Hawaiian Pie – Day 144

Hawaiian Pie

Day 144 – August 22, 2003 – Friday

The weatherman must have read yesterday’s Round America report as the sun was out in full force today. I drove almost all the way around Oahu today. Delightful day filled with beautiful views…and the opportunity to see small towns and the not-always-as-beautiful interior areas of the island. Coming to Oahu and seeing nothing but Waikiki and Honolulu is like going to England and seeing nothing but London. Fabulous cities to see, but you don’t get to see the country. I saw the country today, and it was an especially enjoyable day.

I had pie for breakfast, lunch, and dinner — all in one stop. Ted’s Bakery in Sunset Beach on the North Shore of Oahu. Ted’s Bakery was the ONLY “best pie” place in Hawaii that showed up on the Internet research that we did. And Ted’s Bakery was recommended by EVERY person on Oahu who I asked about good pie. I was driving along the Kamehameha Highway and I slammed on the breaks when I caught a glimpse of Ted’s Bakery out of the corner of my eye. Many little communities are not marked, and there was nothing to indicate I had reached Sunset Beach, and I didn’t even have an address for Ted’s. All I remembered was “North Shore.” I met Arsenith just inside the door. Sweet young lady who told me about the best pies. She was kind enough to ask Ted to speak with me. He came in from out back, took me on a complete tour of the bakery, introduced me to his brother Glenn, and they were kind enough to tell me all about the business. It’s one of those great success stories. Ted’s Bakery has become a phenomenon. They produced over 2,000 pies today. Half of their sales are the Chocolate Haupia Pie.

Takemitsu and Eva Nakaumra, parents of Ted and Glenn, opened the Sunset Beach Store in 1956. They sold bread, soda, and candy to Sunset Beach residents, surfers, and people driving around the island. In 1965, they leased the store to another family, who expanded to include a restaurant operation that over time became a pizza parlor. Ted and Glenn Nakamura went to Leeward Community College, where Ted enrolled in the culinary program. His first job as a baker was with the Kahala Hilton. Glenn went on to the University of Hawaii and became a school teacher.

In 1985, the 20-year-lease on the store was up and Glenn wanted to quit teaching and reunite the family in running the store. Glenn took over the store in 1986. Ted left the Hilton and joined the family the following year and added his doughnuts, breads and cakes. Each of the 20 pies he made for the store sold out every day. Ted’s pies soon started popping up around Oahu, and their popularity spread.

In 1998, the Nakamuras began promoting their pies. By Thanksgiving 1998, Ted’s Bakery went from producing 20 pies per day to an average of 4,000 per week, and the all-time high was recently 14,500 pies per week. Ted’s Bakery has become known as the baker of THE BEST pies in Hawaii. Ted’s Bakery is a great success story.

After speaking with Ted and Glenn, I bought a slice of Chocolate Haupia Pie, Peach Bavarian Cream Pie, and Carrot Cake. I sat in the car in the parking lot and devoured the Chocolate Haupia Pie. I don’t like chocolate pies, but this one is different. The chocolate was more like a candy bar than it was like a chocolate pudding (as found in most chocolate pies). The chocolate was delicious, but the combination with the Haupia (coconut) was just incredible. Bozzie Jane, who loves chocolate and coconut cream, would have been in Pie Heaven. This pie definitely ranked among the top of the now over 170 pies that we had eaten on the trip.

The Carrot Cake was delicious — extremely smooth with a great cream cheese icing. The Peach Bavarian Cream was also quite good — definitely different.

Hawaii is known for huge waves and the best surfing in the world. I had heard about Waimea Bay and the Banzai Pipeline since I was a high schooler. It was a treat to see them today, but the waves are as small and docile as can be this time of year. The big stuff comes from October to April.

Most of the day was spent driving at 25 miles and hour all along the coast. I stopped to get out and enjoy the view and take photos when parking space was available.

I drove all the way to the northwestern tip of Oahu — Kaena Point. I met a wonderful family there — Todd, Yaroslavna, and their son, Quincy. Yaroslavna is from Russia, and she is due to have their second child — a daughter — on or about Thanksgiving. They were thinking about naming her Miraslavna, which I believe translates to Peace Lover.

I drove back to Waikiki through the middle of the island. Not much to see there. It didn’t take long. I was shocked when after just a few minutes, I realized I was at Pearl Harbor.

Other sights that I saw today included the Polynesian Cultural Center, Hanauma Bay, Kahuku Sugar Mill, Sea Life Park, Banzai Pipeline, Waimea Bay, and Tropical Farms.

I limped to the room after seeking medical attention for the blisters on my feet — a drug store with Band-Aids and Neosporin. It would be even better if I had been able to walk, but it was a delightful day seeing Oahu, Hawaii.

The Daily Journal of Round America:

Each day, we collect our thoughts on a web page just like this. We drop in some of the photos from the day. Our goal with the Daily Journal is to write about the towns we visit, the sights we see, the people we meet, and the pie we eat. We write about where we are, where we’ve been, and where we are going, but we also make observations about what we’ve seen and done as well as about life in general.

You can follow our travels from the Daily Journal section of this website. Other pages of interest include the running report of “vital statistics” on the Trip Scorecard, our nominations for the Best & Worst of the trip, as well as a rating of the pie we eat. If you’d like to see information for a specific state or town, click here, and then click on the state of interest, and the full itinerary is shown.


More Information on the Sights Visited Today:
Polynesian Cultural Center — Hanauma Bay — Kahuku Sugar Mill — Sea Life Park — Ted’s Bakery — Oahu’s North Shore — Banzai Pipeline — Waimea Bay — Tropical Farms — Honolulu Hawaii