New Hilo bakery celebrates its grand opening


A new bakery in downtown Hilo holds its grand opening celebration today through Sunday. Located at 187 Kilauea Ave., Papaa Palaoa Bakery sports a bright blue storefront, hanging flower baskets and enticing aromas.

“People tell us every day, ‘Oh, it smells so good,’” said bakery owner Eric Cox, whose bestsellers are the roasted three seed bread and chocolate chip walnut cookies.

Papaa Palaoa’s breads include cranberry macadamia nut whole wheat, oatmeal, multigrain, olive, spicy corn, sourdough rye, sourdough whole wheat and cinnamon raisin macadamia nut swirl. Specialty items include pan forte, cinnamon rolls and brioche with chocolate chips and vanilla cream.

With the store’s opening, Cox has added to the menu scones, muffins, cookies and quiche, plus coffee and chai.

Papaa Palaoa Bakery was founded in December 2006, starting small and eventually expanding to include sales at farmers markets in Hilo, Naalehu, Mountain View, Pahoa and Volcano.

Cox then started looking for a place to make bread available to a broader market. He needed a bigger kitchen, because the quantity of bread he’d been making for farmers markets and various wholesale accounts was exceeding his capacity.

“Before, we were hand kneading all our bread. Now we have a commercial mixer. We can make so much more bread so much more quickly,” Cox said. “The storefront is our next step up. Not only does it increase our business presence, it has improved our ability to make good bread.”

Cox, who joined the Hilo Downtown Improvement Association, is assisted by partner and baker Paul Lackner, plus bakers Rachel Van Etten and Nick Mount.

The bakery is open from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. For more information, call 935-5700.