Meet Caitlyn and Caleb Phillips, a husband-and-wife duo who embarked on a flavorful journey in March 2023 when they launched Ollie's Hawaiian Shave Ice. Inspired by their annual Hawaiian vacations, the couple's love for the island's iconic treat led them to create a mobile shave ice shop in Gainesville.
It was during their last trip to Hawaii, which they humorously refer to as a "business trip," that the decision to start Ollie's Hawaiian Shave Ice was solidified.
Initially, the plan was to open a storefront. However, life had other plans for the couple when they discovered they were expecting a baby. Adapting to their changing circumstances, Caitlyn and Caleb decided to start with a mobile truck, allowing them a bit more flexibility in their schedules. Still working full time as music ministers for their local church, they are gradually working towards making Ollie's their full-time passion.
Returning from Hawaii, Caitlyn and Caleb set out on a quest to replicate their Hawaiian experience as faithfully as possible. They researched, took notes, and tried various shave ice establishments to understand what worked and what didn't. To ensure authenticity, they invested in the same shave ice machine used in Hawaii, recognizing that this was the secret ingredient that set their shave ice apart from the rest.
One of the key elements the couple were determined to replicate was the unique texture of Hawaiian shave ice. They observed that many places either produced ice that melted into a syrupy mess or was so hard that eating it required a wrestling match with a spoon.
"Our ice is super, super smooth. It’s completely different from a snow cone or Italian ice," said Caleb
While they work towards opening a storefront, Caitlyn and Caleb are continually experimenting with new flavors and toppings. Their goal is to offer as many exciting options as possible. The current menu features a variety of flavors, including coconut, mango, Bahama Mama and Tiger's Blood. Their current favorite is Dreamscicle, the perfect blend of vanilla and orange. Once in a storefront, there are exciting plans to various toppings like strawberries, blueberries, pineapple and mochi to enhance the Hawaiian experience. They also aspire to offer more tropical ice cream flavors like macadamia nut and mango to complement their current vanilla ice cream offering. Macadamia nut, being a Hawaiian favorite, is high on their list of flavors to introduce.
However, Ollie's Hawaiian Shave Ice is not just about delighting human taste buds; it's also a pet-friendly paradise. Their beloved dog, Ollie, serves as the company mascot. They even created a special treat for furry friends – frozen low-sodium chicken broth with whipped cream. Ollie is undoubtedly their first child and enjoys all the spoils that come with the title.
Ollie's Hawaiian Shave Ice, is all about keeping the Hawaiian spirit alive in every bite. Whether you're enjoying the tropical flavors, or experiencing the warm hospitality of Caitlyn, Caleb, and Ollie, you're in for a treat that transports you straight to the islands. Keep an eye out for them as they work towards bringing their flavorful creations to a storefront near you, and don't forget to bring your furry friend along for the ride!
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