The original Waiola Store is located on 2135 Waiola Street. It’s a mom-and-pop grocery store that was started in 1940 by the Koide family. It was called the “Koide Store”. During the 1970′s, the store was sold to another Japanese family and called the “Alice’s Market”. There used to be one shave ice store on every block along S. King Street in McCully/Moiliili neighborhood until the City started the road widening project which put all the shave ice stores to close down. That was when someone told Alice to open a shave ice window at her store.
However, due to the demolish of the Honolulu Stadium (where the Old Stadium Park is) in 1976, business has been diminishing. Alice’s husband was also ill at that time. She sold her business after 10 years of ownership. There has been a few owners who bought the store but could did not make it. Until Oct, 1980 my Grand Uncle Cheng Fong Chen bought the Waiola Store and ran it with his family for 5 years and later sold it to my father, Wen Ming Lee with the financial help from my Uncle, I-Hsiang Lin back in Feb. 10, 1986.
The first Waiola Shave Ice kapahulu was started in September, 1999 at 525 Kapahulu Ave. Then, later moved to 3113 Mokihana Street across from Safeway. This store used to be a 3-bedroom house which was built in 1926, then turned into a store in 2009.
Both stores have parking lot next door with over 10 parking stalls. All our syrups are homemade and some with natural flavors. We use only sugar cane sugar for our syrups, and we also make our azuki beans daily and custard pudding and mochi balls twice a week.
To ensure the freshness in our syrups, we refrigerate them and only make a small batch at a time.
A photo before we converted the house into our shave ice store.
A photo after the store was ready for business.