Often in our newsletters, Big Island Bees likes to acknowledge and shed light on other companies with roots in Hawaii. Some of them work with us by using our honey in their products, some carry our honey at their stores, and others simply share a common love for the aina. At this time of Thanksgiving we would like to introduce to our readers the story of King’s Hawaiian Bakery.
Our calabash culture celebrates cuisines from all over the world, yet a constant accompaniment to every Thanksgiving meal is either a loaf or roll from King’s Hawaiian Bakery. Every local knows, no Thanksgiving in Hawaii is complete without breads by Kings Hawaiian Bakery.
For 25 years my family has kept the tradition of camping at a beautiful white sand beach over the 4 day Thanksgiving weekend. We bring in all the trappings, turkey, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, rolls, stuffing, pumpkin pies etc. We also grill vegetables and fish on the fire. We sit under the stars and give thanks to the bounty of the land, the sea, and the love that everyone put into the dinner.
My favorite meal, however, is not the actual Thanksgiving feast, but rather the delicious leftover preparations that one can savor for days while relaxing on the beach. No worries about cooking; this is a time to rest and have fun!!
I particularly like preparing a turkey sandwich using the King's Hawaiian Sweet Roll slathered in either our cranberry honey sauce (recipe below) or Big Island Bee's honey mustard and a nice slice of turkey breast. I carry that sandwich and umbrella out to my chair on the shore and relish the flavors as I enjoy my book. You can enjoy this sandwich too, even if not sitting on a white sand beach in Hawaii, it will taste just as good!
Flavorful Cranberry Sauce with Big Island Bees Honey
- 12 oz bag of fresh cranberries
- 1 ¼ cup of apple cider
- ¾ cup organic Wilelaiki honey
- 1 Tablespoon of freshly grated organic orange peel
- 1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (preferably Ocean Fire Hawaiian cinnamon)
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- pinch of salt
- 2 bay leaves
- Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes and the sauce begins to thicken.
- Cool. this can be made up to 3 days in advance and kept refrigerated or in a cooler on the beach!
The mouthwatering story of KING’S HAWAIIAN began in 1950 in Hilo, Hawaii. After graduating at the top of his baking class, Robert Taira opened his first bakery, named Robert's Bakery, in the town of Hilo on the Big Island. It was in this bakery that the first round, soft loaves of Original Recipe Round Bread (today known as KING’S HAWAIIAN Original Hawaiian Sweet Round Bread) were created. Instantly enjoyed by all, a local island favorite was born.
After several years of success in Hilo, Robert moved to King Street in Honolulu in 1963. There he opened that city's first combination bakery/restaurant, and named it King’s Bakery. It didn't take long for the new King Street location to become a beloved institution. Locals lined up around the block for Robert's famous sweet bread and tropical cakes, and tourists regularly bought several loaves and mailed them back to their hometowns.
Seeing an opportunity to share his bread with even more people on the mainland, Robert decided to build a production facility to make his bread in Torrance, California in 1977. The new facility began distributing to supermarkets throughout Southern California. Distribution quickly spread until the entire country was able to enjoy sweet, delicious KING’S HAWAIIAN bread.
While business was booming, Robert missed the personal interaction with KING’S HAWAIIAN fans that the bakery/restaurant had provided in Hawaii. That’s why in 1988, Robert opened a new family run bakery/ restaurant in Torrance, CA on Sepulveda Blvd. The menu included Robert's legendary tropical cakes, along with traditional Hawaiian fare, and of course KING’S HAWAIIAN bread. In 2001, KING’S HAWAIIAN opened a second retail establishment called The Local Place in Torrance, CA, offering fast-casual Hawaiian food.
In order to keep up with the growing national demand for KING’S HAWAIIAN bread, two additional baking facilities were put in place over the course of the next two decades. Always seeking ways to offer new irresistible products to consumers, KING’S HAWAIIAN launched a food truck experience in 2014 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The truck serves innovative culinary dishes, pairing KING’S HAWAIIAN products with irresistible flavors and ingredients of Hawaii.
Throughout the years and through all of the growth, KING’S HAWAIIAN continues to be owned and operated with Aloha spirit by the Taira family.
King’s Hawaiian Products:
For almost 30 years KING’S HAWAIIAN baked Original Recipe Round Bread (today known as KING’S HAWAIIAN Original Hawaiian Sweet Round Bread) in a single form – a round loaf. In 1983, KING’S HAWAIIAN Original Hawaiian Sweet Rolls were introduced to much fanfare. While the product had a different look and shape, it was still baked using the same original recipe that had made KING’S HAWAIIAN Sweet Round Bread irresistible for years. In 2008, an entire line of sandwich based items was introduced (Sandwich Buns, Hamburger Buns, Hot Dog Buns, and Mini Sub Rolls). One year later, sliced bread was launched. Today, KING’S HAWAIIAN continues to dream up new products with the same commitment to quality. Keep your eyes open… you never know what you might see next.