- PHOTO COURTESY KONA ICE
It began with a simple mission—to give back to the community. Yvette Alcoser and Mark Eagles, along with their 5-year-old daughter, Sophia Eagles, drive a bright blue, colorful van painted with a penguin sporting a Hawaiian shirt that spouts out tunes of familiar tropical melodies ringing through the crisp Central Coast air. The words “Kona Ice” are glazed across the side of their vibrant van. They sell flavored shaved ice—Kona Ice is more than a snow cone vendor, and the family does more than satisfy a sweet tooth.
“It’s a fun product. We loved the corporate mission statement which is having fun but also being involved with the community and being part of the community by giving back,” Alcoser said. “We are a company based off high moral standards.”
The couple, owners of a marketing company, relocated from Fresno months ago to begin their own Kona Ice truck franchise in sunny San Luis Obispo, a location they chose because Alcoser said, “it was voted one of the happiest places to live, and that was certainly important to us.”
So far, the decision has been a good one. “We have been embraced by the community in this process of getting our business up and running,” Alcoser said. “Everybody that we’ve come across has been so helpful.”
The couple devoted to giving back to the community wanted to make sure they were passing on their mission to the next generation. “This is something we wanted to do together and show Sophia that with hard work you can work for yourself and do something good in the community,” Alcoser said. “That is one of the things I want to instill in her.”
Kona Ice is a shaved ice vendor that serves as a fundraising venue for nonprofits by donating a percentage of its sales. The company as a whole has already given back more than $10 million to communities throughout the nation and has a goal, Eagles said, of giving $100 million back.
Their truck is just one of hundreds in the United States and only one of around 50 located in California, Eagles said.
Eagles’ first taste of the Hawaiian shaved ice from the bright blue van was at his nephew’s high school graduation, and it was an experience that kicked off the family’s current journey.
What sets Kona Ice treats apart from regular snow cones is the ice’s softer texture, Alcoser said, as well as the quality customizable flavors. “It’s really light and fluffy. It’s something you have to experience,” Alcoser said.
The truck caters to everyone with four different recipes of the flavors including the Performance+ recipe that is packed with vitamin B, a 100 percent juice mix that is sugar free, a vitamin C recipe made with 40 percent less sugar and stevia, and the regular Kona Klassic mix made with high quality cane sugar. All of the flavors, which range from French vanilla to orange creamsicle, are gluten and nut-free.
“I love that the product can be a health-conscious product,” Alcoser said. The sweet treat is compliant with the smart snack approval allowing it to be served in schools and making it a perfect sweet-tooth alternative for children.
Alcoser and Eagles not only want to serve delicious treats and give back to the San Luis Obispo community but they hope to also become part of it. “We want to be invited,” Eagles said. “We want to be set apart. Let us speak for ourselves with the truck and building the relationships.” For additional information, visit kona-ice.com or call 543-0785.
Mid-State Solid Waste & Recycling, in partnership with the Templeton Community Services District and San Luis Obispo County’s Integrated Waste Management Association, is providing food waste buckets to 650 Monday route customers. As part of this new food waste recycling program, they are encouraging residents to use the pails for egg shells, coffee grounds and filters, raw or cooked vegetables, raw or cooked fruits, bread, pasta grains, and rice. For additional information about the Vegetative Food Waste Composting Program, call 434-9112 or visit midstatesolidwasteandrecycling.com.
Intern Maria Zelada compiled this week’s Strokes & Plugs. Send your business and nonprofit news to firstname.lastname@example.org.