1900’s Hikotaro Inaba opens a small grocery store, H.Inaba and Son, in Walnut Grove, CA with wife and children
1941 With outbreak of WWII, family interned in Amache Relocation Center in Colorado.
1944 Sons Richard and Edward open a small market in Granada, CO. selling domestically produced soy sauce, miso, pickled plums, pickled scallions and U.S. grown rice.
1945 Brother Flu joins partnership & opened store in Denver, CO. Families return to California.
1947 Three Inaba brothers found NAFDC
1956 Established NATrading
1970 Established NASales
1988 NAFood and NATrading moved to current facility in West Sacramento.
North American Food Distributing Co, Inc. was founded by the Inaba Brothers: Richard, Edward, and Flu Hitoshi
The three brothers started their wholesale distributing company of Japanese foods after the war in 1945 in Denver, Colorado near Amache Camp where they were interned. The Inaba Brothers began with a desk in the warehouse of Zim’s Market in Denver distributing mainly domestically produced soy sauce, miso or soybean paste, pickled plums, pickled scallions and U.S. grown rice. Later in 1945 they returned home to California to continue the grocery businesses in Walnut Grove and in Fresno which were shut down during the war. In 1947 the brothers also opened an office for North American Food in a small house on 6th Street in Sacramento.
Soon thereafter, North American Food located to 4th and R streets where the brothers started importing, in addition to the food items, Japanese handicrafts and gift items. This Japanese gift import business became North American Trading Company. Both businesses operated at this location from 1956 to 1988.
In 1970 with the popularity of Japanese restaurants, the Inaba brothers created a Japanese restaurant supply company in the bay area known as N.A. Sales Company.
In May of 1988, the Inaba Brothers of North American Food and North American Trading held an open house in celebration of their new 70,000 square feet facility in West Sacramento, which is their present location. Founding brothers, Richard, Edward and Flu, have passed away. The business continues to be a family operation and employs a dozen or more Inaba wives, sons, daughters, and grandchildren in addition to the close to 50 employees. North American Food continues to be a leading importer and wholesale distributor of Asian food products to businesses and restaurants with affiliated companies located in Tokyo, Japan; Los Angeles, California; Moonachie, New Jersey; and Honolulu, Hawaii.