Business Monday: Punaluʻu Bakeshop helping fuel voyages with new energy bar

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Punaluʻu Bakeshop in Nāʻālehu. (Image from the Punaluʻu Bakeshop Facebook page)

Punaluʻu Bakeshop has been tickling the taste buds of Big Island residents and visitors alike for more than 30 years.

From its world-famous sweet bread, including guava and taro flavors, to its irresistible fluffy, fresh malasadas, the locally owned bakery in Nāʻālehu — “The Southernmost Bakery in the USA” — is the most visited bakery in Hawai’i, welcoming more than 400,000 people each year.

“Punalu’u bake shop has my heart,” said Vonny C. of Burlingam, Calif., in a Jan. 3 Yelp review. “If I could marry a bakery, it would be this one.”

The popular Kaʻū destination already offered more than just sweet treats, with salads, sandwiches and local-style plate lunches. Now it’s helping fuel people’s adventures while honoring the rich cultural heritage of the islands with its newest baked item.


The Voyager Bar is a nutritious energy bar made with the traditional Hawaiian “canoe foods” of ulu (breadfruit), niu (coconut) and maʻa (banana), plus other quality ingredients, that support a healthy and active lifestyle.

Ancient Polynesians carried these and other life-sustaining foods in their canoes when they paddled to the Hawaiian Islands.

“Our goal was to create energy bars that are richly delicious and healthy, featuring the foods that provided sustained energy and vital nutrition for the earliest Hawaiians,” said Connie Koi, Punaluʻu Bakeshop chief operating officer.

Voyager Bars are the only energy bars made in Hawaiʻi and baked at the Nāʻālehu bakery.

Voyager Bars, the new Hawaiʻi-made energy bars from Punaluʻu Bakeshop, come in three flavors. (Screenshot of image from the Punaluʻu Bakeshop Instagram page)

They are free of dairy, grain, soy and eggs. They also include no genetically modified ingredients. Each 41-gram bar contains breadfruit and coconut flour, dehydrated banana and provides 3.5 grams of protein from vegan ingredients such as sunflower, pumpkin and chia seeds and pea protein.

The bars are naturally sweetened with honey and tapioca syrup.

Voyager Bars are available in three flavors:

  • Dark chocolate espresso: Featuring locally sourced Kaʻū coffee with rich notes of dark chocolate complimenting the bold, invigorating essence of espresso.
  • Pineapple coconut macadamia: A delightful fusion of tropical flavors such as sun-ripened pineapple, dehydrated bananas, macadamia nuts and rich coconut.
  • Chocolate chip ginger: Blends dark chocolate chips with the invigorating zing of tropical ginger.

“Voyager Bars are perfect as an easily digestible, tasty snack when you need energy for work or school, as well as for swimming, surfing, paddling, hiking or other sports,” Koi said. “They are individually wrapped and don’t require refrigeration, so you can tuck them into a lunch box, bag, backpack or purse.”


Voyager Bars can be purchased at the bakery and visitor center, located at 95-5642 Māmalahoa Highway in Nāʻālehu, as well as KTA Super Stores, Foodland and Sack N’ Save, ABC Stores, Nāʻālehu 76 and Abundant Life Natural Food Store in Hilo.

  • Courtesy image
  • Punaluʻu Bakeshop is the “Southernmost Bakery in the USA.” (Screenshot from Yelp)

Most outlets sell individual bars for $2.49 to $2.99.

You can get a box of 12 for $19.99 on the bakery’s website right now, a $5 savings from the normal $24.99 price tag.

The bars “offer a delicious energy-packed treat to naturally power your daily voyages, wherever they may take you,” says the Punaluʻu Bakeshop website.

“These new bars from our friends at Punaluʻu [Bakeshop] are just the thing for afternoon pick-me-ups, healthy snacking and the occasional breakfast on the go,” Foodland Hawaiʻi said in a Jan. 14 Instagram post talking about “What We’re Loving This Week.” “Made locally with ingredients like ulu, coconut and banana, they’re an energy-packed treat to naturally power our adventures in the new year. And local mo bettah, right?”

For more information about the bakery and all of its products, click here. You can also follow Punaluʻu Bakeshop on Facebook and Instagram.

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