Back in the early 1990s, Bob Gauthier planned an escape to the islands to refresh, restore and reboot his life. What he found there forever changed him and put him on a path to helping others do the same. As founder of Kokua Trading Co., which means “aloha in action,” Bob has created a company dedicated to outfitting everyday travelers—and helping them create and share kokua wherever they go.
Literally translating to “aloha in action,” Kokua Trading Co. embodies the essence of the Hawaiian islands, its people and culture. It’s an expression that means showing care for others and living the aloha spirit. In other words, it’s the heart and energy behind friendly acceptance—and the joy that comes from spreading that acceptance around the world.
With high-quality basics designed to be fashionable, comfortable, easy to coordinate and care for, Kokua Trading Co. apparel and accessories help equip people to take kokua to the masses. Because, done well, there’s no limit to what kokua can achieve.
The inspiration for Kokua Trading Co. traces back to the great “Papa Don.” Kokua founder Bob Gauthier first met the man he’d come to call his adoptive father in 1999. Says Bob, “I may not have known back then I was searching for a dad, but God sure did.” Little did Bob realize just how much the older man would influence and shape his future, all through Papa Don’s shining example of aloha love.
Don welcomed young Bob into his ohana (family) with open arms, sharing his time, home, wisdom and experiences. Over the years, the two men exchanged stories and created new memories together, all of it interwoven with kindness, acceptance and the feeling of family.
Papa Don’s embodiment of aloha love transformed the young Bob into the man he is today. Says Bob, “Kokua is Hawaiian for ‘aloha in action.’ This is our company’s slogan, our motto, our daily approach to life. Kokua Trading Co. brand is designed for you to live and share aloha with people you meet along your life’s journey. And it’s all inspired by the man who shared it with me, Papa Don.”
Kokua Trading Co. founder Bob Gauthier has built a career and numerous, lifelong friendships on his integrity and passion for serving others. His commitment to spreading kindness, along with 25-plus years in the apparel and promotions industries ensure a keen understanding of Kokua customers. It’s his goal to bring them high-quality products that anticipate their lifestyle needs, outfit their adventures and accompany them through decades of happy experiences.
In his daily life, Bob would tell you he gets joy from simple things, like a good bike ride, a long day on the water and an evening outdoors with friends. These small daily joys combined with his passion for taking care of customers feed his creative flow and help him spread kokua every day.
At Kokua Trading Company, our mission is to spread “aloha in action” by doing things in love and inspiring others to do the same. Through high-quality, comfortable, fashionable basics, we liberate the adventurer and outfit the traveler. Kokua “gears up” life’s journey, so you can grow, share and pay it forward through the people you encounter and the ohana (family) we build together.