In the middle of a blazing parking lot on the corner of Overland Road and Millennium Way in Meridian, strains of ukulele and reggae music mingled with the sounds of afternoon traffic. Inside a small wooden shack, a young woman in her 20s scooped vanilla-bean ice cream into a plastic cone. She topped the ice cream with a mound of shaved ice the consistency of powder snow; squeezed aquamarine-colored juice into the ice; and, finally, decorated the piece of paradise with pineapple, coconut and whipped cream. Welcome to Brodie's Original North Shore Shave Ice.
"We wanted to bring authentic shave ice from the shores of Hawaii to Boise," said Jayce Maybon, owner of Brodie's Original.
Opened in 2013, Brodie's Original was inspired by the years Maybon spent living on the North Shore of Oahu. When the former Idahoan moved home, he recalled craving the snow cones he and his family once enjoyed. However, the "crunchy sugar water" Maybon found at mainland snow cone shacks left him wanting. Rather than settle for less, Maybon decided to make real Hawaiian shave ice.
"We went back to Hawaii for a few weeks, just doing research," he said. "We visited about 15 different shave ice shacks there, learning about the machines, ingredients and recipes they used."
According to Maybon, typical ice cone shacks shave blocks of ice into a "chunky consistency," and their snow cones are flavored with syrups full of corn syrup and artificial flavors. At Brodie's Original, the machines are ordered from out of the country, giving their ice that light and fluffy consistency like snow.
Maybon mixes his own syrups, using organic cane sugar and real fruit juice. Even the name of the business reflects the origin of his product.
"When I lived on the North Shore of Oahu, I spent a lot of time with the surfers there," Maybon said. "'Brodie' is what they would call each other; it's their version of 'dude' or 'bro.' That's where the name comes from."
Brodie's Original is only open during the summer months and shares a corner with a frozen yogurt shop, Subway, Dutch Brothers and Mountain View High School. Maybon said he located his business there to cater to all different types of traffic: walkers, bikers, and drivers. While Maybon currently has only one location, he said he is planning to open up more. That will come as welcome news for many of the customers who come from all over Boise to enjoy a rare taste of the islands.
"I love coming back to Brodie's for the delicious, unique flavors," said Chris Daly, a longtime patron from downtown Boise. "I've never had a bad snow cone here, and the vanilla ice cream at the end of every one just satisfies more than your original cone. I've been hooked since the first time and will always come back when I can."