A Kailua bake shop that’s anything but vanilla

Digest Eat This

April 27, 2015

Story By: Andy Beth Miller | Photos by: Bodie Collins

The self-professed “Home of Hawaii’s Best Malassadas,” Agnes’ Portuguese Bake Shop isn’t sugarcoating anything but these famous fried delicacies when it comes to delivering quality baked goods that more than live up to the moniker.

Walk into Agnes’ and everything about its ambiance already sings of sweet goodness. From the dainty tablecloths paired with pretty pastel floral arrangements to the old-fashioned clear showcase teasing every customer with home-baked temptations straight from the hearth, the charming shop’s selection of pastries, gourmet cupcakes, decorated cakes and more offers patrons a wide variety of options that are anything but vanilla (although they even have that, too).

Assorted pastries (95 cents to $2.95) Oatmeal Rasin Cookie, Morning Glory, Cherry Turnover, Coconut Pan

Assorted pastries (95 cents to $2.95) Oatmeal Rasin Cookie, Morning Glory, Cherry Turnover, Coconut Pan

Owner Non DeMello readily begins regaling us with facts about Agnes’ famed Malassadas ($1 each, $10.80 per dozen, 90 cents for each above a dozen). “Think of them as being the first cousins of beignets,” he says while smiling. Or perhaps imagine warm and rich, eggy pieces of the most delicious deep-fried french toast you have ever tasted — and then dust that with sugar or cinnamon sugar (the two Malassada choices one has at Agnes’). Pair that to perfection with a cup of Agnes’ fresh brewed island coffee, or really go wild and order up a creamy, extra-foam cappuccino from its full espresso bar.

Malassadas ($1 each, $10.80 per dozen)

Malassadas ($1 each, $10.80 per dozen)

After just one taste, it’s no surprise when DeMello divulges how popular Agnes’ newest venture — taking these treasures to the people a la event catering — is becoming. “We go to events now and host Malas-sada parties with our on-site stand, passing them out piping hot and fresh-fried,” he says. The bakery also supplies many local retail shops and restaurants with its fresh-baked creations, and even sells its Malassada batter for use in fundraising projects, enabling the community to benefit from its proverbial liquid gold recipe.

For those wanting to stop in for breakfast, a bounty of assorted pastries (95 cents to $2.95 each) awaits. Choose daily among 25-30 varieties, including Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, Morning Glories (puffed pastry with a cornbread center, cherries and streusel), Cherry Turnovers and Coconut Pan (Portuguese sweetbread with coconut filling).

Agnes’ Portuguese Bake Shope

46 Hoolai St., Kailua


6 a.m.–6 p.m.;
Sunday, 6 a.m.–2 p.m.


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