How It All Began...
Jessica Kamana’o, formed HI Cravings LLC, aka Jess Da Best Acai Bowls, in October 2013. Jess had always made “her” version of the everyday acai bowl for her family, but hers had a unique twist. Instead of plain ol’ strawberry and banana, Jess created her own unique blend and topped her bowls with an array of fresh fruits depending on what was in season. From there other toppings were added, such as vanilla chips, bee pollen, condensed milk, and even local Pa’i’ai. Her unique blend and selection of fruits and toppings drew a quick, vast, and hungry crowd! It wasn’t until Jessica and her husband Kalani moved to Kapolei that they decided to sell the bowls. They were a hit!
Jessica developed her own new recipes for her unique fruit based bowl blends, and has grown from the acai only days. Over time she also developed an edible raw cookie dough recipe that has gained much attention in the community and has become a popular customer favorite.
Jess, Kalani, and their staff, recognize and appreciate the community and local community support they had given in their early days and have developed strong and lasting relationships that keep the customers coming back for more than just the cookie dough! HI Cravings takes pride in what they serve, because they put out a fresh and excellent product that can be healthy or dessert like; its perfect for anyone at any time. People come for breakfast, lunch, or dessert, and just cant get enough.
Now looking to expand, Jess and Kalani can’t wait to add to their menu and focus on small details of their business including continuing to give back to the community that helped them. They continue to participate in fundraisers and events to help others raise money for their own goals. HI Cravings has been blessed with an amazing exponential growth in the past year and is constantly working to improve and grow business even further.
The Strugle Is Real...
Like they say, "all good businesses started from a garage" Amazingly so did "Jess Da Best".
One afternoon Kalani came came home from his previous construction job to find out that his wife Jessica wanted to start selling her Acai Bowls which she had made for her family for a few years. Later on that day Jessica had Kalani made 15 signs that said, "Acai Bowls call (808) 561-9386", which they ended up putting all over Kapolei, Oahu.
On October 7, 2013 Jessica started to sell her bowls out of her garage and after a few weeks Jessica had a few customers who came to her house regularly, and within 2 months she then had a line that went down the sidewalk of wonderful amazing people who supported her fully, although sometimes the wait to get your bowl was quoted to be 1.5 hrs. at that time. The upside to the this, was that in the garage there were a few tables with games on them so that people could enjoy while waiting.
Around 2 months of Jessica selling her amazing Acai Bowls, she decided she needed a name for her business so that people could recognize her. With the help of her Father-in-law, she then came up with the name "Jess Da Best" which people now know her as, (even though she then later changed her business name to HI Cravings)
0n January, 2014 Jessica had another head turning and mind boggling idea. Her idea was to put cookie dough on an Acai Bowl. No other business in the world did that. There was many doubt because Acai Bowls is healthy and cookie dough is quite not healthy. You know what, It was a giant hit everyone loved cookie dough on acai bowls. Not only did she put cookie dough on her acai bowls, she ended up coming with her own special recipe of eggless-cookie-dough meant for raw consumptions.
Unfortunately in February 2014, Jessica had to stop her operations out of her house. That did not stop her one bit, customers still wanted her acai bowls so she ended up pleasing them by dropping it off to them at a desired location after awhile she stopped doing the drop offs.
Surprise April 2014, Jessica Opens her first Shop and employed somewhat 30 persons. This place still kind of felt like home because it was a Flex-home to be exact, zoned for commercial and residential. Tenants lived upstairs while she ran her commercial Business downstairs on the bottom. (Her business name changed from "Jess Da Best" to HI Cravings. People still loved "Jess Da Best" so she in-turn made her DBA "Jess Da Best" aka: HI Cravings Powered By: Jess Da Best.) During this time Kim (Kalani's sister and Jessica's sister-in-law, see pic above) decided to help in this Family business by leaving her full-time job, it was a big risk to take, but one she was willing to make. Kim joined the team and became HI Cravings Financial Manager
October 2014, Jessica closed down her shop and focused on doing Events all over Oahu, which she did for a few months. Incredibly in February 2015 she finally opened a commercial shop located in Kapolei and initiated a program to fundraise for different groups and charities. Think of it as giving back to the community who helped her dreams come true.
Jessica truly Supports Local in a way that she had local artists and photographers display their work of art in her shop for all to admire and buy.
October 2016, Jessica closed down her commercial location to relocate into her new home at Ka Makana Ali'i Mall in Kapolei, HI and in 2nd location in Union Mall Down Town, HI. Dates for relocation is still to be determined.
"Jess Da Best" is still going strong and continuing her journey and would love you to join in.
Story to be continued... stay tuned...