Prepare to get really jealous and hungry as you read my post. I can say that I know with some certainty that you probably have never gotten to take a tour of the King’s Hawaiian factory. But a few weeks ago, I got the opportunity to do just that.
Here are Lauren and I sipping a tropical beverage in the executive kitchen while we waited to learn more about the company.
We got a chance to speak one on one with CEO Mark Taira and learn about his family history and how the company got started. 16 family members work for the company and you truly felt the passion they all share for not only the product they produce but also the company. For a small company that started in Hilo, HI in 1950, they have come a long way bringing a fantastic product to the mainland in a really rich, family-style corporate culture. This company really does spread the aloha in everything they do.
There were only a few places in the factory where we were allowed to take photos due to a lot of proprietary info. It was SO much fun to see how it all happens. Did you know that King’s Hawaiian makes hot dog buns? Well, they do and you totally need to try them. They are SO yummy!!!! The top left photo is the hot dog bun dough after it was done proofing (oh the weird traffic I’m going to get for saying buns so many times!) The top right is the buns coming out of a HUGE oven! Then they move on to cool before being sent to the packaging area.
Oh yeah. And then this happened. These perfect little King’s Hawaiian rolls are fresh out of the oven. And by fresh out of the oven I mean, they came out of the oven and were whisked over to us so we could experience a once in a lifetime treat right next to the oven they just came out of. Insane! Oh and can I just mention that I’m sure heaven smells just like the King’s Hawaiian factory.
As if that tour wasn’t enough, the super hospitable family set up a Food Truck gathering in their back parking lot! Each truck used the King’s Hawaiian products. We started off with a lobster roll on the hot dug bun from The Lobsta Truck (which was as good as you would think it should be) and ate our way around the lot. We wanted to try everything so Lauren and I decided to get one of most things and split it. It was still too much food. But all of it was insanely good. The french toast from Buttermilk truck…sensational. And let’s not forget about the table of desserts. Did you know that King’s Hawaiian owns a bakery/restaurant in Torrance? Well, they do. And all of these desserts came from there. Mmmmmmmmm. None of them sucked. I can’t wait to give the restaurant a try next time I’m in the area. To cap off this amazing feast and tour I will never forget, we were sent home with enough product to take me up two jean sizes. What was cool about that is I could, in turn, spread some aloha and share that iconic orange package with friends and family. I saw lots of smiles and no one turned me down.
Inspired by some of the recipes available on the King’s Hawaiian website, I used a hot dog bun to hold a banana for one son for breakfast. And oh my gosh. You HAVE to try their cheese bread recipe! I wasn’t sure if I would like the sweetness of the bread with the cheese. But guess what? I totally did and you will too. I don’t see the recipe for that on their website so I will see if I can share it with you. Do you love King’s Hawaiian as much as me? What is your favorite way to eat it? If do a giveaway would anyone enter?
A huge thank you to the Taira family for welcoming in to their “home.” Truly an experience I will never forget.
*Disclosure: I was given product. I received no further compensation and this post is all my opinion.
Photos 2, 3, 4, and 6 are courtesy of King’s Hawaiian.