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Kahele, Solomon recognize Hilo restaurant owners


Sens. Gilbert Kahele and Malama Solomon, along with their colleagues in the State Senate, honored Debra Ching Maiava and Ric Maiava of Ken’s House of Pancakes in Hilo for being named 2012 Junior Achievement of Hawaii Business Hall of Fame Laureates.

They were among four local businesses named to the hall of fame on March 9.

“Ken’s House of Pancakes has a long history in serving the people of Hilo,” said Kahele, who represents District 2, encompassing Ka‘u, Puna and Hilo. “I congratulate Debra and Ric Maiava for being able to ride the ups and downs of owning a family business and for being named to the hall of fame.”

“I commend Debra and Ric Maiava for this wonderful accomplishment,” said Solomon, who represents District 1, encompassing Waimea, Hamakua, South Hilo, Keaukaha and Hilo. “They are shining examples of how hard work and commitment can bring great rewards.”

Ken’s House of Pancakes first opened its doors in Hilo in 1971 by Ken Pruitt and Bonnie Twitchell. In 1990, Lindberg and Frances Lee Ching bought the restaurant and sent Debra and Ric to run the establishment.

In 1991, the restaurant had sales of about $1 million, and by 2011, sales had grown to more than $5 million. Today, Ken’s House of Pancakes serves about 2,000 customers a day.

The restaurant has earned recognition for its food and service by USA Today, Bon Appetit and local media.

Debra and Ric are known in their community for aloha and generosity through their support of numerous organizations. They have supported Junior Achievement fundraising events and many projects in local schools.

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