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One of the perks of being in Hawaii is that it’s never too cold to enjoy a gelato. It is especially pleasant on those hot summer days, when the body temp is beyond the norm, and you just may give into that crazy urge for a midnight swim. Gelato could be your savior.
The Gelato Factory and Cafe happens to be one of the newest additions to Hawaii’s gelato selection. A selection that, to be totally truthful, does not really exist here. There are a few shops on Oahu, Maui and Kauai, but nothing like the Gelato Factory in Kaimuki. Full of charm and a quaint mellow vibe, the little shop definitely stands out from its neighbors. It reminded me of a similar gelato shop in San Francisco, where we would make our first stop every visit.
My fiance and I found the Gelato Factory by accident. We wanted to get dessert from Cafe Laufer, right around the corner from the Gelato Factory, but thanks to Kaimuki’s ever-challenging parking situation, we ended up driving beyond Cafe Laufer and right past a brightly-lit store that caught got my attention. The word “gelato” popped out at me, and it was inevitable that there would be a change of plans tonight.
Turns out, we picked a great night to try this place because it actually just opened that day. I had a feeling this was so; we frequent Kaimuki quite often and never noticed this place. Plus, Kaimuki is such an old town that it is almost rare that a new shop or restaurant opens up here. These mom-and-pops have been here for decades, which explains why it popped out at us. The contrast of new and old was a nice look for the Gelato Factory. It was really also really neat to experience it on opening day. You could just feel the wonderful blend of excitement and curiosity swirling through the store. Customers, who were most likely friends of the owner, had been walking in bearing gifts – from flower baskets to those good luck Japanese cats.
The decor inside is fresh and simply chic. Mason jars of herbal teas lined the wooden countertop, while customers looked up at the chalkboard menus hanging above. The white walls appeared purposefully bare; probably to balance out the super lively gelato flavors waiting to be ordered. I can imagine there being a display case of freshly-baked macaroons in its near future. That would go great with the coffee.
We tried several flavors but ended up getting peanut butter oreo and coffee with chocolate chips. A very good combo that suited both of our taste palates. I love anything peanut butter, while he loves anything coffee – so it was a win-win situation for us. And although it was well after 8 p.m., I could not resist tacking on a mocha to our order. The verdict? So good! The gelato and coffee went surprisingly well together. I will most definitely be returning to the Gelato Factory and highly recommend you try it the next time you are in Hawaii
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