San-J International, Inc is a subsidiary company of Japan-based San-Jirushi Corporation. The company is known for producing the popular San-J Tamari (soy) sauce and is currently headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.
San-J International’s parent company, San-Jirushi (meaning, “mark of three”), was created in 1804 and primarily produced miso and tamari products. The company’s first processing plant was built in Mie, Japan. Mie was a perfect location to brew tamari because it was humid in the summer and chilly in the winter, very suitable for fermentation. During the company’s earliest times, the three rivers near Mie, Kiso, Ibi and Nagara were instrumental in transporting tamari and distributing it to different markets. In fact, the three bars logo of San-Jirushi represents the three rivers.
The company then began marketing its tamari products to the United States by 1978. Because tamari quickly became popular in the United States, and the company built a tamari brewing facility in 1987 in North America, thus, the foundation of San-J. San-J’s production plant and its administration department was based in Richmond, Virginia. San-J’s owner chose the state because the conditions were ideal for brewing tamari and were the most similar to the original location of the company’s facilities in Japan. The Virginia facility was a combination of the company’s 200 year-experience and the newest technology available. The company’s marketing and sales departments are also based at the same location.
Today, San-J continues to produce its best selling tamari sauce and expanded its product line to include salad dressings, rice crackers, Asian sauces and soups. Some of San-J’s tamari products have been made free from gluten, offering its customers with a healthier alternative while enjoying the same taste of the original tamari sauce. San-J has also expanded its operations to Canada. The company’s products are distributed to all major food retailers in both countries. Some of these grocery chains include Kroger, Ralph’s, Wild Oats, Whole Foods and Target.
Currently, San-J International is headed by Takashi Sato, a member of the family who founded San-Jirushi. The company still maintains its standards and continues to provide excellent tamari, as well as other Asian food items, to the Canadian and U.S. markets.
Headquarters: Richmond, Virginia
Ownership Type: a subsidiary of San Jirushi Co. (A Japan-based company)
No. of Employees: 31
Geography: USA, Canada
Demography: Asian consumer food items