Review by Amber Ternus
The Tin Shack Bakery is at the heart of Pahoa, the Puna village community that has gone through so much the past year, from lava threats to hurricanes. This truly “local” small business stayed open and committed to the region through all the chaos, while continuing to grow their selection of locally sourced foods. The Tin Shack was opened by Kauai local Noelle, and her husband Matt in the fall of 2013, and has quickly become a meeting hub for locals, and a foodie destination for visitors to Puna. It has great, open-concept atmosphere with lots of indoor and outdoor seating, coupled with the friendly and casual atmosphere they have created in the renovated garage they are based out of. But what really makes this café special is the food.
If you like sourdough then you need to try out this bakery, they specialize in cultured sourdough breads, gluten free deserts, and creative dishes using taro and purple sweet potatoes. They have a full coffee and tea selection, as well as smoothies, fresh coconut water, kombutcha, and a great menu offering salads, lunch and all day breakfast specials.
What The Tin Shack is really famous for though is their amazing, diverse, and affordable bread selection. The bread is fresh, made with love, and delicious! My favorite is the purple sweet potato sourdough, made with Puna potatoes and Noelle’s epic sourdough starter, it is soft and delicious, and great with savory or sweet toppings. They also have, Jalapeno cheddar bread, Sourdough rye, Herb sourdough, Bagels, Cinnamon rolls
Sourdough pancakes with real maple syrup, and the very popular “spudnut” potato donuts. The bakery keeps regulars happy with by offering an every changing selection of treats, and daily bread specials, as well as wifi and on-site parking. They are open 7am to 3pm daily (except for Sundays) and are located just steps from the picturesque Pahoa villages’ main street on Akeakamai Loop, you will see “Jan’s barbershop” at the top of the street.