Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.
If you follow Maui folks on Instagram, then you’ve surely seen the amazing Maui Made Lemonade images over this past year. And I have a little secret to share with you: I’m friends with the owners of this handmade drink spot! Yup, Jonathan and his rockin’ wife Laura started their business with a dream in their hearts and the community in mind. I recently caught up with them to find out more about this local Maui business.
Jonathan & Laura Silva, Maui Made Lemonade
*So Jonathan, you have decided to make lemonade out of lemons, literally…what prompted you to create Maui Made Lemonade?
The opportunity actually came to us from another business owner who wanted to start up Maui’s first Food Truck Court. He heard that my wife and I were experts at the art of crafting fresh drinks and he wanted us to open a drink truck. We resisted for a couple of months, but after some conversations, we decided to go for it. He heard about our passion for growing food, education, and equipping the youth of Hawaii to grow food for the next generation. And Maui Made Lemonade was born. With the birth of Maui Made Lemonade, we created a scholarship fund to go towards the education of local kids from Maui who are passionate about farming, organic farming, agriculture, sustainability, and marine biology. This scholarship fund is fueled from 10% of our business profits. This is what makes us want to go to work everyday. We can’t wait for the day of putting a local kid through college and then he or she comes back home and starts up a farm here on Maui.
*What is your “day job” so to speak and how does it tie into your business?
My ‘day job’ is actually a Kindergarten-2nd Grade school counselor at King Kamehameha 3rd Elementary in Lahaina. Ultimately, my overall passion is helping the youth of Maui reach their dreams. So before I created the company, I wanted to have a clear ‘why’ before started. I believe the “why” is the most important step before one makes any decision because ultimately it’ll help guide one’s path and decisions. For example, when we have to stay up late prepping for the next day after already working well over 12 hours, the why or vision gives pain it’s purpose and it helps get us through the hard times. Also it’s a reminder that we’re not doing this for ourselves but for the next generation(s). It is not our business, but rather everyone’s. If we win, everybody wins.
*You guys use tons of fresh ingredients, why do you opt to do that instead of just mixes?
Are there any other options besides “Fresh?” We don’t think so! A saying I tell my team is “There’s no shortcut to awesome” and we don’t want to be average. So our standard is “Awesome” – therefore we take “Fresh” seriously! 🙂
Thankfully, our tropical location has such great resources that provides for us our fresh local ingredients. As a family, we love to go hiking in the valley and the land just provides such great fruits. Also the health benefits of going fresh is beyond comparison to pre-made mixes. We want our guests to walk away feeling better than they were when they arrived. Also, since we live on this great resource of fruits and produce, why not keep the money here in Hawaii? We are currently sourcing at least 90% of our fruits and ingredients here from Maui, so we’re happily supporting our local farmers and community growers.
*What seems to be the favorite drink combinations so far?
Well, we keep innovating different combinations, but the most popular ones currently are Watermelon-Ginger Lemonade, Oasis Lemonade (featuring local wild tangerines and guavas, and Maui pineapple), and Orange Creamsicle.
Finally, where can we find you on Maui?
Our drink truck is located in the Food Truck Oasis at 591 Haleakala Highway across the Costco gas station. We’re open Monday-Saturday from 10am-4pm.
Thanks, Jonathan and wifey Laura, for sharing more about your vision for Maui Made Lemonade. We are blessed to have you serving our island, and we, too, look forward to the day you give your first college scholarship to a Maui student!
For part two of my interview with this great company, check out my blog post on Maui Family Magazine!
Living La Vida Aloha,
Note: All images belong to Jonathan Silva of Maui Made Lemonade…Find them on Instagram, too!