The Chronicles of Wing: 1895 - 2016

1895

C.S. Wing's father, Dien Ting Chong, a fruit farmer from Hau-Shan Village in the Kwangtung province of Southern China, heard the news that plantation laborers were being recruited in Hawaii.

1897

C.S. Wing, at the age of 13 immigrated to Hawaii to study and earn a living

1899

At age 15, C.S. Wing became a partner with Chong Yee Jou in a small cold drink concession at the old Territorial Market at Alakea Street with $50 capital. This was the start of his business career.

1903

C.S.Wing bought the Hong Kee Fruit Store on Nuuanu Avenue, and later sold his share to purchase Wing Sang with his cousin Yuck Wing and friend Wong Sau.

1904

C.S. Wing changed the name of the store from Wing Sang to Wing Hing, which meant "forever prosperous". Their retail business specialized in groceries, fresh fruits imported from the mainland, canned goods, and Kona coffee made with a small hand roaster.

1915

On November 13, C.S. Wing married Duck Yau Lee, sister-in-law of the prominent merchant Chun Hoon, who was the matchmaker.

1918

C.S. Wing appointed his friend Wai Kong Ho as agent to collect and coordinate green coffee beans from Kona, and ship them to Honolulu for roasting and grinding.

1922

C.S. Wing, as president of Wing Coffee Company, Ltd., purchased the Takakura coffee mill at Captain Cook in Kealakekua, Kona, Hawaii, and changed the name to Hawaii Coffee Mill. Mr. Wing started coffee advertisements depicting Hawaii's famous Diamond Head, surfing at Waikiki Beach, active volcanoes, and dancing hula girls which were another first in the coffee industry. Silent motion pictures were also first used to promote the Wing Brand. Business rapidly expanded.

1925

C.S. Wing made his first visit to the U.S. mainland, and appointed agents in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Sacramento, and became known as the "King of Coffee"

1927

Loans were extended to individual coffee farmers in exchange to purchase their harvest

1928

Tong Chew Kam was appointed as purchasing agent in Hong Kong

1929

Year of the Great Depression.

1933

During the recession of 1933, C.S. Wing purchased the mansion of the McCandless estate, and this became the entertainment center for many Wing Coffee functions as well as family and community gatherings.

1939

C.S. Wing originated Aloha Gift Boxes labeled "Greetings From Paradise", or "Aloha from Hawaii" with scenes of a surfrider, flower lei, or map of the Hawaiian Islands.

1940

C.S. Wing established the Central Coffee Mill in Kona to supply green beans to the Honolulu factory in Chinatown.

1942

Due to the great depression and World War II, Hawaii Coffee Mill suffered heavy losses and was forced to shut down.

1944

Wing Coffee Company, Ltd. purchased the property at 31 N. Pauahi St. for $70,000 from China Gift Chest.

1948

On December 1, Robert Chong joined the firm and was placed in charge of the coffee operation.

1956

C.S. Wing died of a heart attack at the age of 72 in Hong Kong.

1970

Three local firms were selling Kona Coffee: Mid Pacific, Ka Moi, and Wing Coffee. Cost of coffee beans skyrocketed after Superior Tea monopolized the market. Coffee bean prices increased by $10 per bag. Wing Coffee Company, Ltd. discontinued roasting and selling coffee. The business concentrated on selling imported grocery items, portable propane gas stoves, cooking utensils, fresh roasted peanuts, and preserved seeds.

1995

On August 21, president Robert Chong unexpectedly died of cancer after a short illness. Elizabeth Hirokane took over as manager. The directors voted to sell the company.

1996

In October, Peter Kam, a food technology graduate of the University of Hawaii, and owner of First Commercial Kitchen (formerly known as Rib Roaring Recipes), indicated interest in purchasing the company. Peter was a customer and a vendor providing bottling services for sauces under the Wing Brand. On November 1, the sale of Wing Coffee Co., Ltd. to Peter was completed.

2003

In July, Peter had to vacate the premises since C.S. Wing, Inc. (stockholders of Wing Coffee Co., Ltd.) sold the land and building to Noah Development.

2004

Wing Coffee Company, under the leadership of Peter Kam, celebrates a century of business enterprise since the founding of Wing Hing Company by C.S. Wing in 1904. The business was relocated to the Waipio Gentry Business Park in Waipahu, Hawaii. First Commercial Kitchen, a food manufacture, located in the same business park, now had a distribution arm via Wing Coffee Company which serviced all local retailer accounts.

2016

Finally with enough time and resources, Peter was able to revive the Wing Coffee brand in its original packaging of 1904. Because there were now so many varieties of coffee in the marketplace, an All Hawaiian Island Blend was added to the original 100% Pure Hawaiian Kona Coffee. Vanilla-Macnut, Arabica Select, and Kona Blend are also planned to be added later this year, as well as a gift pack. Eventually we plan to recreate all the original packaging including tin cans. It is an honor to uphold the tradition and rich history of Wing Coffee Company as tribute to the founder C.S. Wing, and all the faithful employees which made it possible