Corporate History

Corporate History

MTC Kitchen Corporate History

Founded on April 19, 1926

In Los Angeles, California

On April 19, 1926, Mutual Trading Co. Inc. was conceived in Los Angeles by the coming together of ten Japanese food store owners. Back then food importing from Japan was called "Takuwan Boeki" or the "Japanese Pickle Trade". Its origin is deeply rooted in the hearts of the early immigrants, yearning for the nostalgic taste of home faraway.

MTC Kitchen Corporate History

Company expansion, 1968

n Los Angeles, California

In 1968, Mutual Trading moved to a new warehouse, which boasted 15,000 square feet of storage space. Current CEO Noritoshi Kanai had an ambitious dream of popularizing sushi in the US. The introduction of sushi into the American market was a high risk venture as he was told by everyone, "Americans don't eat raw fish this period".

MTC Kitchen Corporate History

Opening of Miyako Market

In Fort Lee, New Jersey

Mutual Trading chose a conservative approach by establishing an antenna shop in the form of a Japanese grocery store. Miyako Market opened its doors in Fort Lee, NJ, where they built a solid customer base.

MTC Kitchen Corporate History

Start of New York Mutual Trading Inc., 1972

In Paramus, New Jersey

There was a staff of just three to start, but they struggled to build steady clients and to become a trusted Japanese food supplier in the New York area.

MTC Kitchen Corporate History

Kanai, Inaba & Harry Wolff Jr become first exporters of Beringer wines to Japan 1975

Current Chairman Kanai met food sales consultant Harry Wolff Jr, who told him, "Kanai, if you want to succeed in business here in America, you need a good lawyer, a good doctor and good friends". Mutual Trading hired Wolff, who played a vital role in the company's success.

MTC Kitchen Corporate History

Japanese Food Boom 1980

In 1977 there were 228 Japanese restaurants in Southern California, 39 of which had sushi bars. In 1980 that number jumped to 373, with 116 of which had sushi bars. On September 1, 1980, Nikkei newspaper reported that the number of Japanese restaurants in New York had reached 200.

MTC Kitchen Corporate History

Started Japanese Food and Restaurant Show

in 1990 In Los Angeles, California in 1993 In New Jersey/New York

Every fall Mutual Trading organizes an annual Japanese Food and Restaurant Show for trade businesses in Los Angeles, Hawaii, Las Vegas, and New York with more than 60 vendors from the U.S. and Japan to highlight new products. We also invite specialists and chefs to conduct seminars and/or cooking demonstrations at the event.

MTC Kitchen Corporate History

Opened Japanese Culinary Center

April 15, 2009

The Japanese Culinary Center (JCC) opens as NYMTC's Manhattan showroom. A one stop shop for professionals and culinary enthusiasts with an interest in Japanese culinary culture.