Our mouthwatering tale begins in the 1950’s in Hilo, Hawaii. There Robert R. Taira, the Hawaiian-born son of Japanese immigrants who graduated top of his baking class, opened his first bakeshop: Robert’s Bakery. Here is where the first soft round loaves of the Original Hawaiian Sweet bread were made. According to locals, the loaves rarely ever made it home before being devoured. Through hard work and his steadfast commitment to delivering an irresistible product, Robert had successfully created a traditional island favorite.
A legacy of baking with Aloha begins.
Aloha Spirit – Our Key Ingredient.
After nearly a decade of growing popularity, in 1963 the much-loved original shop expanded and moved to King Street in Honolulu, where it was renamed King’s Bakery. It didn’t take long for the new location to become a beloved institution as locals lined up around the block for Robert’s famous breads and cakes which were prepared and served with Aloha Spirit, an expression of caring and sharing that is an essential part of island culture.
Into the hearts, and onto
the plates, of the mainland.
While King’s Bakery was a local favorite, word had spread far and wide about the deliciously irresistible breads and cakes created with the Aloha spirit by the Taira family. Our Original Hawaiian Sweet Bread was shipped to the mainland by locals and tourists alike as gifts for their families and friends. Being an entrepreneur at heart, Robert was determined to spread his Aloha Spirit all across the mainland. In 1977 a new 24,000 square foot bakery was built in Torrance, California. Robert bestowed this new venture with the name we all know today, King’s Hawaiian Bakery.
Home is where the bakery is.
In 1983, Robert responded to increasing requests for new ways to enjoy the Original Hawaiian Sweet Bread by creating the 12 pack of Original Hawaiian Sweet Dinner Rolls. Then in 1986, Robert baked up the Honey Wheat Round Bread to the delight of bread lovers everywhere.
While the expansion of the bread line into rolls allowed more consumers to enjoy the bread for holiday dinners and celebrations, Robert was missing the personal interaction with the South Bay locals who had become ‘ohana (family) to him. So, in 1988 Robert opened a family run bakery and restaurant in Torrance. The bakery menu included Robert’s legendary tropical cakes, and the restaurant boasted many Hawaiian local plate dishes. You can find all of his original recipes still showcased to this day!
Bread and Aloha, on the rise.
As more people grew to love King’s Hawaiian, the business grew as well. So, an additional 40,000 square-feet were added to the bread bakery on Normandie Avenue in Torrance. Despite the giant addition, it was soon impossible to keep up with the growing number of new fans enjoying King’s Hawaiian products every day, and Robert’s company was destined for further expansion.
Many loaves and decades later.
In 2002, not far from the existing sit-down restaurant and bakery in Torrance, we opened The Local Place Bakery & Café, which offers great tasting Hawaiian food that’s perfect for people on the go.
2004 marked the official opening of our biggest production facility yet, located right around the corner from The Local Place. The Harborgate Way facility continues to house bread manufacturing lines operating 24 hours a day, many of our operating teams, as well as our innovations kitchen. This facility kicked production into gear to better provide for our increasing ‘ohana across the country.
expansion to the east coast.
To better serve our East Coast ‘ohana we started production on a third bakery facility in Oakwood, Georgia in 2010, which has provided over 300 jobs for the Georgia community. We have partnered with the food science program at the University of Georgia, and gained knowledge from Georgia Tech’s manufacturing and robotics expertise. We continue to bring our Aloha Spirit to our Georgia ‘ohana by looking for opportunities to give back for their support and accepting us with open arms.
The year 2013 came with even more growth for us. With hopes to expand our teams we needed a new place to house them. In 2013 we opened our corporate offices in Gardena. In 2017 the King’s Hawaiian Corporate Office received the Design Excellence Award for Grand Overall Design.
70 years in the baking.
2020 marks the 70th anniversary of King's Hawaiian, representing a significant milestone for the entire Taira family and the extended 'ohana. As we've grown, we've also developed national marketing campaigns that resonate and are inspired by our consumers across the country.