Hawaii Institution Love’s Bakery Is Closing After 170 Years
COVID-19 has claimed yet another established business. The New York Post reports that Love's Bakery, a Hawaiian institution, will be closing its doors after 170 years of service to the people of Hawaii. 231 employees will lose their jobs by the end of March and over 1800 regular customers will have to get their bread supply elsewhere. Love's Bakery has named COVID-19 as the main reason to shut down operations with several others as contributory factors.
One of those factors is the major delay of supplies and ingredients for the mainland. Hawaii's geography has made it difficult to transport baking essentials and equipment. Another major factor is that demand has been significantly low due to hotels and restaurants being closed. While the many of the island's residents remain loyal customers, their patronage alone cannot sustain the business.
While SF Gate reports that Love's Bakery was able to secure a Payment Protection Program loan from the government, the $2.8 million was spent on payroll maintenance. Unfortunately, Love's Bakery said that they did not quality for another loan. Their media statement reads, "We have worked diligently to cut expenses, to maintain our market share and to remedy our operational difficulties, however under the current business environment we are no longer able to continue operations."
Instagram followers of Hawaii News Now expressed their sadness on the iconic bakery's closing. A number commented that they'll miss the smell of baking bread as they drive on the freeway, some recalled field trip memories to the bread factory, while others are still hoping for investors.
170 Years of Love-Filled Baking
As one can imagine from a 170-year-old business, generations of families grew up with Love's Bakery goods as household staples. Love's Bakery was founded in 1851, predating the Civil War. The bakery was originally named Biscuit & Bread Co. by Robert Love, a Scottish baker who immigrated from Australia. When Biscuit & Bread Co. first opened its doors, King Kamehameha III was still seated on the Hawaiian throne.
As SF Gate relays, the bakery made it through the Civil War, the 1918 flu pandemic, and the overthrowing of the Hawaiian Monarchy. Love's Bakery saw a Honolulu that only had 10,000 residents. The city has over 300,000 residents now. Love's Bakery grew with Hawaii and its residents grew up eating their products. While competition couldn't have been avoided with Hawaii's economic growth, Love's Bakery was still considered as "Hawaii's Bakery."
Love's Bakery would have officially celebrated its 170th anniversary in July. Sadly, their doors will close at the end of March and Hawaiians will just have to move on without their beloved bakery. On their Instagram page, Love's Bakery says, "We want to thank our employees for their dedication to producing Love's products and our customers for the many years of loyalty."
As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc, Love's Bakery may not be the last Hawaiian establishment to close. "We do expect to see a number of iconic brands to close because entire industries have been put on pause for months," says Ryan Tanaka, president of Island Business Management, tells Hawaii News Now. Here's to hoping that it won't be as tragic as losing a 170-year-old institution.