Some Like It Hot
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When thinking about the possibilities for Napoleon’s Bakery, company CEO Jason Higa knew he wanted to provide his customers with a bakery product that was hot. Thus, the Hot & Fresh operation was born in 2004 at the Napoleon’s Bakery at Ala Moana, in which several hot bakery items were made fresh and promoted as such.
“When they (customers) come into our stores, we have doughnuts and pastries, but normally, those are not hot,” says Kris Campbell, retail bakery specialist for Napoleon’s Bakery. “That was the motivation (behind Hot & Fresh) — to make sure we could offer customers a hot item.”
The next Hot & Fresh operations opened in the Napoleon’s Bakeries in Makiki and Ewa. Currently, Hot & Fresh can be found at eight select Napoleon’s Bakeries on Oahu.
“We opened (Hot & Fresh) at Koko Marina and Wahiawa; the newest three are at (Napoleon’s Bakeries in) Kapolei, Mililani and Kailua,” Campbell says. “Because we have 24 stores, we’re not equipped in the stores (to make all bakery products there), but there are a few items we can do right there to have them hot for the customers.”
While the Hot & Fresh products originally included funnel cakes and other delicacies, three items remain — malasadas (70 cents each, $7.45/dozen), andagi (72 cents each, $7.65/dozen) and jin dui (three for $1.20, $4.25/dozen).
“We decided to take the three best-sellers of everything that we sold in the beginning and focused on that,” Campbell explains. “The malasada was our very first item.”
The Hot & Fresh malasada is unique from others, in that it is created at the bakery’s plant in Waipio and is then sent in its frozen dough state to the various bakeries that carry the Hot & Fresh operation. Campbell’s responsibility is to train the bakery chefs to prepare the products fresh at the different bakeries.
“The plant makes the majority of all the items and all our bakery items, and from there, it’s sent to the units,” she says. “The malasada (cinnamon/sugar) is made from scratch at the plant and then at the stores, we fry it. Our malasada only takes two to three minutes to fry, so customers would be able to get hot malasadas in their hands in about three-and-a-half minutes.”
Not only is the Napoleon’s Bakery malasada different because it’s prepared fresh at the bakery, but it stems from a unique recipe.
“We formulated this special recipe so that we could fry it (the malasada) at the units — not do it at the plant and deliver it — so the customer could have it hot,” Campbell says. “It’s a special recipe that we made from scratch. It was a collaboration of all our bakers, plus our head person at the plant. The malasada is the most popular of the three (Hot & Fresh) products; I get comments from customers saying that you can have our malasada the next day and it’s still good, it’s not greasy.”
Jin dui is prepared in a similar way as the malasada, in that it comes from the bakery plant in a frozen, dough state and is then sent to each individual Napoleon’s bakery with the Hot & Fresh operation.
“Jin dui is a Chinese dessert,” Campbell explains. “It’s mochi on the outside and filled with a red azuki bean and has sesame seeds on the outside. It’s deep-fried, so it comes out light and crispy; it’s crispy but chewy because it has that red bean inside.”
In contrast with the malasada and jin dui, the Hot & Fresh andagi is made from scratch in the individual bakery units.
“I train the bakery clerks at the units: they have the yeast, flour and sugar,” she says. “They have all the ingredients at the stores to make it.”
Starting from Sept. 11, the Hot & Fresh operations will be introducing a newly flavored chocolate chip andagi.
“It’s something we’re already doing as far as andagi, but we’re just going to add a flavor to it,” Campbell says.
“Chocolate chip morsels are stirred into the andagi batter, which is then cooked to a golden crisp,” says Jay Crisologo, creative specialist for Zippy’s Restaurants’ marketing department. “Chocolate chip andagi are 82 cents each and $8.95 per dozen.”
- Various locations including Ala Moana, Ewa, Kailua, Kapolei, Koko Marina, Makiki, Mililani, Wahiawa and Kahului
- (808) 973-0870 (Ala Moana)
- (808) 594-3720 (Makiki)
- (808) 687-3500 (Ewa)
- (808) 396-6977 (Koko Marina)
- (808) 622-4166 (Wahiawa)
- (808) 674-1773 (Kapolei)
- (808) 623-1110 (Mililani)
- (808) 266-3780 (Kailua)
- (808) 856-7699 (Kahului)
- Most stores open 24 hours daily; hours vary per location