Baking & Snack - November 2015 - 34



In record time, King's Hawaiian starts
up production on its newest line at
its newest bakery in Georgia to treat
its customers royally and exceed
consumers' high expectations.
by Dan Malovany


There were no high-fives, fist bumps or body slams.
That's not the King's Hawaiian way. Rather, a sincere
"mahalo" - or "thank you" - along with a family-day
party this summer featuring Hawaiian food, music and
games was more than deserved for the operations team
in Oakwood, GA, after they ramped up production on
its latest high-speed bun line in less than a month.
For Curtis Taira, the speed of the startup caught him
by surprise, and he candidly admitted it moved at a rate
so rapid it was a bit out of his normal comfort zone.
"I'm not used to doing it that quickly," noted the vice-

34 Baking & Snack November 2015 /

president of engineering for the Torrance, CA-based
Hawaiian foods company. "I'm old school. For me, I'm
used to walking through the line and saying, 'We have to
figure this out and that out.' "
Maybe the third time was the charm. The company
started up two previous production lines during the past
six years in Georgia. Conventional wisdom states that
practice makes perfect, but in Mr. Taira's book, that's
not the case - planning does. It's more about lessons
learned, experiences gained and collaborating with vendors - many that he has known for decades since growing up in the family business and working long hours on
weekends when it was a tiny bakery in Hilo, HI.
"We did a lot of test runs on specific equipment before we started up the whole line to try to dial in all that
we needed with our vendors," he explained. "But I have
to admit, having worked with the equipment companies
prior to the start-up on the third line made it a lot easier.
We took some of the best of the best from the first line
and from the second line, and we incorporated them
into our third line."
The fact that the no-pan line, which makes King's

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - November 2015