Crave Rave: Time to mop the Mopsy!


Photo by Quinn Williams

Flatbread Company in Pāʻia is known for their hippie atmosphere and creative pizzas, not to mention their awesome displays, but lesser know is their connection one of KS Maui’s staff, Kumu Kalei.

You know that mood you get in when you just crave pizza? And I mean crave.

Pizza Hut is great and all, but let’s be real, most of us only revert to them because we’re all too lazy, and they just so happen to deliver.

But when I say crave pizza, I’m looking more for that rustic, hippie environment that is Pāʻia, more specifically—Flatbread Company.

Flatbread Company makes the most creative pizzas and most eye-catching menus!
Photo by Quinn Williams
Flatbread Company makes the most creative pizzas and most eye-catching menus!

Known for their funky atmosphere, it’s hard not to “mop up” their great food as well. Flatbread produces creative and organic wood-fired pizzas–their most well known being the Mopsy, but did you know that the Mopsy has KS Maui connections?

“The Mopsy is named after my mom who was born and raised in the Pāʻia house, 37 Aʻe Lane, which is in back of Flatbread,” Kumu Kalei Aʻarona-Lorenzo said.

According to Kumu Kalei, when the owners of Flatbread were building the place “they were looking for members of the community to help and be a part of the building of their stone oven.”

“My mom laid the first brick,” Kumu Kalei said.

When Flatbread Company moved into Pāʻia, they were very big about involving the community, and with the Kekahua ‘ohana house located directly behind the restaurant, the ʻohana became a big part of making the bricks that formed the centerpiece of the restaurant: the clay oven.

In addition to helping mix, form and lay the bricks of the oven, Kumu Kalei’s mother had many conversations with the owner and the chef. Her input about local and Hawaiian foods, such as kalua pork, helped shape the Mopsy pizza, which went on to be named after her.

Kumu Kalei’s motherʻs name is Francine Mapuana Kekahuna Aʻarona. “Mopsy” comes from “Mapuana.”

When I go to Flatbread, the meal usually starts off with an ice cold lemonade. A little on the tart side, this refreshing drink is clearly freshly made. Next Iʻll get a salad. All of them are good, so it’s fun to dabble in all the different kinds they have, but my personal favorite is their Organic salad.

Then, of course, to fill my pizza-craving tummy, I donʻt even need to open the menu to know that I want the Mopsy, the large 16” one to be exact.

Flatbread Companyʻs Mopsy pizza, you can never go wrong!
Photo by Quinn Williams
Flatbread Companyʻs Mopsy pizza, you can never go wrong!

The Mopsy ingredients are:
Kiawe smoked free-range pork shoulder
Homemade organic mango BBQ sauce
Organic red onion
Maui pineapple
Flatbread’s blend of Hawaiian goat cheeses
Premium whole milk mozzarella
Parmesan cheese
Homemade garlic oil
Flatbread’s organic herb mix

All that and a little bit of Heaven, the Mopsy is to die for!

The great thing about Flatbread is that if you are seated in the front half of the restaurant, you’re able to watch the works of all the creative pizza makers, firers, and bartenders.

While eating, you watch as your pizzas fire in the wood fire oven.
Photo by Quinn Williams
While eating, you watch as your pizzas fire in the wood fire oven.

Flatbread has restaurants all over: Portland, Maine; North Conway, Hampton and Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Martha’s Vineyard, Amesbury, Bedford, and Somerville, Massachusetts; Canton and Rockport, Connecticut; Georgetown, Washington D.C.; Providence, Rhode Island; and Whistler, British Columbia.

So if you’re ever in the pizza mood, don’t forget Flatbread Company. Their ingredients are all natural, local and delicious!