National Ice Cream Day has always been an important day for Glen Simkins. The team at his farm that grows the ingredients used in his Coconut Glen’s vegan ice cream celebrate every third Sunday in July with a scavenger hunt on the property. This year, Simkins–“Coconut Glen” himself–wants to share this special day and tradition with the public by holding a fun scavenger hunt in Paia that will last all week.
“National Ice Cream Day was so declared by Ronald Reagan, and it is this Sunday, July 19th,” says Simkins. “July also happens to be Ice Cream Month. Last year at this time, Conde Nast declared us the second best ice cream on the planet, which is pretty cool. It’s my holiday, it’s a big deal on the farm. Now that I’m in Paia, I want to bring the magic out that way–show everybody in town what we are all about.”
Simkins started making Coconut Glen’s Ice Cream and opened his Hana Ice Cream stand in 2008. Originally from Boston and trained as a chef, he moved to Maui looking for a healthier lifestyle, eventually settling in Hana.
“I have a knack for food. Ice cream was not my expertise by any stretch of the imagination but I knew how to make it, so I gave it a shot. It really started as a freezer under an umbrella and me scooping one flavor of ice cream: the original with coconut candy. It just expanded from there. Now its rockin’ and rollin.”
He makes his ice cream in Kahului at a commercial kitchen, but it’s only sold at his ice cream stand in Hana and his new location in Paia that opened in March. The ice cream is an all-vegan, organic and seasonal product, made with a base of coconut milk and comes in about 13 flavors.
“Vegan really makes sense,” says Simkins. “I believe in a health conscious race. I want to be part of the solution, rather than the problem. Moreso it was just very much more convenient. I was living in Hana where fruit was growing wild around me. It made sense, rather than try to use any dairy products and eggs. If i didnt need to, then why would i?”
The Paia location is a 1960 Metro International, which he converted into an ice cream truck that he calls the “Bubble Bus” and parks across from the Post Office.
“I feel I have the persona of having a Willy Wonka type character,” says Simkins. “So the scavenger hunt is turning a fantasy into a reality. I’m writing a book based around a world where ice cream grows on trees, which is exactly the case when you make ice cream out of coconuts, fruit and sugar cane. We do live in that world of Willy Wonka and that wonderful imaginary place where you can eat everything. This is a bit of my company’s primal cry of the eternal child and bringing fun to the situation, and really passive marketing for our neighbors. We are new to Paia and this is our kind of meet-and-greet.”
First Clue to Sunday’s scavenger hunt:
To the left of the moon,
“Two days too slow.”*
Lewis can lead you,
If your willing to go.
*Line two is a quote from Alice in Wonderland by the Mad Hatter…
Second Clue to Sunday’s scavenger hunt:
What’s black and white,
With pale blue eyes?
Despite it’s great size?
Each of these clues will lead you to a business in Paia. Go there and collect a token. Then tune into Coconut Glen’s Facebook page for updates on the next clues. On Saturday, July 25, Glen will hand out the Grand Prizes at the Bubble Bus in Paia.
“One of the greatest joys is having people that are lactose intolerant that come and eat two or three ice creams in a row,” says Simkins. “They are like children because they haven’t been able to eat dairy in so long. And really you cannot taste the difference. You cannot taste the fact that anything is missing. In fact, I think it tastes much better than dairy ice cream.
Try Coconut Glen’s ice cream at Mile Marker 27.5 on the Hana Highway. It’s open seven days a week from 10:30am-5:30pm. Or go to the Bubble Bus at 109 Baldwin Ave., Paia. The bus is open everyday from noon to 7pm. For more info, go to Facebook.com/CoconutGlens or Coconutglens.com.
Coconut Glen’s Bubble Bus
109 Baldwin Ave., Paia Maui Hawaii
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