How Sweet It IsCover Story Features
November 20, 2016
Story By: Ali Resich | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO
During the holiday season, families look forward to magnificent turkey feasts, family gatherings and gift-giving galore, but for many, the true highlight of this time of year is indulging in seasonal desserts from now until the new year. That’s where Napoleon’s Bakery comes in, making sure life is sweet during these festive months from its outposts within all Zippy’s Restaurants.
Since Napoleon’s started in 1983, kamaaina have come to rely on the local bakery to whip up consistently delicious pastries, pies and more, all with a touch of nostalgia as the icing on the cake. “Our recipes are what Grandma or Mom made at home, so we’re pretty traditional. People can expect the same quality and taste from us year-round,” explains Jan Tsukazaki, who opened Napoleon’s with Zippy’s and now oversees the bakery’s operations as general manager of Food Solutions.
Customers agree there’s no better introduction to the holidays than munching on Napoleon’s current Flavor of the Month — none other than pumpkin, of course — which is the inspiration for an array of goodies available until the end of November. Perfect for Thanksgiving celebrations, Pumpkin Crunch Pie ($10) presents a hearty pumpkin interior covered with golden butter crumbs and walnut morsels. Turkey Day feasters also can’t go wrong with Pumpkin Chiffon Pie ($10.95), a cold dessert that has all that pumpkin-spice goodness of regular pumpkin pie, but is airier and lighter thanks to the meringue filling and whipped-topping garnish. Also available during November are Pumpkin Coffee Cake Squares ($1.95 each), Pumpkin Cheesecake ($19.75) and Pumpkin Pie made with Equal sweetener ($12.70).
For those who prefer to stick to the classics, Napoleon’s continues to offer its staple Pumpkin and Custard pies ($9.90 each; available year-round). “We’ve been making the Pumpkin Pie the same way for 33 years, and the Custard Pie is that same pie that everyone grew up with,” says Tsukazaki, who notes that “they’re both made from scratch.”
In addition to Turkey Day, the holidays present many opportunities to get together, and therefore plenty of reasons to satisfy one’s sweet tooth. Napoleon’s suggests jazzing up this year’s pie spread with something like Banana Cream ($10.95), Strawberry Gelatin Cream ($9.60) or good-ol’ Apple ($10.55) pies. “People forget about Apple, but it’s a really great pie that we get a lot of complements on it,” confirms Tsukazaki.
When daydreaming about desserts, customers are encouraged to keep in mind Napoleon’s fine array of cakes. Chocoholics adore Dobash Cake ($14 for 8-inch), known as the “chocolate pudding cake” for its pudding-like icing, while those looking for a light, refreshing option that’s not overly sweet can go for Peach Bavarian Cake ($16.45), a vanilla chiffon filled and iced with peach-speckled whipped custard. Other favorites include Chantilly ($19.45 for 8-inch) and Dream ($18.15 for 8-inch) cakes, the latter of which presents chocolate chiffon hidden beneath a cloud-like whipped topping covered in extra-milk-chocolate shavings. “Everybody buys it for the shavings,” reveals Tsukazaki.
There’s plenty to look forward to at Napoleon’s Bakery as the holiday season progresses. Come December, the baking crew will debut gingerbread-themed treats of the month, including a new gingerbread yeast donut. “It’s awesome!” says Tsukazaki. “It took us five months to perfect, and everyone loves a good yeast donut that’s light, fluffy and sweet.”
A Spoonful Of Sugar-Free
Napoleon’s Bakery wants everyone to be able to enjoy dessert during the holidays, including those who can’t eat much sugar. That’s why the iconic local bakery offers Pumpkin Pie made with Equal sweetener ($12.70) and finished with sugar-free whipped topping.
“We’re concerned about people with diabetes or who have to watch their sugar intake. This pie allows them to eat guilt-free with a whole slice of pie that still tastes delicious,” says general manager Jan Tsukazaki.
Less Is More
For families hosting smaller get-togethers this year, Napoleon’s offers some of its signature cakes in ideally petite 6-inch rounds — including Dobash Cake ($9.50), Dream Cake ($12.35) and Chantilly Cake ($13.25).