Bakeries and other companies here in Hawaii that rely on flour are bracing for what could be a major disruption in their local supply of the product.
That’s because the only flour mill in town has given notice to the state that it will not renew the lease on its operations at Honolulu Harbor.
KHON2 looks into what this could mean for local companies.
Love’s Bakery rolls out more than 200 varieties of bread, along with buns, rolls and cakes.
The baked goods are shipped throughout the state, a tradition that started back in 1851 with Robert Love.
But this bakery and others who rely on the flour may need to look elsewhere for their supply of flour.
That’s because the only flour mill in town – Pendleton – apparently has decided not to renew its lease at Honolulu Harbor with the state.
According to state officials, the company will wind down operations in Honolulu and that is forcing customers like Love’s Bakery to draw up contingency plans.
“The closure from our understanding is not going to happen until September or October so we have ample time to form our logistics in our plans to ensure that there is no disruption in service,” Love’s Bakery President and CEO Mike Walters said.
A spokesperson for the State Department of Transportation told KHON 2 news that in the state’s efforts to improve its harbor operations it has been making changes to its leases as they come up for renewal.
In the case of the Pendleton Flour Mills operation, in order to renegotiate a lease on harbor property, the state is requiring the mill to take possession of its grain silos.
The state went on to say that this issue became a sticking point in the negotiations, and Pendleton, through its attorney, informed the state that it will not renew its lease that expires on March 31st. The state has given the company an extension to wind down operations.
If and when Pendleton Flour Mills winds down its operation by the end of the year Love’s Bakery, along with other bakeries and companies that rely on flour for its products will also be affected by that decision.
“May we see some price increase in your products?” KHON2 asked.
“Again, it’s premature. We don’t know the the incremental cost will be from shipping from the mainland in containers,” said Walters.
KHON2 tried to reach out to Pendleton for comment but we were unable to contact the company. KHON2 hopes to hear from the flour mill on Thursday, and from other customers who may be affected by the company’s decision to wind down its operations at Honolulu Harbor.