Profile: Crepes No Ka ‘Oi
Whether it’s your first visit to Crepes No Ka ‘Oi or your 51st, you can count on being greeted by a warm, friendly staff – and the tantalizing aroma of fresh crepes, hot off the griddle.
“We hire for attitude and train for skills,” says Kailua resident Kakay Tarvyd who, along with her husband Chris, opened Oahu’s first gourmet creperie, in Kailua, in 2008. “We want you to feel like you’re part of the family, it’s just that important to us.”
The couple’s culinary brainchild was born at a local farmers market where as a breakfast and lunch vendor, they were doing a brisk business. Having both grown up loving crepes – Kakay in the Philippines; Chris during summers in Tahiti – they thought it would be fun to introduce crepes with a local twist at markets and fairs around the island. Their first event was the Windward Ho‘olaulea in 2007. “There was line of customers before the festival even opened at 9 a.m. and it didn’t end until the festival closed,” recalls Kakay. They knew they had found their niche.
For a year, Kakay and Chris made the rounds of festivals and fairs before deciding in 2008 that it was time to find a permanent home for their blossoming business, in their hometown of Kailua. “It’s the best decision we ever made!” Kakay says. Loyal Kailua customers and word of mouth have helped their restaurant thrive. Crepes No Kai ‘Oi recently moved to a new location, with more seating indoors and out, having outgrown its two earlier spaces.
Today, the restaurant’s menu boasts three dozen or so sweet and savory crepes, including their best-selling “Berry Heavenly” and “Temptation in Paradise” dessert crepes and their newest additions, Plantation Pulled Pork, topped with fresh pineapple, and the Tiki Torch, filled with house-made macadamia nut pesto and roasted chicken breast, with a side of balsamic vinegar. Espresso drinks and a wide selection of gourmet teas, specially blended for the restaurant, complement the ‘no ka ‘oi’ crepes.