There are two secrets to getting shave ice to melt on the tongue.
“We make our own ice so there are fewer sharp edges,” said Veronica Lovesy, co-owner of Uncle’s Shave Ice.
The second is keeping the blade nice and sharp, Lovesy added.
“We change it every three weeks,” she said.
The shop, which got its start in Poipu in the Kukuiula Shopping Center, recently opened up a second location in Lihue.
The shop, in the Hokulei Village, boats at garage theme, filled with racing and car gear, license plates and a gumball machine.
Customers are also invited to bring photos of their favorite car and add them to the wall of fame.
“We wanted a retro theme and wanted to do something different,” Lovesy said. “But we also wanted something that would be relevant.”
The shop also pays homage to Mamoru Matsumoto, who is considered the father of shave ice.
“He brought it to Oahu,” Lovesy said.
In 1951, Matsumoto and his wife started selling shave ice, mixed with homemade syrup as a way to supplement their income. People came from all over the world to the store, just to get the cold treat after being in the sun and surf all day, according to the business website.
The business, which is located on Oahu’s North Shore, is still family owned.
Matsumoto’s photo is framed on the walls of Uncle’s Shave Ice in Lihue.
The Lihue location has been serving up shave ice, shave snow, caramel apples, frozen bananas and honey toast since April 22.
Everything in the store is homemade — including the ice and the syrups, Lovesy added.
“We buy about 600 pounds of syrup from Costco a week,” she said.
Business for the last week and a half has been steady, Lovesy said.
Because it’s directly across the street from Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School, the busiest time of day is at 2 p.m.
“We have kids lining up out the door,” she said.
During the grand opening celebration, which runs through May 17, patrons can enter to win a treat of their choosing for one year. Additionally, Uncle’s Shave Ice is introducing the student card, where students, from elementary school to college, can buy a discount card for $15 and receive four regular shave ice or one flavor shave snow servings. That’s a savings of $15, Lovesy said.
The Lihue location is open 7 days a week form 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Uncle Shave Ice, which has been a staple in the community for about 6 years, also gives back to the community.
Through the Kokua Fundraiser program, the company has raised over $40,000 for local groups, like schools and sports teams.
Kids sell Uncle’s Shave Ice cards for $12 a piece.
Koloa Elementary School sells the cards every year to help fund a trip to Oahu. Lovesy estimates about 2,000 cards have been sold in the last four years.