Fusing diverse cultures yields delicious results

Mauka restaurant looking to make a name for itself in Craig

Spinach in a smoothie? Yep, you heard it. The Mauka Bakery puts spinach in every deliciously crafted green coconut smoothie they make. It consists of coconut milk, banana and spinach. When I heard they were going to put spinach in my smoothie I was thinking, “Oh man, this is going to be weird,” and it was, but I couldn’t even taste the spinach and yet I got all the necessary enjoyment, proteins and nutrients in a delicious smoothie.

The Mauka Bakery is the first of its kind in Craig and is a family owned business run by Alma Quintero and her family, whose roots are in Oahu, Hawaii. They first opened their doors to the public in mid-September of last year and have had great business from the beginning. Mixing their Mexican-Hawaiian culture, the Quintero family has brought some of their most popular dishes such as Shoyu chicken, vegetable curry and Hawaiian rice to the menu. They now have one dish a week labeled as their special, which has a tendency to induce severe drooling in every bite.

The family has a theme for their bakery derived from the Hawaiian word “Ohana,” which means family. They want the bakery to be a very relaxed and comfortable environment for their customers and intend to keep the restaurant family and community oriented. One thing in particular that is interesting about the bakery is the wide selection of books in the lounge. If a customer finds one they really enjoy, they are encouraged to take it, as long as they leave another book in its place. If customers have a drawing or picture, framed or not, they can bring it in and the family will frame it, hang it, and put a price tag on it.

Mauka bakery offers very satisfying and diverse flavors in their menu and that adds much needed spice to Craig’s food selection. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming and that makes for a great place to sit back and have some coffee. “The thing I miss the most is the ocean but I think that it is good for Craig to be exposed to different culture, experience new foods and I’m happy to help bring it,” said Quintero.

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