Ride A Swell Of Sweetness
By Brandon Bosworth
For the record, Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery is nowhere near the legendary North Shore surf spot. It’s located on Waialae in Kaimuki not far from Koko Head Avenue. So why the name?
Founder and owner Gayla Young said she knew she wanted a name “that was synonymous with Hawaii, something that would easily identify us with my home.” At the same time, she also wanted to avoid conventional names incorporating words such as “paradise” or “tropical.”
One day she had an epiphany listening to a podcast while on a drive to the North Shore. “Howard Schultz from Starbucks (was talking) about creating his pipeline; as I drove by the waves of the ocean, it just clicked and I knew Pipeline would be the name of my company.”
A Native Hawaiian, Young grew up in Kaimuki and attended Kaimuki Intermediate and Kaimuki High School. She eventually moved to Los Angeles, where she worked in business and marketing for 20 years. Upon returning home to Hawaii, she initially didn’t know what to do with herself. “I was unsure of what route I would take and actually just ended up opening my own bakeshop and creamery,” she said.
It wasn’t an obvious choice. Besides baking with her grandmother and aunts, Young had little culinary experience. She did, however, have a clear idea of what she wanted to do with her bakeshop.
“I knew I wanted to make oldfashioned traditional desserts and treats that were reminiscent of Hawaii,” she said.
More specifically, she wanted to create the best malasada possible. It took making more than 100 batches over the course of one year, but Young is convinced she succeeded in her mission. “Our malasadas have an amazing texture, they last and don’t deflate and most importantly are not oily or greasy,” she said. Other items, such as Pipeline’s Cake Bombs, all come from experimentation and old family recipes.
Deciding to set up shop in Kaimuki was a natural decision. “I feel it’s one of the few neighborhoods that still looks and feels like Hawaii as I know and remember it growing up,” Young said. “Kaimuki just fit my brand and what I wanted our company to represent.”
Everything at Pipeline is made from scratch. Young assures there are no artificial colorings or preservatives added to baked goods, malasadas or ice cream. “We try to keep everything as natural and organic as possible. We use real vanilla beans and real butter despite the big cost difference. These are the things that make a difference in the final product.”
Even people outside of Hawaii can enjoy Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery’s products, as it started shipping at the end of December 2019. The company is partnered with Goldbelly, a curated online marketplace for regional and artisanal foods. “It’s a great partnership,” Young said. “Our very fi rst week was extremely crazy.”
As online sales quickly took off, the bakeshop filled countless orders, shipping to over 30 states in less than one month. When considering prospective employees, Young explained, “Attitude and energy are important to me.” She looks for people who are responsible, honest, hard-working and punctual with friendly and outgoing personalities.
She added that the training period can be rough at times because Pipeline offers so many products and there are many things to learn.
“We’ve come a long way from when we first opened up in 2016,” she commented. “Training takes a few weeks to really get our system down. We do some shadow training, but I’ve found the best form of training is hands on, so we throw you in to get the feel of things pretty quickly.”
Pipeline is a very fast-paced workplace, and there is always a lot to do. However, Young’s team is like one big ohana and pulls together when things get busy.
“We often get rushes that come with no warning and before we know it, we have a line out the door,” she said. “Everyone kicks it up to high gear and works together to get everyone out as quickly as possible. We joke, we laugh and we all hustle together.”
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COMPANY: Pipeline Bakeshop & Creamery
OWNER: Gayla Young
YEAR OPENED: 2016
LOCATION: 3632 Waialae Ave. No.102, Kaimuki
NOTEWORTHY: The bake shop has been voted among the Top 10 Doughnut Shops in the West by Sunset magazine. Pipeline has also been featured in the in-flight media of Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines and Delta Airlines as well as in several Japanese publications.
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