Who We Are
MUTUAL TRADING COMPANY INC. is the premier Japanese food, alcohol beverage, and restaurant supply specialist. We are the Japanese food authority – true to the heart in upholding genuine Japanese cuisine traditions, and progressive in exploring new ways to provide innovative products and services. Mutual Trading imports, exports, distributes and manufactures the top brands for our retailer and foodservice customers.
THE REALM OF AUTHENTIC JAPANESE FOOD DISTRIBUTION
In early 1900’s during the era of the Takuwan Boeki, or the “Japanese Pickle Trade”, rice, Miso, and Shoyu were the mainstay of imported Japanese foods. In the 1950’s as commerce grew, thousands of other Japanese imports were added, made up mostly of shelf staple, canned foods – everything from Tofu, Shirataki, Kamaboko, Matsutake mushrooms, Sukiyaki no Tomo, Unagi Kabayaki, and yes, even Takuwan pickles.
With the advent of the container ocean freight system in the 70’s, import of fresh chilled and fresh frozen foods became a possibility: frozen Unagi, Natto, Udon, and fresh Tofu, Takuwan, and Miso. Most significantly, this technological advancement gave Sushi its most important first step in America by achieving safe distribution of fresh seafood ingredients for Sushi toppings.
Established in 1926, Mutual Trading Co., Inc. was originally a small co-op organization for centralized purchasing of basic import foods to service the needs of the early Japanese immigrant society in Southern California . We’ve grown nearly 80 years old now, and command a premiere position among Japanese foodservice suppliers, as well as fill a key role as “Culinary Ambassador” promoting Japanese foods worldwide. Currently, we import, manufacture, and distribute over 5,000 Japanese foods, beverages, restaurant equipment and supplies.
Mutual Trading’s business expands beyond importing foods. In fact, the rapidly growing export division, the Pan Pacific Merchandising (PPM) group, handles automotive, home improvement, and house ware products.
Mutual Trading Company’s experienced and expert staff is ready to serve a variety of foodservice and retail business needs. We are:
- a specialist in Japanese foods, and fine alcoholic beverages.
- an established authority in Japanese restaurant equipment and supplies.
- involved in domestic production of rice, Sake, Miso, Shoyu, Udon, Soba, Konnyaku and others.
- spread wide, covering the nation through offices in Boston, New Jersey, Phoenix, Las Vegas, San Diego, Honolulu, Tokyo and Kobe.
- a strong distribution channel throughout the US , as well as internationally: Central and South America, Europe, Russia and the Pacific Rim.
- an export channel of American products to Japan.
From the backward days of the “Japanese Pickle Trade” to the present, we’ve witnessed Wilshire Boulevard near the Pacific shore in Santa Monica transform from a quiet Boulevard to “Sushi Row”. With a humble sense of accomplishment, we take in the scenes of Americans crowding the Sushi counters, calling out their orders in prefect Japanese pronunciations: “Uni”, “Toro”, “Ika”, and “Unagi” – wow, and it only took us eighty years to take Sushi mainstream in America .
Employing the universal medium of food, the Mutual Trading Company Group continues the quest to preserve the integrity and the tradition of fine Japanese cuisine worldwide, and to promote its healthy and fun aspects as well. And in the process, we aim to contribute to fostering cross-cultural understandings around the world. Our forever corporate mission:
Bringing the Flavors of Japan to the People of the World