Kailua breakfast spot expanding overseas

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It’s one of the best kept secrets in the heart of Kailua.

“Lilikoi pancakes… delicious,” a customer said.

“We love the pancakes and we love the family environment. Been coming here for a couple of years now,” Kailua resident Myra Bayne said.

Moke’s Bread & Breakfast opened 10 years ago as a small, family-run bakery that started serving breakfast.

“We started with 30 seats. A small little mom-and-pop operation and then after the first year we realized we needed a little more seats, so we were able to expand to about 60,” said Keola Warren, whose family owns Moke’s Bread & Breakfast.

Now the expansion continues. In a month-and-a-half the restaurant will extend its dining room to 90 seats and in a few weeks Moke’s is headed overseas.

“We are working with the Sanrio Company who has decided they’d like to franchise the company to Tokyo,” Warren said.

After a trip to the islands and a meal at Moke’s, Sanrio executives were hooked.

“They are also a family business, which is pretty cool. We didn’t know that the owner and the CEO are actually the dad and the son who run the business today,” Warren said.

Similarly, Warren works as a server and restaurant manager. His dad, Moke, is in the kitchen. Together, they run the business.

The family never advertised and relied solely on word of mouth and now social media as a means of marketing.

“I was kinda bummed that it’s not hidden anymore, but it’s always good for them to expand and for more people to enjoy,” Bayne said.

The new Tokyo location is slated to open Sept. 1.

“It’s going to be exactly the same as how you see it here in Kailua,” Warren said. “There’s 20 million people in Tokyo, so it’s a huge market, so there is a lot of opportunity up there. So it would be wonderful if we could do more than one,” Warren said.

Other popular local ventures have gone global like L & L Hawaiian Barbecue and Kuaaina Burger have pioneered the way for other small businesses to expand.

“That’s awesome. I love Japan. I lived there, too, so I think that’s awesome,” customer Aaron said.

“There’s a lot of love that goes into it and a lot of hard work and dedication, and I think people recognize that,” Warren said.

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