King’s Hawaiian’s expansions these days have more to do with new products than adding production lines.
“Our mission statement doesn’t say bread company,” plant manager Rob Hathy said Tuesday, Feb. 20. “It says Hawaiian foods company, and that’s … truly where the expansion is coming along.”
Bulk packages of rolls, as well as hot dog and hamburger buns and barbecue sauces, are among some of the newer products being made.
“We launched jalapeno (sweet rolls) last year,” Hathy said, addressing the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s South Hall Business Coalition. “I apologize. It has been discontinued.”
“What?” one audience member shot back.
“It just didn’t sell like we thought, but hey, we’ve got to try,” Hathy said. “And we’ll fail from time to time.”
Speaking after the meeting, Hathy said plant infrastructure is in place to add a fourth line.
“It’s just a matter of when the volume comes,” he said. “If volume continues to grow the way it’s growing, we may see (a new line) in three years.”
A fourth line could add another 120-130 employees, Hathy said.
The plant has grown from 100-plus workers when it first put down roots off Aloha Way in Oakwood in 2011 to 650 today.