Industry in Hawaii: Love’s Bakery

The history of Love’s Bakery began in June 1851 when Robert Love, a baker and a native of Glasgow, Scotland, disembarked in Honolulu harbor. He and his wife and their three sons had made the 80-day voyage aboard the “Adirondack,” an American ship making its way from Sydney, Australia that arrived in Honolulu on June 19.

Less than a month later, on July 12, 1851, the Ministry of the Interior issued Robert Love a retail store license permitting him to operate a bakery and sell its products. In 1853 Robert Love purchased property on Nuuanu Street and opened the first Love’s bakery there.

During the 1850s, the principal income of the bakers of Honolulu – including Love’s Bakery – came from re-baking ships’ bread which had become unfit for use during long voyages, and from re-provisioning ships’ stores with hard biscuits known as hardtack, pilot bread or navy bread.

In 1924, Love’s built a new bakery in the Iwilei district. The formal opening of the new bread-making plant was held on March 19. While the original Nuuanu site continued to produce all types of baked goods, the new Iwilei plant produced only bread and rolls. In 1929 the decision was made to concentrate the company’s entire efforts on the wholesale business and three years later all operations were consolidated at the Iwilei plant.

In July, 1943 the company opened a new plant at 836 Kapahulu Avenue.

In 1968 the company was purchased by ITT Continental Baking Company. In 1981 Love’s Bakery was purchased again, this time by First Baking Co., Ltd. of Japan and the company’s name became Daiichiya-Love’s Bakery.

In 1990 the bakery moved from its Kapahulu site to its present site on Middle Street. And in 2008 ownership of the bakery returned home to Hawaii when local management purchased the company from First Baking Co.

Today Love’s Bakery produces 206 varieties of bread, 70 varieties of buns and rolls, and 14 varieties of cakes. All baked fresh in Hawaii – a tradition that began with Robert Love in 1851.

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