HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Another kamaaina bakery is closing at the end of this month.
Kaneohe Bakery, a fixture in the Windward Oahu community for 68 years, said it is calling it quits at the end of the month.
“Due to the difficulty of the current situation and the financial climate, Kaneohe Bakery will close permanently at the end of the month,” owner Darlene Mizota wrote, in a note to customers.
“It’s been our pleasure doing business in this community for almost 70 years. We couldn’t have done it without our valuable employees and awesome customers.”
The news stunned employees and longtime customers.
“Sad, think about it, this is iconic,” said Kathy Paiva, of Kaneohe. “It’s bad enough Love’s (Bakery) is closing but this is closing.”
Added employee Aaron Yamashita: “Honestly, it makes me feel kind shaken up inside. I know this place has been around for quite a while (and) this place is really loved by the community,” he said.
Some customers hope the company will reconsider.
“If you guys do open up I’ll be stoked. But if you guys don’t, it will be a memory in my heart,” said Kaneohe resident Mel Estalillo,
Kaneohe Bakery is much smaller than Love’s Bakery, which is also calling it quits at the end of the month. But its following may be just as loyal.
“The dobash and the banana cream pie are fabulous. The coconut cream pie is fabulous. We’re going to miss it,” said Kathy, another longtime Kaneohe resident. “Every holiday for the pumpkin pies, they would have a line out the door. Last year, they had security even.”
Tina Yamaki, of the Retail Merchants Association, said the pandemic has been especially harsh on small businesses like Kaneohe Bakery
“What we’re seeing is a lot of retailers closing quietly. You don’t find out they’re closed until you go to that store and it’s all boarded up, papered up and the sign is gone,” she said.
But with more federal stimulus money headed this way and more mass vaccinations around the corner, Yamaki also believes the outlook for small businesses is improving slightly.
“It’s getting a little bit better but not to the point where we’re out of the woods yet. Businesses still need a lot of help,” she said.