What is Ono Ice?
“Ono” means “delicious” in Hawaiian, and it’s the inspiration behind everything Ono Ice does. Syrups made-from-scratch with only fresh, natural ingredients. Unique flavors ranging from Blueberry Basil to Honeysuckle Pear to Vietnamese Iced Coffee. And ice so delicately shaved it literally melts in your mouth.
Ono Ice is all-natural, handmade Hawaiian shave ice that Birmingham native, Rebecca Davis, has been operating Ono Ice as a pop-up shop around Birmingham for the past 3 years. With just a table, portable ice coolers, and hand-crank block ice shaver she has made pop-up appearances at local Birmingham businesses like Bottletree, Lucy’s Coffee and Tea, Charm, and festivals like Secret Stages, Artwalk, and Sidewalk Film Festival.
Ono Ice is ready to take the next step and bring this delicious summer treat to the streets of Birmingham all summer long. With the help of the Kickstarter campaign, we will be able to purchase a vintage RV or truck to be converted into a one-of-a-kind shave ice truck and be on the streets of Birmingham by next summer. Once we're on wheels, Ono Ice will be able to bring all-natural shave ice to more locations in the Birmingham metro-area and beyond, making it a summertime experience everyone in the city can enjoy. With more space to work in, we also be able to offer sugar-free flavors, more specialty shave ice desserts like Chamango, a mexican-style raspado made with fresh Mango and a spicy Plum flavored syrup, additional toppings like fresh fruit and mochi balls, and locally-made ice cream that can be added to your shave ice.
How it all began
Growing up in Birmingham, my favorite time of year was always summer and one of my favorite summertime activities was a trip to the shave ice stand. There was just something special about that sweet, icy treat that emodied the feeling of summer to me.
In my early twenties I moved away from Birmingham to see what the rest of the world had to offer. For the next 12 years lived in other, bigger cities and traveled to other countries but eventually I returned to my hometown. I quickly began to see that Birmingham had developed into a vibrant creative community and was on the verge of a major renaissance, and I wanted to be part of it.
I think I've always known I wanted to start my own business and when I moved home to Alabama I started thinking about what that business might be. I have worked in many facets of the food service industry over the past 20 years so naturally I gravitated towards something food-related. Eventually my fascination with Hawaiian Shave Ice and love for all things vintage came together and it finally hit me! I thought it would be fun to sell shave ice out of a really cool vintage truck! But not just any shave ice...I wanted to try my hand at making my own syrups from fresh, natural ingredients and use unique flavor pairings. No artificial flavors or colors. I was inspired by culinary trends of using local, and all natural ingredients, and shave ice desserts from other cultures. Shave Ice, as I learned, has existed in other countries and cultures for centuries and that made it even more interesting to me.
How you can help
With generous help of family, friends, and Ono Ice supporters, I’ve been able to get off the ground, buy basic equipment, and make pop-up appearances at some of Birmingham's most beloved local businesses and festivals. Now, I need your help to bring it to more people across the city, all summer long. Your funds will be used to help me meet my budget goals for purchasing a used truck and all necessary equipment to operate a mobile shave ice business. Including repairs, painting, and renovation of the truck to meet health code requirements, equipment such as a new electric shaver, freezers, and coolers, for hand-painted signage and a bitching sound system!
At the root of it all is a unique experience that I am excited to bring to Birmingham by next summer. I love the idea of being able to create something you can do every summer. A special thing or tradition you do with you family or friends. With your support, we can create a mobile Ono Ice truck that will become a Birmingham tradition for years to come! I would love to have you join me in my mission to contribute to making Birmingham a great place to live and visit.
Please consider pledging today!
Thank you for your support!
--Rebecca Davis, Ono Ice founder
Recent Press for Ono Ice
Risks and challenges
As all new businesses do, I'm sure we will run into obstacles along the way. Health department approval, getting city/county permits, and renovating a vintage truck are sure to present challenges but with the support of the community and the relationships with other local businesses I've established in this great city, I feel confident I can overcome those obstacles and complete this project. The only thing that has held me back from getting this business off the ground so far is acquiring the funds I need to buy a truck and make it happen. It's what I've been dreaming about for the past 7 years and I'm determined to make this part-time hobby into a legitimate business.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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