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.
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.
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?
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down it breaks into pieces and if you burn it, (like we do in Hawaii) it releases carbon from the petroleum it was originally made from creating pollution really not worth it for 5 minutes of gelato.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.
When you buy a bag…We give a bag !
Each Sustainability Tote you buy, gives a bag to another person during our educational sustainability games and programs that we do with the local community, schools and local non-profit environmental groups.
Printed with local printer Blank Canvas, and design hand drawn by Via Gelato owner, Melissa Bow, this canvas tote is big enough to carry all your groceries and your reusables. Feel awesome with your choices to “take the no-single use plastic challenge” and to help another person do the same, as well!
Interested? Click the button below to buy it online through our shop, or come on into the store! We would love to see you.
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 so if it seems there’s not as many people at the counter, don’t worry, they are working, just probably behind the walls, washing dishes.
“Why don’t you just hire more people?”
Well, the simple answer to that is we simply can’t afford more people at the way rents are, and rising prices of food costs as well as paying competitive wages to everyone with rising wages. We have kept our costs to you down in every way that we can, making everything we serve affordable with incredible handmade artisan value. It might take a minute or two longer, but try to be patient with us while we work the best that we can to serve everyone.