Cooking up crepes in Hanalei

When Kirill Babenko moved to Kauai in 2014, he wanted to bring something beautiful to the island.

That’s why, last year, he opened Banandi Creperie, an eatery that serves sweet and savory crepes, along with specialty coffee drinks like espressos, cappuccinos, americanos and lattes.

Babenko moved to the island from Ukraine and brought in professionals from Europe and the Mainland.

The business started as a food truck near the Hanalei Liquor Store. Business grew, and as part of an expansion plan, Babenko recently opened up a brick and mortar location in Ching Young Village in front of the shopping center.

He employs four cooks and four Baristas.

“We hired people without experience, and helped them to get experience,” he said. “We try to practice with them a bit to see how the person fits with us.”

Popular crepes are the bacon and scrambled egg and the strawberry and banana with Nutella, Babenko said. Ingredients are fresh, organic and come from local farmers.

Babenko hopes to expand Banandi Creperie, perhaps in Poipu.

“The nearest plan is to open another location on this island and then have one on each of the other islands,” he said.

Banandi Creperie is open seven days a week from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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