July 22: The Patisserie
On Wednesday July 22, HSBP was treated to a tour of The Patisserie in Pearl City Industrial Park. Bob and Colleen Paparelli were our hosts and gave everyone a brief introduction of their lives and the journal that brought them to Hawaii. Like most business owners, their road had a few bumps in it, including Bob’s being laid off his first job in Hawaii with Holsum Bakery. They knew they wanted to stay in the Islands and started looking around for a new job. A colleague introduced him to the prior owner of The Patisserie, the only problem was that they did not have any savings for a down payment. As Colleen put it, “really, nothing!”. Circumstances favor them with a bank and a seller that understood the experience they brought to the table and allowed them to assume the notes and take over. Initially in Makiki, they moved into a larger location on Ualena in the airport area, and by June 2013 were able to grow enough to buy their current location (27,000 square foot) in Pearl. The company has grown to over 70 employees, working 24/7/365 to bring fresh bread, pastries and cakes to some of Hawaii’s largest hotels, convenience store chains, restaurants, grocery stores, big box resellers, and the military. All the growth was achieved without any marketing, all through referrals and word of mouth. Unfortunately, due to a gravel spill, there was a terrible traffic jam and several attendees turned around. Left a dedicated group to enjoy the samplings!