Our Story

An Industrial Supermarket

Established in 1961 by Robert Cosco, this versatile family business has grown into one of Hawaii's most highly-respected and resourceful industry specialty suppliers. Now located on 4 of the major islands, Cosco has more than 25 employees and 40,000 square feet of warehouse space.

When Robert Cosco established the family company over 50 years ago, he envisioned it as "an industrial supermarket," a philosophy which has carried over into the present-day operations, supervised by his children: daughters Bobbie Cosco, CEO; and Cynthia Tavares, President; and son Matt Cosco, VP-Sales.

"Dad designed a self-service store," says COSCO CEO, Bobbie Cosco. It was patterned after the modern grocery store and referred to as "an industrial supermarket." That is one of the many things that make COSCO unique. It just doesn't look or feel like a wholesale store. It has a friendly, welcoming atmosphere, well-stocked shelves, and a staff that knows the company's products and understands the needs of its customers.

We Do What We Do Best

Back in 1961, COSCO was called Refrigerator Service and Supply and originally included a service department, cabinet-making facilities, and parts sales counter. In 1968, this format changed, along with its corporate name, to Cosco Supply. True to its new identity, the company became a supply house, gradually evolving into what is today an air-conditioning/refrigeration wholesale distributor. "Basically," says company president, Cynthia Tavares, "we focused on what we do best. Over the years, the other divisions were sold off until the business returned to its core air conditioning/refrigeration specialty." In 1983, the second generation took over the family company, which now was a well-established business and an integral part of Hawaii's construction-oriented industry.

What You See Really Is What You Get

What sets COSCO apart from other wholesale industry supply houses in Hawaii? Its "supermarket" appeal certainly is one defining aspect.

"Customers actually can see what they're buying," says Matt Cosco. "They're exposed to everything on the shelves. They can read the specs, look over the merchandise, and make their own decisions right there on the spot."

"It also makes for faster service," points out company CEO, Bobbie Cosco.

But COSCO is recognized for more than its unusual format and fast service. "We do a lot of special ordering," agrees the family team. "We're known for processing urgently needed parts very quickly".

There is something else for which the company is known. "Whether a customer is a large or a small contractor, we cater to them all with the same commitment."