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Hawaii: In Real Life ~ Via Gelato

Ice cream trucks are old school. Here’s an inside look at the new gelato truck in town

Posted August 1, 2012 by Melissa Chang

There’s been quite a bit of buzz about the new truck in town, Via Gelato (@ViaGelato). A bunch of us visited it on her opening night and were impressed with the interesting and intense flavors. I haven’t had time to go back, but I know reader @HarryCovair was so hooked, he visits her semi-regularly now to get his daily dose of chocolate.

Owner Melissa Bow uses local ingredients and/or works with local businesses to create her unique flavors, like green tea haupia, brown butter vanilla, almond cookie, or Makaha Mango sorbet. She even makes her li hing powder (sort of) herself to create a custom blend. It’s always nice to know that you’re eating something that is sourced and produced locally, so you’re supporting local businesses all the way around.

Although she’s always creating new flavors, she only serves just six at any given time to ensure no one gets overwhelmed by the choices. I’m a purist, so I’m inclined to eat just one at a time, but other people like to order two scoops of different flavors to create their own combinations. Or, if you’re like @HarryCovair, you can just eat two consecutive bowls of gelato.

One challenge for this truck, however, is that gelato is not a meal (although some may disagree); Via Gelato has to operate at slightly different hours to accommodate people looking for dessert. She’s only been in business two weeks, and school has just started, so as of this writing, she may be tweaking her hours again. I know a lot of you have been asking about when and where she will be, so the best thing to do is follow her on Twitter @ViaGelato or Instagram @ViaGelatoHawaii to get the most current information.

We jumped into the Via Gelato truck recently to see what it’s all about. Here’s our video:

We stuck around to talk story some more with Melissa — turns out she’s my niece, Ahnya’s classmate from Punahou — to see how she got started and what she has planned next. Visit to see more!


You can read all of Melissa’s blogs at Follow Melissa on Twitter @Melissa808, on Foursquare as Melissa808, or email at

  1. harrycovair
    Posted August 1, 2012 at 7:38 am

    It wasn’t CONSECTIVE bowls of Gelato. There was a span of about 10 minutes. lol

    Black Sesame and the Chocolate are WINNAHZ!

  2. Melissa808
    Posted August 1, 2012 at 8:15 am

     @harrycovair LOL I will time you next time.

  3. Annoddah_Dave
    Posted August 1, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Delicate Blossom:  so gelato is different from sorbet as ice cream is different from gelato?

  4. Posted August 1, 2012 at 11:10 am

    Looks delicious! Good for her. She’s got to be the youngest food truck owner I’ve ever seen! 

  5. Soos2005
    Posted August 1, 2012 at 11:58 am

     @Melissa808 Are you related to EVERYBODY? j/k I tried a small combo of what you had – yum! Can’t wait to try more flavors. Hope she’s on Punchbowl Friday. Other library staff have already discovered her. The hard choice: lunch or gelato/sorbetto

  6. Melissa808
    Posted August 1, 2012 at 2:47 pm

     @Annoddah_Dave totally different!

  7. Melissa808
    Posted August 1, 2012 at 2:51 pm

     @annedreshfield I’ve actually seen younger! Guess how old she is?

  8. Melissa808
    Posted August 1, 2012 at 2:52 pm

     @Soos2005 LOL world domination, baby!!! PS why not lunch AND gelato/sorbetto?

  9. 808marv
    Posted August 1, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Got lucky and caught their debut on Ward Ave. a few weeks back when I went to visit the Puffettes truck on a Friday afternoon.  Tried vanilla and green tea haupia, good stuff.  Hope to try other flavors soon, especially the chocolate since harrycovaircan’t get enough of it haha.

  10. Melissa808
    Posted August 1, 2012 at 11:01 pm

     @808marv  Puffettes  harrycovair Marv…with @harrycovair in front of you in line, abandon all hope of getting any chocolate!

  11. harrycovair
    Posted August 2, 2012 at 4:36 am

    @Melissa808 @Annoddah_Dave Gelato is not supposed to be frozen like Ice Cream. That’s why it melts so darn fast in the summer heat.

  12. harrycovair
    Posted August 2, 2012 at 4:38 am

    @Melissa808 Naht, I’ll share. @808marv @Puffettes

  13. Posted August 2, 2012 at 6:33 am

     @Melissa808 I’m guessing between 19 and 21! 

  14. 808pooh
    Posted August 2, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Yes the gelato is great! so far i’ve tried 4 flavors and my favorites are…almond cookie and green tea haupia.

  15. Melissa808
    Posted August 2, 2012 at 3:37 pm

     @808pooh I. WANT. ALMOND COOKIE!!!!

  16. Melissa808
    Posted August 2, 2012 at 3:37 pm

     @annedreshfield Closer to 30!

  17. Posted August 3, 2012 at 6:01 am

     @Melissa808 No way!! I need to find out what she uses on her skin. ;)

  18. KevinSOshiro
    Posted August 5, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    This truck should give La Gelateria Italian Style Frozen Desserts (on Cedar Street) a run for their money !

  19. Melissa808
    Posted August 5, 2012 at 2:01 pm

     @KevinSOshiro I think you’re right!

  20. harrycovair
    Posted August 5, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    @Melissa808 @KevinSOshiro There’s a key difference between the two Gelato’s. LG serves a frozen cup/pint from their factory/store. @VIAgelato doesn’t serve a frozen gelato.

    I tend to believe that LG has to preserve their product for take out enjoyment whereas @VIAgelato can be enjoyed on a walk by whim. I actually enjoy both styles.

  21. Posted August 6, 2012 at 9:29 am

     @annedreshfield She uses gelato of course! Or maybe failed gelato experiments so as not to waste. Hahaha.

About Melissa Chang

Melissa has been blogging regularly since 2007 and has more than 25 years’ experience in marketing and public relations. She is currently an independent marketing consultant, specializing in social media. 

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