Shaka Shave Ice looks like it was plucked from a Hawaiian beach and dropped right in downtown Carrboro. It’s a small store combined with a bamboo-framed order window, a surfboard for a menu and a brightly colored seascape mural painted right on the store. Shaka Shave Ice is decidedly a beach shack, with the shave ice to match.
“They’re big, they’re beautiful, and you can get any flavor,” said Ana Mahoney, owner of Shaka Shave Ice. “It’s also affordable, which was something I was really conscious about because I have three kids, so I wanted something that families could afford relatively easily.”
Shaka Shave Ice is the corner of Merritt Mill and Franklin Street and has been serving up authentic Hawaiian shave ice since April, and the treat has only continued to grow in popularity.
“I think another reason that this place is so popular is because of the big, beautiful mural,” said Mahoney. “My friend did the mural, she’s a really cool local artist, and I knew she was good, but I didn’t know she was that good.”
Ana’s love for shave ice began in Maui, where she grew up. While in high school, she worked at her mother’s mobile shave ice store, where she found the inspiration to own and operate her own shave ice store.
“It was my job while in high school and I’ve always wanted to do it since, but I went to college, and had kids, and it never seemed like the right time. But it all came to fruition like that,” said Mahoney, snapping her fingers. “Once my youngest was old enough and this spot opened up we just moved forward with it.”
Customers at Shaka Shave Ice will have no problem finding something on the menu to beat the heat regardless of any dietary restrictions.
“My whole store is gluten free, it’s nut free, you can get dye free or sugar free, so it’s very easy to order something if you have allergies,” said Mahoney.
Each shave ice comes in a small or a large size, and the flavor selections are plenty. The stores also offer interesting flavor combos with fun names like the “Surf’s Up” – which has key lime, Carolina blue raspberry, and watermelon – or the “Beach Break,” which brings together mango, white grape, and red raspberry.
“We have close to 30 different flavors, and a flavor of the month, which is lychee this month,” said Mahoney. “The Carolina Blue raspberry is a very popular flavor, but Blue Hawaii, which is vanilla and coconut mixed, is my favorite.”