We are proud to say that Pongo's Kitchen and Catering is going 23 years strong. Here's our story.
Pongo's Kitchen and Catering was founded in 1991 by sisters Tracey and Cindy, and the operation included a HOT PINK lunch wagon. You couldn't miss it. From that lunch wagon, long before the food truck craze, we served local style plate lunches on Moowaa Street to the nearby hungry men and women in the Kalihi industrial area. In 1996, Candace, another sister joined the team, and was soon followed by Mom, Barbara a year later. With the new additions, Pongo's Kitchen was able to add another lunch wagon to the operation. Unfortunately, it wasn't hot pink like the other one, but instead, was a shiny silver. We still see that truck around here and there, operated by their current owners. It really brings us back. We parked the second lunch wagon at the Young Brothers shipyard daily. It was a team effort to prepare all the food every morning, load them onto the trucks, split up for the day, and them come back to our commercial kitchen to do more prep and clean up. It was hard work, but we did it as a family.
In 2001, we decided to open a brick and mortar on Mokauea Street, and sell the two lunch wagons. We have been here ever since! There were definitely tough times, especially during the recession, but we held on, and are so proud that we can continue to serve all of you. In 2006, we changed up the menu. While we still continued to serve some local favorites, we decided we needed to make some healthier options available. Further, we wanted to add some variety and try something different. From this, the drizzles, sauces, and butters you may know today were born. We wanted you to be able to pick your entree, whether fish, pork, beef, etc., and pick the drizzle, sauce, or butter of your choice to go with it. It was something we hadn't seen, and our customers have come to love the flavors and options.
Through the years, people have left and joined the team. First was the departure of Cindy who decided to pursue another venture. Then we lost mom to cancer in 2008, and it was the hardest time in our lives. Last was the departure of Tracey who also decided to pursue other ventures. Cindy and Tracey still come around to give a hand and lend their support. The last sister standing today is Candace, and she has put together a new crew of employees who work hard every day to get delicious food to you.