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A Sweet Tooth for All Things Delicious
Foodie Fare

A Sweet Tooth for All Things Delicious

Story By Sarah Pacheco Photos By Leah Friel
April 24 - 30, 2011

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For more than 40 years, Larry’s Bakery has been winning over locals with its scrumptious, home-baked products that to this day make loyal fans giddy in anticipation of that first bite.

  • Coconut Stick and Apple Stick ($1.35), Stick Donut ($1.50) and Okinawan Sweet Potato Manju (95 cents).
  • Lance Yafuso and sister Iris Yafuso bake everything from Apple Cinnamon Bread ($4.50) to White Chantilly Cake ($12.50) fresh daily at Larry's Bakery.
  • Vanilla, chocolate and red velvet cupcakes with butter cream, fudge and Chantilly frosting ($19.95 - $22.95 for a dozen).
  • Chocolate Brownie Butter Mochi ($2)
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“We see customers from 20 years ago coming back, and they talk about how they would get up in the morning and they would be so excited to see the box from Larry’s, and then they would dig in to see what kind of items were in there,” says Iris Yafuso, who grew up in the baking biz after her father, Larry, opened the original Larry’s Waiau Bakery back in the late 1960s.

“Those customers,” Iris adds, “they come to the window and ask, ‘Don’t you make this anymore?’ or ‘I remember this and this and this,’ so we started making those (items) again.”

One immensely popular confection making a comeback at Larry’s is the Stick Donut ($1.50), glazed doughnut holes skewered with a stick.

“It’s all stuck together and you peel it off,” Iris says. “Some people will pull the stick off and then piece by piece eat it, or bite it off in the middle. Somehow, it’s just fun to eat when it’s on a stick.”

Other old-school favorites being offered once more are the flaky and flavorful Apple and Coconut Sticks ($1.35 each), as well as the Okinawan Sweet Potato Manju (95 cents), a nod to the Yafuso ohana’s Okinawan roots.

“A lot of the recipes are my dad’s, so it’s not like we’re re-creating the wheel here,” Iris says. “It’s stuff we had from before, plus some new stuff that’s just coming out now.”

Brand-new to the Larry’s line is a Chocolate Brownie Butter Mochi ($2) that tastes even better than it looks.

“The bottom half is chocolate brownie with chocolate chips, and the top half is butter mochi,” Iris says of the rich and creamy dessert combination that was dreamed up just last week.

“You can use that for party favors or just to eat. And I just started doing the cupcakes,” she adds.

Available in vanilla, chocolate and red velvet, the cupcakes can be frosted with buttercream, chocolate fudge or Chantilly and are sold by packs of 12 for $19.95-$22.95.

On the Side

Sink your teeth into a slice of sweet nostalgia at Larry’s Bakery, where owners Iris and Lance Yafuso are using the same recipes developed by their father more than 40 years ago.

“My dad was Larry, and he opened the business,” Iris explains. Larry opened the original Larry’s Waiau Bakery in Waimalu Shopping Center in the late 1960s. Sadly, he passed away at the age of 49 from a brain aneurism, leaving his wife and children to carry on operations.

“My mom took over the whole business,” says Iris, who was only 9 at the time. “My brothers were still in high school, and I was the young baby back then. It was just kind of crazy and we got kind of thrown into everything.

“It’s totally family-run,” she adds of the tiny storefront, now located near Target in Salt Lake. “It’s my brother and I who are doing everything, and we have our classmates and friends and family helping us run everything.”

And she means everything. Every pastry, cookie, cake, pie and bread loaf is made from scratch, by hand and fresh every morning.

“Lots of it is old recipes that we just continued on,” Iris says of familiar favorites like Cinnamon Bread ($4), Apple Cinnamon Bread ($4.50), Blueberry Cinnamon Bread ($4.50) and Soft Cottage Bread ($4) that fly off the shelves daily.

“The newer stuff,” she adds, “comes from brainstorming, like, oh, let’s try this just for us to eat, but then it’s like, oh, wow … just making stuff that we think would be ono and we want to eat but it turns out to be something crazy good.”

One example of this experimentation is their popular White Chantilly Cake ($12.50 and up), concoted to accommodate a niece who has an allergy to chocolate.

“We started making it at home for our parties, then we started doing it for our customers and now it’s just taken off. It’s crazy,” Iris says.

“We’re also doing the cakes and bringing out the new ideas like the cupcake bouquets, the decorated cookies, all the fun stuff — the fun stuff we never got to do before but now we can,” she adds.

“But we gotta thank my dad, who left all this behind for us.”

Larry’s Bakery

  • Where
    • 4369 Lawehana Street B-2
    • Honolulu, HI 96818
  • Call
    • (808) 422-0059
  • Hours
    • 6 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    • Monday – Friday
    • 8 a.m. – 9 a.m.
    • Saturdays for pre-order pick-up only
  • Website