You could go to Made in Hope Cafe every day for a year and not drink the same boba tea twice. My daughter and I fell for boba teas years ago, and these imports from Asia get trendier here in Hawaii every year. Boba is said to have originated in Taiwan when street tea vendors started adding fruit flavors to their teas. Boba tea is also known as pearl tea and bubble tea.
Made in Hope Cafe opened as a Stir It Up Cafe in August 2016, and then gradually changed their name, while keeping the Stir It Up products. I sat down with owners Peter Selvey and Chris Kanemura to find out more about the tea craze and what the Made in Hope brand means.
“In the beginning we started as Stir It Up Cafe,” says Selvey. “Chris Kanemura co-founded Made In Hope nonprofit organization, to talk about human exploitation and work outreach with youth, and Chris and I used to go to the same church in Oahu. The cafe was a partnership with our friend who owned Stir It Up in Kahala Mall to provide some financial contribution to our community work with Made in Hope. But also to have a marketplace to meet people and families. The idea is to put your phones away and play board games.”
After a while Made in Hope bought out the Oahu startup for the Maui location.
“It ran for many months as Stir it up until their business was really growing in Oahu too, and it was going to be mutually beneficial to that we would buy them out,” says Selvey. “So now myself and Chris co-own the cafe. We want to keep going. The response has been fantastic. We are still serving the Stir It Up products–we’re all friends. So it’s Made in Hope Cafe featuring Stir It Up drinks. They did all the hard research on the recipes, and we want to honor that. There are a lot of people who are huge fans of their Kahala Mall location. They come here and we stamp their stamp card.”
The cozy cafe and their board games are some of the reasons my daughter and I stop by when wanting boba drinks and acai bowls. We like…