To Top

Community Highlights: Meet Chad Furlong of Mahalo Shave Ice

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chad Furlong. 

Hi Chad, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Inspired by the unique culture of the people of Hawaii and their way of seeing the world, I started Mahalo Shave Ice Co. It was 2016, I had surfed many times in the Islands and finally decided I had to do what I could to encourage a spirit of aloha in the San Diego area. Shave Ice is what we do with excellence, but what we’re really about is aloha. That was six years ago, and today we have grown from the humble beginnings of our trailer to two locations and our trailer, truck, tent, and 1970 VW Bus. We’re having too much fun to call it work, and our team is more like family. We don’t know what the future holds for us, but we’re loving every minute of what’s in front of us right now! 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The road hasn’t been smooth. I thought we’d build out our trailer and open the serving window to lines of people camped out for us to finally open. Nope. The trailer was finally finished and in our first day of operation we didn’t have a sale. Not a single person ordered Shave Ice. “This is going to be hard.” I thought it, but showed everyone else the confidence that our slow start was all according to plan. I’ve always believed in building the plane as I fly it, and nothing more true than when Covid hit. By this time, we had figured out how to make Mahalo work and were growing until… well you know, we all do. In 2020 all of our events were cancelled and the schedule completely open. We pivoted by delivering to homes and neighborhoods, and even in that season, we grew. Not a lot, but growth nonetheless. What separates businesses that make it from those that don’t is learning to lift up our eyes from the work and see the landscape, or omens, and respond to them predicting the trends and future as best as you can. Lost you there? Read The Alchemist, it’ll make sense. 

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Mahalo Shave Ice Co?
Owner. We serve authentic Hawaiian Shave Ice, Acai bowls, and Dole Whip. We lovingly craft our menu items with the best ingredients and use ocean-friendly utensils. We do catering for events, corporate and community events, parties, and have two locations in San Diego. 

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
Definitely some luck, but mainly working and sticking to a good plan and not giving up. 


  • Events start at 60 servings for only $500, anywhere in San Diego County.
  • Come by our shops for your Hawaii fix.

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Brooklyn Varize Photography

Suggest a Story: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in Local Stories