Page 3 - Dining Out - January 22, 2023
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   Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee
  AL: How did you get into the shave ice business?
CA: My great-grandparents on my grandmother Sumie’s side (the Shimoda family) originally started making shave ice in the 1930s at the old Haleiwa theater. My grandmother got married and decades later, she and my father Michael opened Aoki’s Shave Ice onKamehamehaDay,June11,1981. As my father tells me, Matsumoto’s would close at lunch, and people still wanted their shave ice. That’s why they decided to start making shave ice again.
When they opened this store, I was only 6 but had an affinity for business. I majored in business and wanted to take on the family lega- cy. Our original location across the street had a small retail store. When we had to close that location, we opened Aoki’s North Shore Trad- ing Company across the street and expanded our retail store offerings while completing the build-out of Aoki’s Shave Ice.
We created ice cakes in the
meantime. These have grandma’s original homemade shave ice fla- vors blended with our ice cream — it’s like the bottom of your shave ice.
We have families bring coolers to bring ice cakes back home and have it stocked in their freezers. Plus, they’re easy to eat in the car on the way home.
AL: What are the most popular flavors and items?
CA: Our older clientele really like strawberry — no bells and whis- tles. The tourists like rainbow. We made a rainbow shave ice with our classic strawberry, lemon and pineapple flavors, and the “Volca- no” in honor of Kilauea’s eruption (lilikoi and banana, topped with strawberry).
Small is $4 and large is $5. Add- ins are vanilla ice cream ($1), sweet azuki beans ($1), vanilla ice cream and azuki bean combo ($1.50), spe- cialty ice cream or sorbet ($2; $2.50 with beans). Toppings (75 cents each) are cream splash, mochi balls, rainbow jellies, li hing gum-
mies, toasted coconut, chocolate drizzle, almond flakes or granola.
The Shave Ice Shake is vanilla ice cream and your choice of Ao- ki’s shave ice flavors, and then it’s blended. Popular flavors are honey- dew and ube ($6 each; add special- ty ice cream for $2 or beans for $1).
With the Mango Sorbet Bowl ($6.75), you can choose from man- go or pineapple sorbet from Tropi- cal Dream Ice Cream Co. from the Big Island. It’s topped with granola, almonds and toasted coconut.
The bestselling Ice Cake ($2.50, small; $4.50, large) flavors are rain- bow and volcano.
AL: What types of things can you find in Aoki’s North Shore Trading Company?
CA: We have a lot of our signature Aoki’s merchandise like classic T-shirts. We just brought back the surfer design that was created 42 years ago, and the volcano design was made by my grandparents when Mauna Loa erupted 39 years ago. We brought that design back
not knowing it would erupt again. We have gifts made by local artists, jewelry, food items, tea from Maui, locally made honey, our ice cakes and lots of great gifts to remind you of Hawaii to bring home.
AL: What do you love most about Aoki’s Shave Ice?
CA: We see so many generations come and go. I have seen little kids grow up and bring their families here; kids from college on summer break come to visit; vacationing military families that come back and have their shave ice. So many locals support us. We even have lots of famous people that visit us, like Adam Sandler.
There is a little Hawaii ice hockey team competing on the mainland, and they wanted to be named Aoki Shave Ice. The parents of these kids, and even their par- ents, have been coming to Aoki’s Shave Ice for years. We just found out that on Jan. 16, they became the silver champions. All of their jerseys have our name on it; we
Aoki’s Shave Ice
66-082 Kamehameha Hwy., Haleiwa 808-637-6782
1. Ube Shake with mochi ($6.50, add 75 cents for mochi/toppings)
2. Mango Sorbet Bowl ($6.75)
3. “Volcano” shown with mochi ($5.75,
4. Assorted Ice Cakes ($2.50, small;
$4.50, large)
5. Hawaiian Delight ($6, large with
ice cream)
couldn’t be more proud.
We are extremely grateful for the
multigenerations of families that come and see us. Shave ice always makes people happy, and this lo- cation provides a bigger area for everyone to hang out.
I often wonder if we should keep up with trends as there are so many options for people to choose from, but when I see the generations coming back year af- ter year, I know that we are doing something right.
      The Perfect Afternoon at The Kahala
  Enjoy a delightful teatime at The Veranda with exclusive handcrafted fine teas and indulge in sweet and savory bites on our oceanfront lanai. Perfect for every occasion, Afternoon Tea at The Veranda is the best way to get an early start to the weekend with a blissfully excellent afternoon experience.
2-3:30 p.m., every Friday & Saturday
$80 per person, includes tax & service charge
OpenTable 808.739.8760
   Dining Out / January 22-28, 2023 / 3

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