Special to The Hawai‘i Herald
T. Komoda Store & Bakery in the Upcountry Maui town of Makawao is celebrating the kind of milestone family-run mom-and-pop businesses
rarely achieve: its centennial. Yes, 100 years in business. And the Komoda family is still churning out its signature cream puffs and stick donuts the old-fashioned way — by hand, and with a whole lot a heart.
Located on Baldwin Avenue, just a stone’s throw away from the Baldwin/Makawao Avenue intersection, T. Komoda Store & Bakery continues to produce homemade-style pastries that sell out hours before the store closes. The store’s issei founders, Takezo and Shigeri Komoda, established the business as a general store in 1916, selling everything from horseshoes to fabric. Against the odds, Komoda Store has weathered Maui’s ever-evolving economy and demographics, holding its own against stiff competition from such heavily marketed corporate giants as Krispy Kreme, big-box and chain grocery stores and fancy bake shops on the Valley Isle, proving it can compete. In 2009, Komoda Store & Bakery received the Small Business Administration’s Maui County family-owned business award.
Today, Betty Shibuya, a granddaughter of the founders, and her husband Calvin run the business. Betty, who handles the retail operation, said her ancestors would be surprised to know that the business they started a century ago is still alive — and thriving.
“It doesn’t seem like a hundred years,” she said, laughing.
“I never thought about the bakery reaching 100 years old until maybe six years ago,” added Calvin Shibuya, Komoda’s baker and general manager.
“I started back in 1990 — I was the late comer. I was going to go to baking school. (But) I was told, ‘No, don’t waste your time going to baking school.’”
Calvin had retired from the U.S. Air Force and was contemplating a second career as a commercial airline pilot, until he caught the eye of the Komoda family.
He said he learned how to bake on the job. Ikuo Komoda, Betty’s late uncle and the store’s primary baker at the time, was his main teacher. It was
Ikuo who developed the recipe for the cream puffs and the popular pastries, most of which Komoda’s did not offer until he returned to Maui from baking school on the Mainland in 1950. Ikuo was the only one in the family that received professional training. He developed the bakery’s signature pastry recipes after returning home.
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