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Food is our common ground, a universal experience
— james beard
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our story

Before there was Via Gelato in Kaimuki, there was a truck, and before there was a truck, there was Melissa Bow, Owner, who just loved food. That’s where it all started. “I can replicate any flavor I’ve ever eaten so combine that with ice cream and that’s pretty amazing!” Having moved from New York City, back to Hawaii, the place where she grew up, missing foods in Hawaii was definitely an inspiration - a Fukuya shiso musubi, a black sesame Chinese dim sum dessert, and of course all the tropical flavors like Pirie mangos, haupia and lilikoi. These flavors of all the cultures in Hawaii became the menu of gelato and sorbetto at the Via Gelato truck and it lit a spark with local people.

“Lihing amped up with fresh locally grown herbal shiso, mango that tasted really like our local sweet and tart florally nuanced mangos, black sesame…at that time when I started, no one was making flavors based off of locally inspired foods. All the ice creams out there were very standard, typical Mainland American flavors. I figured, I personally would prefer to eat something a little closer to the heart”.

So, Via Gelato began as a food truck serving artisanal quality gelato with unique flavors inspired by local Hawaiian tastes and people came out to the side of the road and farmer’s markets in lines. One year later, Via Gelato opened a store in Kaimuki with even more flavors than the six that could fit in a truck, and a brightly-lit, family-friendly ambiance. Then in 2018 the second shop in the heart of Ward Village Kakaako, near Ala Moana Beach opened.

Each day the gelato makers make fourteen flavors that create joy. A board in the store lets customers pin up their ideas ranging from kalbi to lemon crunch cake (another obsession dessert). Not all of the suggestions make the cut, but everyday Via Gelato makes something special that speaks to our best memories.

 
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Dreamers unite
— watch the scrolling pics below to see the transformation from the truck to the first Via Gelato in Kaimuki
Save the earth. It’s the only planet with chocolate
— a sign seen in portland
Photo: Paper cups, a better alternative to plastic. But, consider, still made from trees, still shipped across the ocean from China using fuel to transport it here to be used and thrown away in 5 minutes. Eating in, is the best option!

Photo: Paper cups, a better alternative to plastic. But, consider, still made from trees, still shipped across the ocean from China using fuel to transport it here to be used and thrown away in 5 minutes. Eating in, is the best option!

You use it for a minute,

but it lasts for 1000 years . . .

what am I?

Consider this, when eating a cup of gelato it takes less than 5 minutes to finish it. Why would we put it into a plastic cup or use a plastic spoon that would never break down, but break up into pieces over a 1000 years?

Photo: Reusable ceramic cups to decrease single use wasted items

Photo: Reusable ceramic cups to decrease single use wasted items

Plastic is not disposable.

Yup, that’s correct, plastic is not disposable. There’s no “away” to throw it because it doesn’t break down it breaks into pieces and if you burn it, (like we do in Hawaii) it releases carbon from the petroleum it was originally made from creating pollution really not worth it for 5 minutes of gelato. Worse, if it gets into the ocean, marine animals eat it because it smells similar to their food.


So, yeah, that’s why we use ceramic bowls, glass cups and metal spoons when you eat and drink at Via. Plus it looks and feels nicer. When you need to take out, we provide paper cups, wooden spoons and plastic cups made from corn that “biodegrade” but really consider - that cup won’t biodegrade unless it’s over 110 degrees (definitely not the temp in the ocean) and if it does melt it produces methane which is even worse for the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.

Eat in whenever you can, bring your own to go coffee cup and we will fill it. We need to take care of this Earth. It’s the only planet with ice cream and chocolate.

 
Photo: Reusable metal spoons used for eating and sampling. We save 10,000 wooden spoons from being thrown away each week. But we have a problem; people are so accustomed to throwing away, they throw away our reusable spoons. We have to buy 100 new metal spoons each week to keep up with the throw away and theft from people stealing them.

Photo: Reusable metal spoons used for eating and sampling. We save 10,000 wooden spoons from being thrown away each week. But we have a problem; people are so accustomed to throwing away, they throw away our reusable spoons. We have to buy 100 new metal spoons each week to keep up with the throw away and theft from people stealing them.

OMG why don’t you take cash?!?
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A: So many reasons…

Safety

We value the safety of our employees. Not having cash means that people who want to steal cash have no incentive to come steal from us. There simply isn’t any. We employ many young people, many of them female, they get out late at night after a hard night’s work. Our employees being held up for cash, is simply not a risk we want to take anymore. Even not taking cash we still have incidents where our employees are robbed of their cash tips! SMH.

Here’s some benefits!

It’s simply cleaner and more sanitary. Now, we don’t touch money at all. The line moves more quickly for customers. With two self pay stations and a clean transaction of card (any card, pick a card) or Apple Pay or Google pay, you guys can zip through in less than a minute.

Skip the step of getting cash from an ATM

Just pay using your bank or debit card (no PIN required) and you’re good to go.

We spend our time doing what we value most

Sustainability

We use our staff to work on the things that we value most. We value sustainability, so we wash A LOT of dishes! That takes time and we would rather spend our time doing our part for the earth than to stand at a register and take cash. We would also value what we serve. Our entire team works very hard to hand make every single thing we serve. We want to utilize our staff to spend time with you, helping you pick flavors and telling you about what we are serving and what makes it special.

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