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Honolulu man wins $10K in beef re-branding contest

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                                Pictured is Frank VanderSloot, owner of Honolulu Meat Co. LLC.


    Pictured is Frank VanderSloot, owner of Honolulu Meat Co. LLC.

A Honolulu man won $10,000 after his suggested new name for a beef brand in dispute was selected from more than 5,000 suggestions submitted by 2,145 Hawaii residents, according to a news release from the brand’s owner.

Dennis Suzuki’s suggestion of “Kama ‘Aina Ranches” was the winning entry that earned him $10,000. Several contestants suggested various versions containing the words “Kama ‘Aina,” but Suzuki was the first to suggest it and won, according to the company.

The top 100 runners-up received a $20 gift card to Kua Aina Sandwich Shop in Haleiwa.

Frank VanderSloot, owner of Honolulu Meat Co. LLC, was facing a lawsuit alleging trademark infringement and unfair competition filed by Kua ‘Aina Sandwich Shop over the name of his beef brand, which incorporated Kua Aina.

VanderSloot’s company, Hawaii Sustainable Beef, and Kua ‘Aina’s owner Terry Thompson, who founded Kua ‘Aina Sandwich Shop in 1975 and registered its trademark in 1992, agreed that an online contest open to Hawaii residents to find a brand name to represent the meat raised by over 140 small cattle ranches in Hawaii was better than a legal fight.

Kama ‘Aina Ranches brand beef will be sold exclusively through Safeway, according to the release.

“It was interesting to hear Terry’s side of the story,” said VanderSloot, in a statement. “His attorneys were telling him that he would win the trademark dispute in court. My attorneys were telling me that I would win in court. The attorneys did not want us to talk to each other. But in the end that was the solution. Sometimes, you’ve got to get the attorneys out of the way so you can make friends and fix things. Life is too short to make enemies. Making friends is a lot less stressful and a lot more fun!”

Vandersloot, and Thompson recently lunched together at Kua Aina in Haleiwa, according to the company. The seven-day contest ran Jan. 18-25.

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