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Makawao family bakery celebrates century in business

MAKAWAO >> A Maui mom-and-pop bakery is celebrating 100 years in business.

Komoda Store & Bakery dates to 1916 when it opened as T. Komoda Store in Makawao. What started as a general store is now known for its stick doughnuts and cream puffs.

The Maui News reports the Makawao History Museum is hosting an exhibit based on the anniversary.

Museum researcher Gail Ainsworth says founders Takezo and Shigeri Komoda anticipated losing what they had because they were not U.S. citizens as World War II loomed before the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor. So they transferred the business to their oldest son and his wife, who were citizens.

Betty Shibuya, the founders’ granddaughter, says she can’t believe the family business has thrived for a century. Her husband is the chief baker.

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    • Well, like many family-owned businesses, it’s often really up to the younger generation whether or not they want to take over the business. A lot of times the scenario is that the family business puts the younger generation through college, then that generation ends up being successful professionals so, coming back to a job that requires getting up early in the morning or, as another article mentioned, the Komoda owner starts work at 11 p.m. and does not finish until 4 p.m. would take a lot of dedication and sacrifice.

  • For years the traditional omiyage (gifts) for persons returning from Maui were potato chips (Kitchen-Cooked), guri-guri ice cream, and cream puffs from Makawao. These traditions have died down somewhat, but cream puffs from Komodo’s in Makawao is still going strong.

  • Being a distant relative of the family and lived on Maui, I’m highly biased with their pastries. Mostly known for their cream puffs, glazed doughnut holes on a stick, there’s also the dinner rolls, dobash cake, dutch apple pie, coconut pie, discontinued azuki bean pie, fried and baked anpan (azuki) doughnut, hotdog and hamburger buns to die for, and the long gone classic ” White Cake” consisted of three layers of plain vanilla cake, two layers of cream puff filling so thick that it smashed the cake layer, and topped with white frosting and shaved coconut…never found one to come close. Hope the legend live on past my time.

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