A Bakery Gets a Little Sweeter

Cover Story Features

February 22, 2015

Story By: Alana Folen | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo

Tracing back to the 1960s, Larry’s Bakery in Waimalu carved its niche with something sweet. Founded by Larry Yafuso, this family-run bakery, dedicated to scratch baking, operated from a window-front shop for years. Currently, Yafuso’s children — the brother-and-sister duo of Lance Yafuso and Iris Yafuso-Toguchi — run the business in honor of their late father.

Last July, longtime supporters were sadden by the news of the bakery’s closing, only to be overjoyed with the bakery’s reopening in November. New and improved, Larry’s Bakery transformed into a larger walk-in store.

“During this four-month hiatus, we really took the time to determine what direction we wanted to go in regarding the business. Remodeling was first and foremost,” says Iris. “There were a few delays in the construction process, but now we want to make it known to our customers that we’re open again, and ready for business!”

The 200-square-foot space warrants more items on display, thanks to a sizable glass showcase, as well as a refrigerated display area. Iris says prior to the renovations, the bakery was fully stocked to full capacity with pastries every morning — space was limited.

“Refrigerated cakes and pies such as Banana Cream Pie are featured for all to see, and Mini Coco Puff is a newer offering, which customers have been reaching for in the refrigerated section. We continue to sell our classics — apple and coconut sticks, cinnamon twists, cookies, and Chantilly and Dobash cakes — all made from my father’s recipes,” she explains.

One customer in particular swears by Larry’s Bakery’s White Chantilly Cake ($15.50 for an 8-by-8-inch cake); a light and fluffy slice of heaven that’s filled with white chiffon frosting and topped with a sprinkle of macadamia nuts. Debbie Okada’s 73-year-old father, Roy, was diagnosed with stage four tongue/lymphoid cancer last September. Since then, he’s been placed in hospice; but Roy has beaten the odds, which Debbie says is in large part because of Larry’s White Chantilly Cake.

“Hospice didn’t think my dad would survive past the new year, and I feel that Larry”s Bakery has helped to extend his life.” says Okada. “Occasionally, we would buy a piece of cake, but last month I started buying (him) the 8-by-8-inch cake. In the last couple of weeks, he eats the entire cake in one day. I’m not sure what it is, but the white Chantilly has increased his appetite tremendously.”

Of course, the bakery also brought back savory must-haves, including its bentos and Spam musubi. According to Iris, the newly released Bacon Glazed Donut combines sweet with savory, as it takes Larry’s traditional glazed doughnut and dresses it up with brown sugar, honey and chopped bacon. Honey Dew Melon Napoleon ($1 each), Lemon Napoleon ($1 each) and Puff Pastry with Flavored Custard are a few more favorites.

Larry’s Bakery continues to be an active participant at Makeke Farmers Market, Thursdays from 3 to 6:30 p.m. at Kapolei High School, and Pearl City Momilani Farmers Market Fridays from 3 to 6:30 p.m. at Momilani Rec Center.

“We have many customers call to pre-order items, and we will bring them to the farmers markets. It’s convenient for some people to pick it up there, rather than coming to our store. It’s not a problem,” says Iris.

Larry’s Bakery also continues to expand its reach with select products available for purchase at Waianae Store, Nanakuli Store, Tamura’s Waianae and Don Quijote.

“We’re excited about our makeover. Everyone is welcome to come by to check out the new walk-in store!”

For a quick sugar fix with a whole lot of sweet, Larry’s Bakery is it!

Larry’s Bakery

4369 Lawehana St. B2, Honolulu
Tuesday-Friday, 6 a.m.-noon
Saturday, 6 a.m.-2 p.m.
Closed Sunday and Monday

Honolulu, HI 96818

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