New food chapter

The grand opening of Japanese cloud kitchen Hinomaru Shokudo
The grand opening of Japanese cloud kitchen Hinomaru Shokudo

The UAE's oldest Japanese food trading company, Summit Trading has launched a spanking new catering and delivery service



Published: Wed 30 Jun 2021, 11:33 AM

Last updated: Wed 7 Jul 2021, 11:09 AM

Distributor and wholesaler of Japanese foodstuff, Summit Trading was established in Abu Dhabi in 1977 and holds the distinction of being the GCC's largest Japanese food trading company. One of the foremost companies in the UAE to start dealing with Japanese food, its line of items contains more than 700 stock-keeping units (SKUs).

A pioneer in wholesale Japanese food traded here in the UAE and exported to various other countries, the firm is led by Shiro Ohkubo, Managing Director and General Manager. Ohkubo is a name to reckon with in the food trading industry, having been feted with the Japanese Cuisine Goodwill Ambassador award conferred on him by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Japan. He is widely recognised for his contribution in propelling the Japanese food trade in the Middle East.

An avid golfer and tennis player, Ohkubo dipped his toes in many industries before taking the leap of faith in the food industry. "I initially joined an oil company after graduating from college. I did everything from business marketing to consulting. However, I finally found my calling in the food business," he disclosed.

Shiro Ohkubo

Managing Director and General Manager

Summit Trading

Armed with an MBA from Tokyo, Japan and a diploma in Food Safety, the head has filled the Japanese foodstuff lacuna in the UAE by leaps and bounds. "We are the oldest traditional Japanese food trading company in the UAE. We first started with corporate catering to Japanese crude oil companies based in Abu Dhabi. Our firm comes with immense experience, distributing food materials to top-rated restaurants, hypermarkets (Spinneys, Waitrose, LuLu), hotels (Emirates Palace, Grand Hyatt Dubai etc.), and airlines (Emirates, Etihad). We also have an online shopping portal for Japanese food items," the exuberant Ohkubo noted.

Besides being the oldest Japanese food trading firm, what gives Summit Training an edge over other competitors is that it's deeply rooted in Japanese culture. It pegs itself as the only Japanese food trading company in the UAE managed by Japanese nationals. The company specialises in exotic ingredients such as wagyu beef and bluefin tuna imported from Japan, requiring a minus 60°C storage temperature. It also boasts renowned patrons, supplying to royal palaces and Expo 2020 Dubai. Following the success of its food trading, the firm has now debuted a new cloud kitchen called Hinomaru Shokudo in Abu Dhabi. Dishing out authentic Japanese fare, customers can order through Zomato and Talabat. The opening of Summit Trading's flagship cloud service was graced by prominent individuals, among them being Akihiko Nakajima, Japanese Ambassador to the UAE.

An elated Ohkubo declared, "We are pleased to announce the grand opening of Hinomaru Shokudo, an outlet that delivers the true taste of Japanese cuisine. The word 'hinomaru' means Japanese flag and 'shokudo' means kitchen. With the opening of this venture, we uphold our history, pride and mission, as we aspire to become a Japanese shokudo loved by the people, delivering home-style, high-quality Japanese food."


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