward to more opportunities to expand my knowledge and help the company reach our BHAGS (Big Hairy Audacious Goals).
I love to play Softball in my spare time and I have received 2 trophies… one for best pitcher and the other for MVP. I have 2 kids… Abraham who is 19 yrs old attending Columbus State University and my daughter, Arely, who is 16 yrs old and still in High School.
Brian Mueler - Kazian Gaido
Hey! I’m Brian Mueller, the Kazian Gaido here at Kahiki. I am one of the newest “Kahikians,” joining in on the FUN adventure in September, 2016. I have already caught the Kahiki fever and have a huge passion for making bold, exciting and great tasting foods in the most efficient manner possible! As the Kazian Gaido, I am responsible for improving and removing all unnecessary waste from our everyday processes (basically make everyone’s job a little easier, faster, and less messy!)
I love to THINK DIFFERENTLY when I watch THE Kahikians take fresh ingredients and turn them into something special. The products that excite and delight me the most include: Sweet and Sour Chicken, General Tso’s Chicken, Korean BBQ Pork Yum Yum Stix, and our famous Chicken Egg Rolls.
While outside of Kahiki, my wife and I love to travel, cheer on THE Ohio State University, and play with our 2 year old pup, Bosa (named after the former great Ohio State defense end, Joey Bosa). We often like to knock out two of those by taking in a Buckeye road game. It is a pretty awesome scene when the scarlet and grey take over an opposing teams tailgate lot (while eating their favorite Kahiki Brands, of course!)
Hi, my name is Maria Rivera. I am a teammate at Kahiki Foods, having worked at Kahiki for 10 years making different kinds of frozen food. I have learned a lot and this knowledge has enabled me to operate different types of machinery at our facility. I have also learned about employee safety and food safety.
Working here at Kahiki has allowed me to work with different cultures. I work on first shift with 40 other teammates making the best frozen Asian entrees in the United States. As a team, we have celebrated good times such as birthday parties, baby showers and pot lucks helping us to grow closer as teammates. In closing my teammates and I take pride in our work and enjoy delighting our customers with delicious Asian food.
Hi, My name is Li Li, like the beautiful, sweet Lili in the pond.
I am one of the best performing and high skilled operators in the processing department. In Kahiki, we call it The Kitchen. It’s a huge kitchen that cuts and grinds meat, mixes meat with vegetables and makes egg rolls and stix. I have been working in at Kahiki for 11 years; I have made hundreds of millions of Kahiki appetizers together with my fellow teammates. We have 35 teammates in The Kitchen. Many of us have worked here for years. We are very devoted and loyal to Kahiki, and we work like a big family that produce the best specialty frozen foods for customers. We take pride in our safe and quality work. Kahiki cooks and prepare lunch for us employees every Friday, and we have free coffee and tea during our breaks. We also play ping pong, pool or air hockey during our breaks or after work. When I first came here, I didn’t know anything about preparing foods. Now I am an operator with multi tasks, and I have many friends at Kahiki. I also like the Kahiki Bucks program, and I have been awarded many bucks. Once I have enough, I would love to get a pair of UGG boots!