I was always so envious of that Charlie.
Don’t get me wrong–he totally deserved it but to get FULL access to Willy Wonka’s Factory?! C’mon Now! How must have that felt? What did he do? What amazing aromas did he smell?
And then out of the blue, I got my Golden Ticket…….to the AMAZING Kings Hawaiian in Torrance, California. JACKPOT!!
In 1950, Robert Taira, opened up a bakery in Hilo, Hawai’i featuring delicious baked goods inspired from his neighbor’s ONO Portuguese bread. After much determination and ambition, Kings Hawaiian has not only become the number one dinner roll in the country but also offers delicious local grindz and pastries.
So you can imagine my utter glee when I accepted their invitation to participate in their first EVER public tour!!!! Chhheeeee-Hoooooo!!
After being warmly greeted with fresh floral leis, POG juice and fresh fruit, we were given an Aloha from Kings Hawaiian’s CEO, Mark Taira. Mark and the ‘Ohana, gave us an overview of the history of KH and where the organization was headed. And before the bread comatose kicks in, let me say, that the KH organization truly exudes the spirit of Aloha.
I have had the fortunate privilege to spend some time in Hilo. And unlike it’s hustle-bustle sister-city of Honolulu, Hilo is a little slower paced and focuses on communal-’ohana living. And I’m proud to say that the organization of Kings Hawaiian exudes every part of that.
We were then privy to a first hand tour of the factory and OH….MY…GAWD.
Words CANNOT begin to describe the delicious aromas that filled ALL of my senses. It took EVERY ounce of will power for me to not reach over the belts and grab a roll.
And lucky for us at the end of our factory tour, our group was able to sample fresh rolls that were steaming HOT right out of the ovens, pulled from the conveyer belts, and into my mouth. Good grief! Did I mention that we slathered them with butter?!
At that point, I had died and gone to heaven.
We were then escorted to an amazing luncheon featuring local food trucks who used King Hawaiian products in their dishes. SERIOUSLY!?!
Lobsta Truck, Kogi BBQ, Ludo Truck, Buttermilk Truck and ONO grindz from Kings Hawaiian! Everything was so flipping ONO-LICIOUS that my only question was–Why didn’t someone tell me to wear elastic waistband pants?!?
Everything I tasted hit a note that made me do a Happy Dance.
At the end of the day, I walked away with the following:
- What makes Kings Hawaiian stand out from the rest is their impeccable quality and TRUE Aloha Spirit;
- Their products taste FANTASTIC with EVERYTHING;
- Never doubt that a business model of ‘Ohana can create an AMAZING organization.
Mahalo nui loa Kings Hawaiian for the wonderful day and memorable experience! Your spirit has truly inspired me.
Much, MUCH Alohas,
ps. And to the ROCKIN’ bloggers, food writers, and food lovers I met that day—let’s K.I.T.!!!
pps. Stay tuned as some RAD recipes featuring Kings Hawaiian bread will soon to follow!