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Have you heard of Maui’s famous donuts on a stick?
Chances are, you probably haven’t; unless someone told you about them. They’re one of the few remaining inside scoops of Maui that you don’t always read in travel guides, so I’m here to tell you about T. Komoda Store & Bakery in Makawao. It’s not an island secret or anything, just a tasty part of Maui’s history that could easily be overlooked. After all, President Barack Obama stops by from time to time, so how much of a secret can it be! He personally thanked the mom-and-pop in a letter framed on Komoda’s wall.
For decades, these sugary treats have been giving Komoda a sweet presence on Maui.
Now back to those donut-kabobs…they’re exactly that. A skewer of small glazed donuts that can be pulled apart and shared among friends or nibbled from the stick. I’m not usually big on donuts, but everyone I know swears by this place. One guava malasada, a few glazed donuts and a chocolate cream puff later, and I was quickly convinced. The pillowy soft pastries were still warm, with a fresh coat of glaze and sugar that melted in your mouth.
Whether your into long johns or if you enjoy buttery rolls and breads, it’s all about personal taste here. For me, I enjoyed the unique malasada filling (which was hot pink, by-the-way!) and the mouth-watering donuts. But I’ll always be a devout fan of Liliha Bakery’s cocoa puff. Nothing will ever compare!
A classic mom-and-pop aura sails through the tiny bakery almost everyday, blending with the subtly sweet scent of freshly-kneaded dough and savory sugars. Komoda’s is far from a tourist trap. It’s a longstanding fixture in the Upcountry Maui community that goes back to the plantation days. Even some of the recipes go back to the early beginnings, when Mr. Komoda himself would greet each and every customer with a smile just as sweet as his creations.
If you’re not an early riser, then you might be disappointed to find that most of their stuff sells out by noon. Make sure to get there early and bring your appetite for something sweet. It’s worth the sacrifice for extra z’s. And although most would agree that this part bakery/museum/corner market is out-of-this-world, everyone will tell you that it’s actually a place much closer to our stomachs – in the old, paniolo town of Makawao.
T. KOMODA STORE & BAKERY • 3674 Baldwin Ave., Makawao, HI 96768 • Opens Mon-Tues, Thurs-Fri (7am-5pm); Wed, Sun (Closed); Sat (7am-2pm) • 808-572-7261