Kauai’s locally sourced organic coffee and breakfast truck has found permanent parking.
For more than four years, Rainbeau Jo’s big white truck served customers in a parking lot on the south side of Vidinha Stadium. Adorned with a colorful rainbow wave and complete kitchen inside, the roving restaurant, named Betty White, has finally found a home with its very own parking.
“We are expanding with the intent of building out a community space that people can come out to,” said co-owner Beau Hannafious, who founded the business with his wife, Jo Weaver.
The energetic couple followed their passion for creating a specialty coffee and food truck, joining their names in a clever wordplay to create the business’ identity.
“Coffee to us is more than a morning ritual or a way to wake up,” Weaver said. “It’s a love, a passion and the best part of our day.”
Now the popular coffee truck is comfortably parked inside a uniquely decorated boutique bay fashioned inside a Lihue warehouse on Aukele Street. The warehouse bay has been transformed into a cozy cafe with relaxing tables and jazzy upbeat music played above cheerful chatter and aromas of fresh brewed coffee with toasting bagels.
“It’s just been really incredible, our customers were amazing,” Weaver said. “They drove around forever looking for parking spots and sat out in the rain and wind with us for four years. So for this to happen was so huge for us, because we’ve had so many people hang with us through the years.”
“Now we can actually provide a space for them to hang out with us, hoola hoop, drink coffee,” she added.
The cheery food truck setup doles out made-to-order smoothies, bagels and of course coffee. Sourcing organic coffee, they’ve even developed their own signature espresso blend through Hammerhead Coffee Roasters, a smooth blend of handpicked Ethiopian Harrar, Brazilian and Honduras beans called Carpe Kope.
“I love how friendly they are here and their coffee obviously is amazing, so are their bagels,” said Charisma Sahlstrom of Wailua Homesteads, a loyal customer for nearly two years. “When they were just in the little truck over yonder I would go sometimes. But now since they’ve been here, it’s more regular. I love their new setup.”
Much of their ingredients are sourced from organic and local Hawaiian farmers, especially the artisan bagels from Ya Quddus Bagelry in Lihue. All ingredients are organic and vegan (except the jalapeno-cheddar) to complement the coffee and smoothies that sell for between $2 and $10.
“We always have a local special going on, so right now we have the Kiawe bean bagel,” Hannafious said. “Ya Quddus actually teams up with a guy in Maui who creates Kiawe bean flour. He ships it over here, and he crusts the actual bagels with that Kiawe bean flour.”
“We carry organic Kauai Microgreens and clover sprouts from Rainbow Farms,” Weaver added. “We try to hit the farmers markets as much as we can. Our kale is local and our bagel guy Ya provides us honey from his huge mecca of honey bees up in Wailua, and we exclusively have his amazing honey.”
The new digs also include an extensive art gallery featuring photography of local artist, Jason Carnegie, along with ceramic sunrise mugs and small planters created by resident artist, Courtney Puig.
“That’s a huge collaboration we’re excited to bring,” Hannafious said. “They’re both amazing artists.”
Another new addition to the breakfast business is the “grab-and-go” front display offering different daily specials in mason jars that are good for two to three days.
“I love the coffee, and I love coming here,” said Wailua Homesteads’ Kayla Pomorski, a frequent customer since August.
“Beau and Jo are just super fun and high energy, and they love all the people that come. They have great coffee, and they’re awesome people,” said Pomorski.
The couple has trademarked the saying, “Brew Aloha.”
“That just kind of instills our mantra not only for our business but just in general toward life,” Hannafious said. “Brew Aloha means brewing coffee but also instilling love and positive vibes to other people as well.”
Rainbeau Jo’s is at 2955 Aukele Street in Bay E. Hours are Wednesday through Friday from 7 to 11:30 a.m., and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Info: 652-5166, www.rainbeaujos.com.
John Steinhorst, staff writer and photographer, reports on local business, music, education and events. He can be reached at (808) 245-0445 or firstname.lastname@example.org.