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The Kahiki Story: The legend lives on.

Long before Kahiki was filling shelves in supermarkets, the Kahiki Supper Club was attracting crowds in Columbus, Ohio. Here’s a snapshot of how one of America’s most iconic restaurants became one of its favorite brands.
1961
The Kahiki opens. And jaws drop.
1961
Twenty-foot Tiki idols stood guard at the front door. The Mystery Girl delivered drinks to your table. Celebrities gathered and crowds gathered to see them. The Kahiki restaurant was as much about the experience as it was about the meal. If you were ever there, chances are, you never really left.
1978
How a game of backgammon changed history.
1978
If you believe the story, and we do, Mitch Boich acquired the Kahiki in 1978 from the original owners Bill Sapp and Lee Henry by winning a high stakes game of backgammon. Mitch didn’t know anything about running a restaurant. So his first job was to find someone who did. That’s when he found Michael and Alice Tsao 2000 miles away at Trader Vic’s in Hollywood.
1980
Tsaos enter picture. Kahiki takes off.
1980
When the Tsaos moved from Los Angeles to Columbus and brought their talents to the Kahiki, the accolades soon followed. The most significant recognition came when the Kahiki earned the coveted 3-star Michelin rating. But the Tsao’s impact was felt well beyond industry recognition. They fostered a warm and welcoming atmosphere that added to the legend that was Kahiki.
1988
The Tsao family takes ownership, and pride, in everything Kahiki.
1988
When Michael and Alice bought the Kahiki, it became a family business. People who were around in those days are quick to tell you the Tsaos loved Kahiki. Michael brought his never-ending energy to the dining room. Alice brought her mad skills to the kitchen. Their two children, Jeff and Tim, were also part of team Tsao. Their presence helped create the energy that defined the Kahiki for generations.
1995
Frozen foods. Keeping the fun alive.
1995
With seating for more than 500 people, the Kahiki was larger than life. But it wasn’t big enough. The popularity of the brand ultimately outgrew the restaurant, which closed in 2001, so they could focus on frozen foods. When our favorite menu items became our first frozen foods, it was the perfect way to introduce the Kahiki experience to people who never stepped foot inside the restaurant.
2001
The legend grows beyond the supper club walls.
2001
Before long, Kahiki Frozen Foods took on a life of its own. As sales and popularity grew, it became obvious to Michael and Alice that their attention needed to shift. They made the decision to close the Kahiki so they could devote their time to a growing frozen enterprise. Closing the Kahiki was a year-long adventure that broke every sales record on the books. Every day for a solid year, customers lined around the building waiting to experience one last meal at the restaurant that had become a Columbus institution.
2007
A visionary lost. A new chapter began.
2007
When Michael Tsao died unexpectedly in 2005, the void he left behind was felt by every person associated with Kahiki. Employees, customers, partners, Michael treated everyone like family. So when the Tsaos began the search for new partners to help Kahiki expand, it came as no surprise that the search led to Abarta, another family focused company that became investors in 2007.
2014
It’s all-natural or it’s nothing.
2014
We changed every recipe to contain only 100% natural ingredients. Yes, it took a lot of work, but we did it because we’re committed to making food that customers can feel good about feeding to their families. We never use artificial sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, monosodium glutamate, trans fat, food dyes, artificial flavors or artificial preservatives. Promise.
2015
If taste is king at Kahiki, innovation is queen.
2015
Kahiki is proud to have launched two new frozen food categories – the first “steamable” Asian entrée line, Steam & Serve™, and the first egg roll and entrée in one, a little something fabulous we like to call the Bowl & Roll®.
2016
What will they think of next?
2016
Year after year, Kahiki launches deliciously unique products. Our introduction of Yum Yum Stix™ thrilled not only consumers, but industry insiders, too, being chosen Editors’ Pick for Best New Product by The Gourmet Retailer.
2017
You need a strong team to keep winning.
2017
With Kahiki’s deep roots in Columbus, it felt natural to partner with the Columbus Crew SC and the Columbus Clippers to bring our food to the fans, while they cheer on their favorite hometown heroes.
Today
We live to stir your senses.
Today
We pour our hearts into every Kahiki recipe, because we know the details make the difference. The aromas that fill your kitchen. The taste and texture of every bite. And how you feel when the last bite is gone. Why go to such lengths? It’s simple, really. Kahiki is about so much more than just satisfying your appetite. We want to Stir Your Senses.
Our Food Philosophy
Our Food Philosophy
The Kahiki story just isn’t complete without including a chapter on our passionate approach to ingredients. Find out what 100% Natural means and why it means so much to us. Read more