BUSTLING SMALL TOWN

Hanapepe Town has become a pretty hip place. When I was 13, I used to go there every week for my slack key guitar lessons. It was a sleepy town, almost deserted. I don’t remember there being much of anything, to be honest. But that is definitely not the case anymore! Hanapepe Town has gone through a revitalization; there is an Art Night every Friday night, and the town is now bustling with art galleries, boutiques and eateries. 

One of those eateries is Midnight Bear Breads. I honestly didn’t even know of its existence until my coworker told me about it on our way back to the office one day. We decided to stop and grab a quick snack, and I was taken aback by the pastries on display. 

MIDNIGHT BEAR BREADS

Pastry display at Midnight Bear Breads
Is that a baguette in your window, or are you just happy to see me?

Look at these beautiful creations! I instantly felt like I was in a boulangerie. Also my mouth instantly became a spigot. 

Pastries at Midnight Bear Breads
What's a cruffin? I need to investigate this further... with my mouth.

Midnight Bear Breads has been open since 2015 and is owned by Ursa Swift (I see what you did there) and Evan McAfee, who have been selling their creations at local farmer’s markets since 2012. They utilize organic ingredients, traditional techniques and European equipment, which would definitely explain when I felt like I walked right into a boulangerie! They also use 100% local produce from Kauai farmers and 100% organic non-GMO flour. 

Pastries at Midnight Bear Breads
Left - Macnut cinnamon roll; Right - Soursop danish

At first, the only pastry I ever bought was the macadamia nut cinnamon roll. I looked at the other pastries. I saw them in the display case. They all called to me, too, but I could not resist the siren call of the mac nut cinnamon roll. Now that I’ve been there so many times, however, I’ve tried their other offerings, and everything I’ve tasted has been delicious. I can’t get over how flaky the pastries are. If you’re into papaya, I highly recommend the papaya danish.

If you are searching for delicious artesian bread, this is also the place to go. The first time I had the sea salt and rosemary baguette, it was warm right out of the oven, and I ripped pieces off like a savage until the whole thing was gone. When I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes during my pregnancy, I found that the whole wheat sourdough bread was the only bread I could eat without it affecting my numbers too badly. Their French sourdough and country sourdough are equally as delicious, with a beautiful crusty outside. I always think of that scene from Ratatoullie where Colette asks Linguine, “How do you tell how good bread is without tasting it? Not the smell, the look, but how it sounds.” And the breads from Midnight Bear Breads all have that delicious sound.

Bread from Midnight Bear Breads
Rye and caraway seed sourdough

Besides pastries and breads, Midnight Bear Bakery also has tartines (open-faced sandwiches), paninis and pizzas (you can check out the whole menu here). They also do daily specials! One morning I had the croissant special, which had egg, brie, and macadamia nut pesto. It was amazing. The croissant is huge, super flaky, and the cheese was so gooey. I loved everything about it. 

Croissant sandwich at Midnight Bear Breads
Croissant sandwich with egg, pesto, and cheese

I had one of the panini specials, which had prosciutto, brie, and arugula on fresh baked sourdough, drizzled with a nice, thick, sweet balsamic vinegar. It was delicious, and a much lighter offering than, say, a plate lunch that will put you into a food coma.  

Panini at Midnight Bear Breads
Panini - Prosciutto, brie, arugula, sourdough

Midnight Bear Breads also has a selection of teas and coffees — coffee that is grown and roasted right here on Kauai, and some teas that are also locally made. 

If you can’t make it out to Hanapepe, Midnight Bear Breads sells their goods at the Kauai Community Market at KCC and the Namahana Farmer’s market in Kilauea. They also sell products at various stores on the island. You can click here for further information

Midnight Bear Breads
3830 Hanapepe Rd.
Hanapepe, HI 96716
Phone: (808)346-4949
www.midnightbearbreads.com