Edna Ching | May 29, 2020
Founders Hidegoro Murai, Kikutaro Hiruya and Natsu Muramoto were Japanese immigrants who shared a common passion for baking. In 1921, their shared desire led to the establishment of Diamond Bakery. They named their bakery “Diamond” after the famous Diamond Head landmark that was in the view of their factory’s original location.
Murai, Hiruya and Muramoto had a clear vision – to be Hawaii’s first bakery focused on the perfect Hawaii-made cracker. The journey had its challenges early on. They frequently experimented with varying recipes with one goal at the forefront. And that goal was to develop a recipe that resonated with locals in both taste and texture. They achieved it with the help of master baker Sam Dunphy whom they hired to oversee production in 1926. Sam Dunphy gained global experience while working with various international baking companies.
Together, the four attained the capability to bake the highest quality crackers and cookies. It was in 1937, that they introduced a new line of crackers – Hawaiian Soda, Graham, Saloon Pilot and Royal Creems. They were well received and quickly became household favorites. They were in such high demand that they outgrew their factory and had to relocate to a larger one in Kalihi in the 1970s. About a decade later, they moved again to its current facility.
Diamond Bakery is a brand that is woven in the stories of many generations of families. Many of its customers turn to a Royal Crème Cracker or a Candy Bead Hawaiian Cookie to reminisce about the good ol’ times. Others may opt for a peanut butter and guava jelly sandwiched between two pieces of soda crackers. While the bakery adjusted parts of its business to adapt to market changes, what remains unchanged are the recipes that were developed in the 1930s. The taste and texture that the founders took pride in are still an integral part of the brand experience.
Diamond Bakery has been a household name here in Hawaii for many years. Now you can find its products in many pantries on the mainland and even in Japan. In 2006, it entered into the Pacific Northwest markets with the help of specialty distributors and retailers. A year later, its products were introduced to Japan grocery and gift shops. Diamond Bakery also helped to fill a void in the US east coast where its Saloon Pilot Crackers became a better alternative to sea biscuits. Its entry into the global market allowed them to share the aloha spirit with people around the world.
As it nears its 100th Anniversary, Diamond Bakery continues to operate as a family business in Kalihi; and the key to their continued success is innovation. The development team is always adapting to customers’ evolving demands and needs. Recently, they launched two new product lines to help comfort and ease customers managing a hectic lifestyle. The first is the Hawaiian Shortbread Cookie line – an indulgent, rewarding snack. The second is the Grab N’ Go line that features its core crackers in a convenient size to snack anywhere and anytime.
Their efforts do not stop at shortbread cookies and Grab N’ Go. Soon, they will be introducing new line extensions and a new healthy, but tasty product line. They are also developing brand-new concepts in the Diamond Bakery test kitchen! There are many exciting things in the pipeline. While we wait for the reveal, you can find locally made Diamond Bakery favorites at your nearest neighborhood store or online.
For more information about Diamond Bakery Co. go to: