Talking Shaved Ice with Glen Greco
1. How would you describe Kona Ice in a sentence or two?
The Kona Ice Truck is a tropical, musical oasis on wheels, with an animated, island-inspired façade and tiki hut top.
2. Do you offer multiple products or just shaved ice?
We only offer gourmet shaved Ice.
3. What makes Kona Ice different?
Our shaver has a special device attached to it which allows us to shape our ice into a dome. The shape of the Kona allows customers to distribute flavors more evenly.
4. 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.
5. How is it made?
We add ice to our shaver, which dispenses the fluffy snow into a Kona Kup in the shape of a dome. Guests can then apply flavor from our self-serve Flavorwave, which features our ten most popular blends. Guests are also welcome to choose a specialty flavor, which we store inside the truck. We add these blends for them and then hand them their customized Kona Kup to enjoy.
6. Can you tell us about some of your toppings?
Blue Raspberry, Watermelon and Root Beer
Cotton Candy and Root Beer
Mango, Cheesecake and Watermelon
7. Do you offer gluten free toppings?
Yes, all of our flavors are gluten free.
8. Do you offer sugar free toppings?
Yes, we always have sugar free blends in the truck, which we change out periodically.
9. What are vita-blend flavors?
These are low calorie flavors that are packed with Vitamin C and feature 40% less sugar. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, which is effective at boosting immunity and keeping our customers happy and healthy.
10. What are Kona Days?
Kona Days are special events we put on for local schools. Kona Ice arrives during lunch, recess, after school or another predetermined time block. We can serve an entire class within a seven-minute span, which equates to about 250 kids in an hour. All of our blends are SmartSnack approved, meaning that they meet school nutrition guidelines. We will serve Kona Ice Kups to students and staff and give a percentage of the proceeds to the school.
11. How do schools get involved?
School administrators or PTO members can call or email to coordinate a Kona Day for their local school.
12. Are Kona Days only for schools?
Kona Days are specific to schools. However, we also fundraise for sports teams, churches, non-profits and other community organizations.
13. Do you cater for parties or private events?
Yes. Kona Ice is available for weddings, birthday celebrations, corporate functions, among other private events.
14. Can you tell us about your background?
Before becoming involved with Kona Ice, I served as an information technology specialist for Corning Incorporated in Upstate New York. My parents are Kona Ice franchisees, so I was introduced to the brand as a teenager, helping with their business. Now, I have the opportunity to own and operate my own Kona Ice franchise with my fiancé Julie.
15. What attracted you to Kona Ice?
I have been involved with Kona Ice for several years now. I love attending events and meeting families and neighbors in my community. I also enjoy fundraising. Giving back to my community is one of the most rewarding aspects of owning a Kona Ice franchise.
16. Why a mobile franchise?
I wasn’t exploring other franchise opportunities when I chose to invest in a Kona Ice business. We launched the venture last summer. Now, we have two trucks and the business is growing faster than we ever could have imagined.
17. How can people find you?
The best way to reach us is by phone (904-770-7341) or email (email@example.com). We are also available through the Find a Kona page on our website. We also welcome readers to find us through Facebook and Instagram.
Kona Ice of Southeast Jacksonville will be stationed at the Nocatee Farmer’s Market throughout the summer, which is during the third week of every month from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
18. Anything else?
Kona Ice is a nutritional, healthy option for school administrators that are looking to offer students or staff a special treat. We are one of the only frozen dessert brands that offer snacks that parents can trust. We are SmartSnack approved, which means our Kona Kups meet school nutrition guidelines in all 50 states. Our product is low calorie, low sugar, and packed with vitamins. For more information, readers can visit our website at www.kona-ice.com.