April/May 2024

A Lahaina Feel Good Story

We have been on holiday taking a cruise from Sydney to Hawaii. We are staying in Ka’anapali, on the island of Maui, next to Lahaina and the devastation from the fires is still very raw. We visited Lahaina eight years ago and here is the picture we took of the 150+ year old banyan tree back then. It covers an entire block. It is struggling but still alive and a symbol of the resilience of the people. “Lahaina Strong” is the catch cry for which it is a symbol. of a population of 10,000 plus, 8500 are homeless…

We enjoy discovering mam & pop hole-in-the-wall places that serve incredible food. We love Cinnabon (the US cinnamon bun chain) but have just discovered the next level cinnamon bun/scroll experience. It is called the “King David Cinnamon Roll.”  If you think this is my Dutch-Hungarian sweet tooth raving on again, you’d be right about the sweet tooth but wrong about the raving. 

This cinnamon scroll gets 4.9 on Trip Advisor from 350 comments. Seriously, who gets 4.9 from so many comments? Many wait in line for 45 minutes for their cinnamon fix. The tiny store opens at 7am and I was there at 6:40 and this was the queue!  By 7 am it was three times as long.   

The smell is sensational. The buns are incredibly light and cinnamony (if that’s a word!) but not over the top. Not at all doughy with very subtle coconut hints. Massive buns that have their postal zone; one scroll does us both for breakfast. They are Christian’s, very friendly and play evangelical music in the store with a ‘Jesus’ sign over the front door. No apologies…

Talking with David and his wife Linda who run the business, he said the Lord gave him the recipe and it truly is out of this world. Best EVER. 

Get this….While we all pay for our cinnamon high, in the afternoons they make hundreds of pizzas, as good as their scrolls, and they give them for free to anyone that comes into the store and asks for one. No questions asked; tourist or local. They began doing this immediately after the fires eight months ago. All the locals know they can get a feed for free at Papi Ahana’s. 

While there will always be tourists that take a pizza for free, most donate more than the pizza is worth, and it is not uncommon for tourists wanting to support the restoration to pay $100 for a pizza. 

So inspirational. Love in action. Makes my heart sing!