As you return from visiting glorious Akaka Falls along the Hamakua Coast on the Big Island of Hawai’i, you want to make sure to stop in the little town of Honomu. Among the cute little galleries and shops on the short main street strip you will find a hidden treasure. It is not hidden because it is not in view – as you can see from the image below, you can’t miss it – but because it is an unexpected delight in a tiny little town.
Mr. Ed’s bakery is a must stop, not so much for the pastries, breads and cookies, which are fresh but normal, but for the incredible selection of tropical preserves, all made from scratch and with fresh and simple ingredients. And those are what the bakery is famous for.
Mr. Ed, the magician behind these glorious preserves, is actually Dean Edmoundson who, with his wife June, owns and operates Mr. Ed’s Bakery. Dean was not there when I visited this last time, but I had had a chance to meet him and have a chat on a previous visit, alas, one sans camera. This tall, charming man is very passionate about his work, especially about the preserves, and enjoys creating new ones all the time. He is also proud of the fact that he only uses natural ingredients: just fruit, sugar and pectin – no preservatives or funky stuff. Nearly all the fruit used is grown and gathered locally. Some, like poha berries and ‘ohelo berries grow wild only on the Big Island. You may have seen these berries on low bushes around Volcano and within the National Park, as well as along Saddle Road.
The selection of preserves is really extensive, with exotic flavors like Lilikoi, Rambutan, Pink Ice Apple Butter, Passion Papaya, Mango Habanero, Ginger Lilikoi, ‘Ohelo Berry; and very unusual ones like the Kona Coffee Butter, Poha Mango Chutney, Watermelon Rind Preserve and Kona Coffee BBQ Rub. My favorite is still the Hawaiian Lilikoi Mustard, one of their best sellers. There are also Purple Sweet Potato and Purple Sweet Potato/Haupia. These two are like desserts in a jar, as the potato gives the preserve a creamy consistency. Yumm! For a full list of flavors you will have to give the bakery a call, as their website seems to be non accessible. The preserves can be easily shipped as well. I have had mine shipped twice. They arrive safe and really well packaged in a flat rate USPS box within a few days from order.
The preserves come in 8oz. jars and, the last time I visited, cost $7.50 each (plus tax if you purchase on site or within the state of Hawai’i, and plus shipping if relevant) for one jar, or $7.00 for two or more jars. Sugar free ones are $8.60 each. Mr. Ed’s accepts all major credit cards.
At my last visit, shipping within Hawai’i and the continental United States was $13 for up to 8 jars (small USPS flat rate box) or $16 for up to 14 jars (large USPS flat rate box).
Shipping to Canada was $23.95 for up to 8 jars (small box), or $29.95 for up to 14 jars (large box).
Prices for all of the above may have changed a little, so it is best to double check, but at least you have an idea.
The best way to place an order long distance is to call the bakery at 808-963-5000. Or you can contact them by e-mail at email@example.com. Do not include your credit card information in an e-mail, it is not safe.
If you are there in person, but are not a resident and just visiting the Big Island, you might want to do like me an opt to have the selected preserves shipped. It is easier and safer than having to find a place for them in the luggage.
Hmmm… I am thinking it is time to give them a call and order more preserves.
MR. ED’S BAKERY
28-1672 Old Mamalahoa Highway – Honomu, Hi (Big Island) | 808-963-5000
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This article was originally published on August 1, 2011 in my Food Journey blog, which is now integrated into this one.