Daiohs USA and First Choice Coffee mourn the loss of its founding father, Shinichi Ohkubo

March 8, 2024
Ohkubo was a visionary leader, a guide and a source of inspiration within the OCS industry.

First Choice Coffee and parent company Daiohs, based in Illinois, announced the passing of its founding father, Shinichi Ohkubo.

The company said in a statement:

“It is with profound sadness and heavy hearts that we share the news of the passing of Daiohs’ founding father, Mr. Shinichi Ohkubo. We are deeply saddened to inform you that Mr. O. passed away in a tragic accident. Mr. O. was not just the visionary leader of our company but also a mentor, a guide and a source of inspiration to all of us. His untimely departure leaves a void that is impossible to fill, and we mourn the loss of a remarkable individual who dedicated his life to building and nurturing this company.”

The following words were spoken from Ohkubo about the company:

‘I wanted to challenge myself in the United States, the home of OCS. I had a strong desire to do so, but there was no way I would succeed if I suddenly set out on my own. In 1977, when OCS started in Japan, I became a full international member of the National Office Coffee Service Association and started gathering information. I traveled to the U.S. several times each year with my manager to interact with local companies and expand my network.

After all, in the service industry, it is better to take a local approach, leaving the responsibility to those who know the country well. In the case of the U.S., there is pride in the home country, so the Daiohs brand cannot be imposed. So we decided to acquire a local OCS company, even if it was expensive, and make it the core of our business.

In 1988, we established a local subsidiary, Daiohs USA. The first company we acquired in Los Angeles was a major company in the Southern California area and had received an award from the National Association. We acquired local companies one after another, with the manager of the Los Angeles company as our ‘reaper.’

First, we established a foothold in the Los Angeles area and became number one, then San Francisco, then California, then the number one on the West Coast, and so on, expanding our business step by step. It wasn't until 20 years after entering the U.S. that we crossed the Rocky Mountains to the east.

Today, Daiohs USA operates in 25 states and is number one on the West Coast and number three in the United States. Our U.S. expansion plan has been revised due to Covid, and we will rebuild firmly by 2026.”

The company added in the statement: “During this difficult time, our thoughts and prayers are with Hiroshi, Yusuke, and the rest of Mr. O’s family. We extend our deepest condolences to them. As we grapple with the shock and grief of this loss, let us come together as a team and continue to uphold the values and principles that Mr. O instilled in our company. We owe it to him to carry forward the vision and mission that has defined our organization. May Mr. O. rest in peace, and may we find strength in each other as we navigate through these difficult times.”