With evidence of his own money well spent, Weston Walker of Hollister sat with his brother Wyatt and their neighbor Ferrah Thomas, each enjoying something cool to stave off the summer heat. Above the hum of island music playing in the background, the eight-year-old declared to return to the one-day old business that had left a ring of dried chocolate ice-cream around his mouth.
On June 9, Hokulia Shave Ice opened its doors at 1210 East Park Street, Suite 102, in Hollister.
“It’s a big project for the whole family,” said Tilese Arrington of the business venture her family of five has taken on.
Arrington explained that while on a family vacation in Utah four years ago, they made frequent stops at a Hokulia Shave Ice location. Soft, airy and packed with flavor, the shave ice reminded the Arringtons of their trips to Hawaii. They were so impressed by the product, Arrington and her husband Cam decided on the trip home to bring that “taste of aloha” to Hollister and soon purchased a franchise.
Ranging from the tropical to the ordinary to the unusual, Hokulia offers 50 flavors of shave ice, including passion fruit, vanilla and cake batter. In addition, Holukia carries 30 flavors of the Farr Better Ice Cream line, a selection of classics such as chocolate peanut butter cup and Hawaiian flavors, including rocky road to Hana. Various types of smoothies and a collection of gourmet popcorn round out the menu.
Arrington told BenitoLink that Hokulia was scheduled to open in February, but the county’s shelter-in-place order delayed the family’s business plans. She admitted that opening under the new health guidelines has its challenges, including screening employees’ temperatures and calculating seating capacity, but said this hasn’t dampened what she and her husband set out to do.
“We wanted to bring a tropical vacation to Hollister. A place where people could relax and have a good time, just like in Hawaii,” she said, adding that “more importantly we want to be a positive influence on the community, whether serving a great product or creating jobs for people.”
As the temperature rose above 90 degrees on the afternoon of June 10, Mark Walker and his neighborhood friend Darci Thomas paid a visit to Hokulia with their children.
“I thought to myself, ‘What are we going to do today? We can’t go to the public pool. Let’s go get some ice,’” Walker said. This was his family’s second time at Hokulia in two days.
“It’s important that we get behind business, especially during this time,” he said. “Hokulia’s products taste great and they’re affordable.”
His sons agreed with their dad’s assessment.
Ten-year old Wyatt rated his cherry cola-flavored shave ice a “10 out of 10.”
Asked if he would return, Wyatt’s younger brother Weston flatly said, “If I had more money.”
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