Shave ice?? What the heck is shave ice?

Going to the big Pajama Day Sale in Shipshewana Friday? Don’t miss this!

This is shave ice.

Shave ice

It’s totally addicting. And what does this have to do with quilting? Everything! I go to Shipshewana in Indiana every few months to shop for fabric at Yoder’s and Lolly’s. And whenever I go, I always stop here for a shave ice. Why? Because it’s the only place to get shave ice within, like, a bazillion miles of me. I first had shave ice last year when we visited Hawaii. Shave ice is everywhere there. And it’s totally addicting.  I had a chance to talk with the owner of Kukui’s Shave Ice, Cindy Powell,  when I stopped in for my fix today.


I asked her my most pressing question: How do you explain shave ice to people? She had a great answer – it’s like eating cold cotton candy!


No, this is NOT a snowcone. Cindy explained that snowcones are crushed ice. When you put the flavoring on snow cones, it all runs to the bottom. The ice can’t absorb the flavor. Shave ice, on the other hand, is actually made from a BLOCK of ice, shaved so thin it looks like snow.

Shave ice machine

Can you see the waves of snow falling onto that snowball? That’s shave ice. It’s lightly, but firmly, packed, and up to three flavors can be added to the ice.

Shave ice flavors

Look at all those flavors! My favorite is coconut-guava-mango. A taste of Hawaii! On a diet? Can’t have ice cream? How about a banana-pineapple-strawberry shave ice instead of a calorie-laden banana split? Or root beer-vanilla combo? Instant root beer float. Yum. It’s also a Hawaiian tradition to use Lychee nuts and cream on shave ice, but I’m a plain-jane and prefer mine with just syrup. I can only describe shave ice as soft and creamy – almost like ice cream. And the flavor is clear through the dish – not a puddle at the bottom of the cup. In fact, barely anything melts at all. It’s amazing to me that with ice this thin there’s little melting. Oh, and I almost forgot – there’s a special surprise at the bottom of every cup – a gumball! Cindy likes her Hawaiian ice with macadamia nut ice cream on the bottom. I had to laugh when she said most parents bring their kids in for a treat, then end up coming back and getting one for themselves, once they taste it!

Cindy and I sat and talked for about a half hour. She was a stay-at-home mom who designed and sold pressed flower art from home when her children were young, and later owned a Molly Maid franchise. She and her husband went to Hawaii for their 25th anniversary, and it was there that they had their first shave ice – and immediately fell in love with it. The rest, as they say, is history. On the plane ride home she decided she wanted to open her own shave ice shop.  It took two years to get the business going, and she started out with an outside mobile stand in the summer.


Cindy made the jump to an actual brick-and-mortar building about a year ago, and things have been going great ever since. She also offers lunch items such as Hawaiian sandwiches, pineapple slaw and other snacks. She makes her own Kahlua pig – just like you’d get at a luau. The next time I’m there I’m trying her Hawaiian Nachos – nacho chips with her famous pork, cheese sauce, and your choice of toppings from the tropical condiment bar that includes a sweet & sour pineapple relish and many other toppings. Mouth. Watering. She even imports her mustards directly from Hawaii.

(Some photos courtesy of Kukui's FB page)

(Some photos courtesy of Kukui's FB page)

If you’re in Shipshewana, look Cindy up. You definitely will get a great product, and a taste of Hawaii! Kukui’s is located at 101 Harrison Street. Going to Lolly’s for fabric?? When you go out to the parking lot of the Davis building, look left. Kukui’s is at the end of that street of little shops. Heck, you can WALK down there! Go! Now!! And visit her Facebook page once you’ve tasted her shave ice, and tell her how much you love it. Make shave ice a part of your quilting too :).


PS – This is NOT a paid review. This is a review by a very, VERY happy customer!