Hawaiian Discovery is a division of TONGA TRADING CO., LTD.
Importers and Manufacturers of Fine Furnishing since 1969
During World War II, Texas born Andrew B. White Sr. (later nicknamed Pai Pai) was deployed by Uncle Sam to Wallis Island, a French territory near Tonga. It was there that Pai Pai realized his talents as a natural linguist, and he soon became the only one of the nearly 4000 U.S. servicemen to become fluent in the Wallisian language. Thus, he developed a kinship with the local people and was summoned by the islands monarch, King Leone Matekitoga. The king was so impressed with the talents of the young Marine, he eventually adopted Pai Pai formally and dubbed him Prince Mulikihaamea Matekitoga.
After the war, the young prince settled in California, however, unable to get the magic of the South Seas out of his mind, he made many visits back to the Pacific Islands. It was not until the sixties, during one of his sojourns to the Kingdom of Tonga that Pai Pai was inspired to begin his island art trading company. He saw an elderly Tongan lady selling under priced handicrafts to cruise ship passengers and decided to take the handicrafts back to Honolulu, where the Polynesian people could market their work for a decent price. This would be his way of paying back Polynesia for all it had given him.
A few years later, in 1971, the Tonga Trading Co., Ltd. was incorporated in the state of Hawaii. Only the best quality, authentic handicraft art was procured, and Pai Pai began specializing in replicating Pacific art and artifacts found in museums and major private collections, often referred to as Tiki statues. Additionally, genuine tapa cloth, Koa Canoe Paddles, standard outrigger canoe paddles, ceremonial kava bowls, woven Pandanus leaf mats and baskets are but just a few of the treasures that Pai Pai was sharing with the world.
As the years passed, the Tonga Trading Co., Ltd. prospered; decorating and providing products for homes, restaurants, hotels, cruise ships, movie theaters, hula halaus, museums, crafters and more. As the company's reputation grew strong and its roots became fortified, Pai Pai and his wife Sapeta began to slow down. James Kahekili Foti joined the business to help Pai Pai and Sapeta perpetuate the Tonga Trading Company's good business ethic, quality and personality.
In 1989, fresh out of college, "Jim" was interested in Pacific Island culture as well as international trade and travel. Since Jim was "calabash" son to Pai Pai and Sapeta, they shortly thereafter entrusted him with their baby, and they settled into retirement to fulfill their life as grandparents.
Today, under Foti leadership, the Hawaiian Discovery division has grown into a thriving furniture business, providing furniture for hotels, restaurants, offices, hospitals, schools, and many happy Hawaii residents. One of the many reasons for our success is the perpetuation of Tonga Trading Company's code of ethics. We promise to provide high quality products and excellent service with integrity – since 1969.
Exclusive Hawaii distributors For
KIAN is an intelligent furniture solutions provider catering to the commercial and residential sectors, both indoor and outdoor, for over 30 years. KIAN's ability to understand and fulfill the quality and design needs of its customers has established themselves as the market leader across more than 100 countries worldwide. Their dedication to innovation and tasteful design; fuzing functionality with beauty has yielded a comprehensive range of award-winning furniture. KIAN's designers are experts in innovation, offering insight into what’s possible in terms of production, material, and techniques for products now and in the future.
KIAN's customer base includes prestigious clients such as Casa Del Rio Hotel in Malacca, Malaysia; Grand Hyatt Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Holiday Villa Hotel in Doha, Qatar, Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Johor Bahru, Malaysia and and many more. Additionally, they are a leading supplier of QSRs in Asia such as McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Subway, Pizza Hut, etc… They also supply furniture for Starbuck's and Pacific Coffee throughout China, and so much more.