Tin Shack Bakery Opens With A Boom

November 5, 2013, 11:07 AM HST
* Updated November 5, 8:16 PM
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What new business wouldn’t want this problem? Too many customers?

Since Tin Shack Bakery opened in Pahoa on Oct. 10, there’s been a deluge, said Matt Purvis, co-owner with his wife, Noelle. The steady press of customers from Day One has hurt their ability to train staff to implement the high level of service they’re aiming to provide, he said.

Dave Warren, a consulting partner, said Monday he was ready to remove the “BAKERY” sign on old Government Road that points toward the Tin Shack, which is located behind Jan’s Barber Shop, while Purvis was urging reporters not to write about the already popular bakery and cafe.


Sign on Old Government Road in Pahoa pointing customers to Tin Shack Bakery

“We’re not really looking to attract any more new customers at this time,” Purvis said.

The new cafe/bakery hit its six-month sales target in about three weeks, said Warren, explaining the dilemma while behind the counter drawing a final espresso for a customer near closing time at 4. Warren’s wife Becky and Noelle bake the cafe’s breads and pastries.


The Tin Shack’s cannon ball-like splash in lower Puna shouldn’t be too surprising, however.


The beverages menu.


Matt and Noelle already have a large following after five years as vendors at the weekly S.P.A.C.E Farmer’s Market in Kalapana.

And now they own the only bakery between Kalapana and Keaau with a wide variety of fresh-baked, seeded, whole-grain, organic and gluten-free breads, pastries and cakes. They open at 7 a.m., serve breakfast and lunch, and feature an open-air, funky-friendly atmosphere entirely appropriate for the laid-back lifestyles of lower Puna.


A few loaves and empty space in the racks at the end of the day.

Tin Shack Bakery literally has corrugated metal walls on three sides, with the front open to a small parking lot and an abandoned cane field.


Not just the locals are finding the place, either. Honolulu residents Markus Fraigle and Jeanette Koijane, on the Big Island for a weekend getaway, just followed the sign and marveled over Tin Shack Bakery’s authenticity. “The food is good, great coffee, friendly atmosphere, just like it should be,” said Faigle. “Totally appropriate.”

“It’s the way we all should live here,” Koijane added.

Tin Shack Bakery is open 7-4, Monday through Saturday. Call 345-4343.

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