Hawai‘i’s Love’s Bakery returns to local ownership

Hawai‘i’s well-known supplier of freshly baked bread will once again become locally owned. Local management of Daiichiya-Love’s Bakery Inc. yesterday signed an agreement to purchase the iconic 157-year-old bakery from its parent company, Japan-based First Baking Company Ltd. The sale will be completed in about 60 days.

“This agreement will preserve the jobs of our 349 employees and our ability to produce freshly baked bread right here in Hawaii, reducing our state’s reliance on imported goods,” bakery President Mike Walters, who has managed statewide operations since June 2002, said.

First Baking Company Ltd., which purchased the bakery in 1981, approached Walters last May with an opportunity to buy the business. In June, the bakery’s employees were informed of the pending purchase. Under a new limited liability company created by local management, Walters will become the CEO.

Efficiency measures and capital investments are planned, including the addition of new boilers and air compressors and upgrades to the O‘ahu and Neighbor Island fleets.

A long-term strategic distribution plan is aimed at reducing distribution expenses to the Neighbor Islands. Recent utilization of the Hawaii Superferry to Maui has contributed to the improved sales efficiencies as well reducing distribution expenses, the company said. A focus of the plan is also to elevate public awareness about the amount of frozen bread now being shipped from the Mainland and distributed in the state.

Established in 1851, Love’s Bakery is the largest wholesale baker of bread in Hawai‘i. The bakery produces more than half a million pounds of product each week for distribution to grocery stores, military bases, restaurants, schools and hospitals across the state.

The company’s bakery facility is located on O‘ahu and has branch operations on Kaua‘i, Maui, the Big Island and Moloka‘i.

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