Talking Shaved Ice with David Schubiger
1. How would you describe Kona Ice in a sentence or two?
The Kona Ice truck is a family-friendly, island-inspired, tropical adventure on wheels.
2. Do you offer multiple products or just shaved ice?
Just shaved Ice.
3. Can you tell us about it?
Kona Ice uses an interactive dispensing system, called a Flavorwave™, that allows individuals to select from one or more of our flavors to pour over their fluffy snow. We carry 20-plus flavors allowing for 500 different combinations, including healthy alternative blends and sugar free selections. For each shaved ice a customer can choose up to 10 different flavors.
4. Can you tell us about some of your flavors?
… most popular?
Tigers Blood, a blend of Strawberry and Coconut; and Blue Raspberry.
…most interesting combo?
Root Beer Float and Goobajooba, a blend of Tigers Blood and Mango.
Root Beer Float or Creamsicle
5. Do you offer gluten free toppings?
Yes, all of the flavors are gluten free.
6. Do you offer sugar free toppings?
Yes, we always have several sugar free flavors in stock which change periodically.
7. What exactly is shaved ice?
Shaved ice traces its history to Japan, where it is known as kakigōri and dates back to the Heian Period. Shaved ice became popular globally after Japanese plantation workers immigrated to the Hawaiian islands and took their traditional dessert with them, creating shaved ice from large blocks of ice using Japanese swords, which were family heirlooms.
In 1934, in New Orleans, inventor Ernest Hansen designed an "ice block shaver,” which resulted in the local variation known as the Sno-ball.
On our truck we have an incredibly fast shaver, which can shave more than 400 Konas per hour.
8. What’s the background on Kona Ice?
The Kona Ice company is headquartered in Florence, Kentucky. Kona Ice is a colorful, gourmet shaved ice brand with more than 600 trucks in 48 states. The franchise is best known for it’s 4,000 flavor combinations, iconic trucks and unyielding commitment to the community.
Kona Ice has a tradition of donating thousands of dollars each year to local school groups, teams and community organizations. Nationwide, Kona Ice has donated more than $27 million dollars to community-based organizations since its launch in June 2007.
9. What are Kona Days?
Kona Days allow us to offer students and staff a special treat, while giving back a percentage of our proceeds to the local school. We arrive during lunch, recess, after school or another predetermined time block. We can serve an entire class within a seven-minute span. Plus, all of our blends are SmartSnack approved, meaning that they meet school nutrition guidelines. We will serve Kona Ice Kups to students and give-back 25 percent of proceeds to the school. We write the school a check before the end of the day.
10. How do schools get involved?
School administrators or PTO members can call or email to coordinate a Kona Day for their local school.
11. Are Kona Days only for schools?
Kona Days are specific to schools. However, we also fund raise for sports teams, churches, non-profits and other community organizations.
12. Do you cater for parties or private events?
Kona Ice is available for parties and private events such as birthday parties, weddings, employee appreciation days, among other functions and celebrations.
13. Can you tell us about your background?
I recently graduated from Rowan University in New Jersey with a Bachelors Degree in Business and Criminal Justice. Previously, I served as a manger for Mr. Softee, which is how I became introduced to the frozen dessert industry.
14. What attracted you to Kona Ice?
There are a number of reasons why I was attracted to Kona Ice. For starters, the company offered a low investment, low overhead fees, a set royalty and a breadth of support to new and existing franchisees. Plus, the brand is so community focused, which has allowed me to build relationships with key members of my community and have a lasting impact on my friends, families and neighbors here in Jacksonville.
15. What attracted you to a food truck?
The mobile business model allows me to go where my customers are located. In addition, I have enough room in my truck to go from event to event without having to restock. It’s easy, convenient and allows me the flexibility to maintain greater work/life balance.
16. How can people find you?