by LINDA FRABL | photo by Brant Bender Photography

Ohana Means Family

The McKenna family – parents Mark and Susan, and their four children: Brandon (22), Collin (21), Austin (18) and Megan (14) – all epitomize happiness. Whether they’re outdoors grilling delicious food and lounging by the pool or taking one of their many vacations to Hawaii, the McKennas know how to enjoy life to the fullest.

When they’re not relaxing in tranquil environments, the four McKenna children are all busy preparing for their futures. Brandon is about to graduate from Oberlin College, where he was the captain of the tennis team. Collin is a junior at USD. Austin is a recent graduate of Cathedral Catholic High School, and he’ll be attending either USD or CSU in the fall. Megan will be a student at Cathedral in the fall.

When discussing the beloved Fairbanks Highlands neighborhood that the family calls home, Susan commented, “We love the wide open spaces, and our neighbors are so friendly.” Mark added, “The community here is warm and inviting. As far as we are concerned, there is no better place to live!” That is quite a statement, considering the McKennas have dwelled in many different locations throughout their lives. With Susan hailing from Los Angeles, and Mark being raised in Pittsburgh, the two met in Malibu, and have lived in both Colorado and Hawaii before finding their forever home in Carmel Valley.


Their current lifestyle incorporates the best of all of their past residences. Mark proclaimed, “We had lived in Colorado for some years, so a large yard was a must!” Susan then mentioned, “We lived in Hawaii for a year, so warm weather and being close to the ocean was also a must!”

Being in Hawaii was actually life-changing for the McKennas. It inspired Mark and Susan to combine their skills and open a cupcake business in Oceanside that embodies the essence and flair of Hawaii. Mark, who is a chef, and Susan, who has a background in sales and marketing, named their dessert shop Ohana Cupcakes, and its tropical paradise ambiance offers up a child-centric sense of fun. Summing up the philosophy behind the name for their business, Susan exclaimed, “Ohana means family in Hawaiian, and that is what we are all about!”

Parents: Mark and Susan McKenna
Children: Brandon (22), Collin (21), Austin (18), and Megan (14)
Community: Carmel Valley
Hometowns: Mark – Pittsburgh, PA; Susan – Los Angeles
Occupations: Owners of Ohana Cupcakes in Oceanside
Pets: Two dogs
Favorite Things to Do in 92130: Grilling outside and hanging by the pool