Founded in 2014, Banán made it their company mission to provide only the best, most wholesome bowls and smoothies available to its patrons. Co-founders, entrepreneurs and Punahou School alumni Matt Hong, Zak Barry, Luke Untermann and Galen McCleary established Banán’s headquarters in the backyard of Hong’s parents’ home before purchasing a food truck.
By sourcing all of their ingredients and toppings for their fruit-based vegan soft serve from local farms across the Hawaiian Islands, they not only support the local agricultural economy, but ensure ultimate freshness of their ingredients.
The Banán foodtruck made its debut in December 2014 at the final day of the annual Pipemaster surfing competition on O’ahu, and have been serving up their Instagram-famous papaya boats and smoothies ever since. Just this April, the folks at Banán opened their first storefront location across from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa.
From the moment I stepped through the door, I loved the space and felt right at home. The store feels spacious and open, but is host to plenty of seating (including an indoor lawn big enough for you and all your buddies to hang).
Their farm-to-table and table-to-farm practices are displayed front and center, as they take great pride in being environmentally-conscious about sourcing ingredients. Banán does their part in reducing food waste by composting all food scraps at farms in Kunia, Waianae and Waiahole on O’ahu.
With seven fruit-based soft serve flavors (not including their seasonal flavors that make surprise appearances throughout the year) and over a dozen toppings—including freshly diced fruit and flavorful macadamia nut honey butter—the combinations are seemingly endless.
I went with the “Matcha Creation” while my mom opted for the “Riss Moore,” both served in sweet and fresh papaya boats (of course). The Matcha Creation was naturally sweetened with honey, coconut shavings and sliced strawberries, and the Riss Moore, a banana-açaí swirl, felt like a creative twist on the classic açaí. Needless to say, I would be forever content if I only had these for breakfast for the rest of my life.
In addition to their gorgeous and yummy bowls, Banán serves up a host of smoothies and fresh pressed juices. On my second trip to the store location, I opted for the simple banana-based vegan soft serve with puffed quinoa, honey, banana slices and the “FDA (From Da ‘Āina)” pressed juice in a reusable Banán mason jar.
#SpoonTip: Bring back their reusable mason jars for a bowl or smoothie and get $1 off your next purchase.