Stories of Aloha: From Hiking Napali to Making ‘Naked Bacon'

Stories of Aloha: From Hiking Napali to Making ‘Naked Bacon'

Posted by Hawaiian Isles on 4/5/2018 to Stories Of Aloha
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Nothing says “Good Morning” like Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee with a breakfast of bacon and eggs.

Everyone loves Kona Coffee. So what better way is there to jumpstart the day than with a cup of your favorite Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee and breakfast of bacon and eggs!

We found John Kreilich, a St. Louis entrepreneur who happens to love our Kona Coffee and the Hawaiian Islands where we produce it. John also seems to know a thing or two about bacon.

Here’s a little about John, his passion for paradise, his HIKC preferences and how he became a bacon guru.

Dubbing itself as the “First Microbrewery of Bacon,” St. Louis-based Naked Bacon Co is gaining a savory reputation for its gluten-free, additive-free bacon that’s handcrafted in extremely small batches.

From dry curing by hand for a minimum of seven days with a secret blend of spices and herbs to smoking it slowly over fruit and hardwoods, the company operates with a mantra of producing bacon that tastes like it did “back then.”

“Back then” refers to 1861, the year that August Kreilich–the great grandfather of Naked Bacon’s founder and CEO, John Kreilich–migrated from Germany to Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. John has further perfected the recipe August authored 160 years ago to create what you taste today.

And we all know how incredible it is to pair bacon with a cup of Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee!

Name: John Kreilich
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Profession: Founder/CEO of Naked Bacon Co.

What makes Naked Bacon so unique?
Kreilich: We produce the cleanest, healthiest, best tasting bacon on the market. Aside from being gluten and nitrate free, it has less fat and sodium. We also have different flavors like jalapeno, chipotle, sugar free, no sugar added and our original. We were also voted Best Tasting Bacon in the U.S. by Food & Wine magazine. If you think of what Ben & Jerry’s did for ice cream, we’re doing the same things–different flavors, healthy, natural and just a fun lifestyle brand.

What’s your inspiration?
Kreilich: My grandparents that had farms. So I grew up learning all the ways to raise animals naturally, and how to cure and smoke meats. And I saw a niche for healthier, better tasting bacon.

What do you consider St. Louis’ “must do” activities?
Kreilich: According to USA Today Readers’ Choice polls, we have the Best U.S. Zoo and Best Urban Park–which is Forest Park. And our Missouri Botanical Garden also ranks at the top. I would say those three would be great things to do first. And if you like baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals are a good team to see. Our second baseman, Kolton Wong, is actually from Hilo!

When did you last visit Hawaii?
Kreilich: I’ve been there three times. The first was with my girlfriend to Oahu, Maui and Kauai in 2006. Then I was on Maui in 2009, and on the North Shore of Kauai in 2016. That’s definitely further apart than I would like! I haven’t been to the Big Island yet. And I really want to see some of the smaller islands like Molokai, Lanai and Niihau.

How did you spend your time?
Kreilich: I love to surf, but I’m not that good! I’m pretty good at paddleboarding and then I like to snorkel.

What is on your Hawaii bucket list and whom would you bring with you next?
Kreilich: I may bring my parents because they’re getting older, and I don’t know how much longer they can travel. I would like to do more hiking. I hiked the Napali Coast, which is cool. There’s so much remote area on Kauai. So I’d like to do more hiking there. And I want to do some spearfishing the next time I come out.

How do you describe “The Spirit of Aloha?”
Kreilich: Nature, welcoming, laid back, great food, great coffee and a great atmosphere. The people are very welcoming, laid back and at peace with themselves. That’s how I try to position our brand as well.

Fast Fire Coffee Questions

  • Cream and sugar or black? Black only
  • Caffeinated or decaf? Caffeinated
  • Whole Bean or All Purpose Grind? In my house, I’m going to grind it!
    Morning, evening or whenever the craving hits you? All day! I try to cut off about five o’clock.
  • Favorite flavor? Hazelnut
  • Favorite mug? There’s a place we go to called Rosemary Beach, Florida. The water is like the Caribbean and the sand is really white. I have a really cool blue coffee mug that says Rosemary Beach on it.
  • Favorite way to brew it? I like French press.
  • Favorite food/snack to enjoy with HIKC? Naked Bacon’s jalapeno bacon and eggs.
  • What is your favorite recipe including HIKC? Dusting a snapper with coffee and blackening it in a skillet. And serving it with a cup of Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee, of course!

We hope you enjoyed this story of Aloha! If you have an awesome story of Aloha that you’d like to share, please e-mail us at!


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