Maika’i Lani Malasadas – Sweet Goodness on Maui

Looking for an authentic taste when on Maui? This is the place.

Ben started cooking on a Najavo reservation in New Mexico at six years of age, because his older siblings took the sandwiches his Mom made for him. His folks were working at Lawrence Livermore Labs.
After making his way to Maui and starting a family, Ben’s wife Liz overheard recurring demand for malasadas while she was working at a coffee shop. Ben implored his grandmother for the recipe, she relented, he experimented and eventually set up his stand.
Demand was immediate.

The morning we arrived at 9am the demand had slowed, earlier there had been 38 people clustered around his humble stand.
Daughter Maymay helps out when not in school. She has been cooking and chopping ingredients with Dad since age 3 (no word on whether Ben has read about the backlash against overprotecting kids from knives and such, the impressive result is Maymay is one of the more skilled young teenagers you will meet). With both parents working, Maymay often cooked dinner for the family. Now 14 Maymay keeps the business going. “Without Maymay we wouldn’t be in operation,” confirms Ben and Liz.

Maymay keeps up with her schoolwork, and loves math the best.
Ben cooks by smell, and he supplied us with an overabundance of his creations.
Light, sweet and rather addictive…it was quickly evident why locals line up.

They cook on the driveway of the church lot where they are parishioners; locals and visitors are grateful.

Open mornings from 7.30 to 11.30, closed Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.

More info here.


Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.