Monday, October 15, 2012

A Tour and Many Tastes of King's Hawaiian Bakery

King's Hawaiian Bakery was started by Robert Taira, the father of the current president, Mark, first as a stand alone bakery in Hawaii in Hilo in 1956. The family then moved to Honolulu and opened up the bakery on King Street. All the family worked at the bakery and tourists were buying them as souvenirs. The round bread was the number 1 fundraising item on the island. Mark's grandma then had the great idea of starting a mail order service and demand for King's Hawaiian bread kept growing into what it is now - a big factory in Torrance, California where they still produce bread with Robert's original recipe.


I was invited to tour the factory recently, and of course I'm not going to say no to such an opportunity!
Part of this tour involved some confidential information like the machines they use etc so not many pictures, sorry! But I was surprised at what a big operation this really was, from machines that cut and knead the dough to packaging it. The end of the line was a favorite, of course, with the smell of butter and fresh baked bread wafting in the air.



Of course, the best part was probably trying the rolls fresh off the line (we got the wheat rolls), just with butter! Can't beat this.
After the tour, we went out to their back lot for lunch! They've called in some of LA's best food trucks that serves or uses King's Hawaiian products, along with a whole spread of their own desserts. Mark's daughter Courtney experiments with different recipe using the bread in the factory kitchen including things like white chocolate chip bread pudding and garlic cheese bread. Some of the desserts we had are served at their restaurant, and also their newer fast casual restaurant, The Local Place. The Tres Leches cake and the bread pudding was my favorite.

I immediately went for Lobsta Truck's lobster roll, which is served on toasted King's Hawaiian sweet hot dog bun! I've always loved their lobster roll!
The Kogi Truck does their sliders using King's Hawaiian sweet dinner rolls. Both their short rib and tofu sliders were crowd favorites.
Buttermilk Truck's French Toast sticks also uses King's Hawaiian bread.
Ludo Truck serves their fried chicken with the dinner roll.
When we left, they told us they had a parting gift for us. I was expecting a bag, maybe one or two packages of their bread. But noooo. This is the Aloha spirit after all! Our parting gift was a huge box of goodies, so big that I needed help carrying it to the car! Enough bread to last me months, coffee, cookies, apron, gift card, etc ... Jealous? I bet. Want one? They're actually giving away a box to one of my readers too! The contents won't be exactly the same but you can be sure they will be as generous. Check back tomorrow for a new post for the giveaway! :)

1 comments:

Tiffany Chen

Tiffany Chen
tiffanyytchen@gmail.com
I love their original sweet rolls!

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