Malasada maker moving on

  • John Steinhorst/The Garden Island

    Kauai Bakery employee, David Pena, prepares shredded coconut for a specially ordered cake on Monday.

  • John Steinhorst/The Garden Island

    Jea Laganina welcomes customers to Kauai Bakery, which is currently up for sale.

LIHUE — An island bakery that has made malasadas, cakes, cookies, breads and other fresh goods for more than three decades is up for sale.

The Kauai Bakery at Kukui Grove Shopping Center is well known by Lihue residents and visitors for offering sweet baked treats, especially its popular cream-filled malasadas.

“It’s been in business 30 years, maybe 40,” said the owner, Roland Tacsiat. “It’s been a long time.”

Tacsiat, 60, bought the simple bakery in 2008 and now hopes to sell the business before his lease ends in August. He initially put the bakery up for sale for $450,000, but later lowered the price to around $300,000.

“I just don’t want to do the everyday thing anymore, because I do mostly all the production, and then I have to run the business,” he said. “It’s a lot of work.”

The cozy bakeshop employs nine workers, most of them part-time.

Fluffy, sugar-coated malasadas, cinnamon rolls and apple turnovers have been their best selling products to regular repeat customers, said David Pena, who has worked at the bakery for over two years.

“The cinnamon rolls aren’t that sweet with a perfect amount of cinnamon,” Pena said.

Last Monday, Pena along with Jea Laganina, an employee for five years, were preparing a birthday cake coated with fresh shredded coconut. They get frequent orders for special cakes, and employees also work hard to accommodate a line of customers waiting for their fresh pastries and malasadas each morning.

“I put in about 10 to 12 hours a day, sometimes 15,” Tacsiat said. “I never had the day off for 10 years brah.”

Tacsiat said he would be willing to help the next owner of the bakery if they want to hire his services.

“I’m just gonna work for now,” he said. “If you take it easy and stay home all the time, you’re gonna die easy. So you gotta keep active.”

  1. harry oyama June 12, 2018 10:03 am Reply

    What I’ve noticed about these unique popular “mom & pop” business is the lack of support from both the local population and State business center in keeping such local business alive by offering some type of franchise like employee sharing.

    After all these business has shown a history of success and is an investment that should not be left to just fade away like in the case of Hawaiian Airlines,

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