Rainbeau Joâ€™s Keeps On Truckinâ€™
Rainbeau Jo’s, a food truck parked on Halau Street just south of Vidinha Stadium in Lihue, serves gourmet coffee drinks, fruit smoothies, whimsical breakfasts, healthy lunches and plenty of aloha. Owners Beau Hannafious and Jordan Weaver moved to Kauai in July 2012. Weaver was a barista for six years in Washington and her dream came true when the couple opened their food truck in March 2013.
Weaver created her own coffee blend with beans from Hammerhead coffee, a company in Bellingham, Wash., that roasts and sells fair trade organic beans that were sourced from small coffee farms around the world.
“Humidity affects how espresso shots pull,” explains Weaver. “When we first moved here, my shots didn’t have the crema I like. I worked at getting my grind down, which I have to adjust about six times throughout the day. And now, the crema is perfect with a little black layer on the bottom and full creaminess on top.”
Weekly latte specials are written on a little chalkboard and have included Gingerbread, Hula Girl with vanilla sugarcane, Honeycomb, Pumpkin Spice and White Peppermint Mocha.
Bullet Proof Coffee ($4.75/$5.75) combines Velvet Elvis, a blend of smooth, dark roasted beans with organic, grass-fed, unsalted butter and organic coconut oil. The recipe, created by Tim Ferris, author of The 4 Hour Chef, fits into the high-fat/low-carb CrossFit diet.
“CrossFitters believe that if you start your morning with butter, it kick-starts your metabolism and the coconut oil helps you focus,” explains Weaver. “It gets me jacked up, and coffee doesn’t do that to me!”
As we sit at the picnic table in front of Rainbeau Jo’s, a throng of muscular men and women jog by. The Kauai CrossFit gym is just up the street.
“We use local kale in our Mean Green ($7.50/$9.50), which was inspired by our Kauai CrossFit junkies,” says Hannafious of the purple smoothie with avocado, spinach, hemp seed, blueberries, lemon, spirulina and pomegranate juice.
North Shore farmer Carla Barrett of Kalalea Kale Farm delivers the kale, which also is piled on the Kale Salad ($10). Fresh, local mangos (when in season) are cubed and tossed with a sweet and tangy house-made dressing. When mangos aren’t in season, local avocados replace them.
When the couple can’t buy produce from local farms or the farmers market, they purchase organic ingredients, such as strawberries and blueberries, for their smoothies. Organic spinach goes in their popular Turkey Pesto Parm Melt ($6.50), which is made with freshly baked French bread, house-made basil pesto, turkey and Parmesan cheese.
“Eighty percent of our business is local,” says Hannafious.
Adds Weaver, “Our community on Kauai has become an ohana because they’ve given us so much love, support and care. We want to send those positive vibes back, so we created a food drive and raffled prizes from local businesses to customers who donated.”
The food drive ended Dec. 15, and the couple reports that they had an amazing turn out for their first Gifts & Grinds Drive.
“Businesses who donated prizes include Kauai CrossFit, Al Pastor Food Truck, The Feral Pig, Tasting Kauai, Kauai Stories, Deep Kauai, Kauai Power Yoga, Mermaid Heart, Kauai Cupcake and LilyLove Company,” says Hannafious. “Hawaii Foodbank picked up mountains of donations, and we are stoked about the small-business community’s involvement and support in all of this.
“We serve Kauai Coffee’s Big Bruddah and have several flavors of Barkaroo Bakery’s Kauai Made dog treats that we love to give away to our furry friends,” he continues. “And we sell gluten-free, vegan biscotti from Hula Baby Biscotti, and gluten-free, vegan options from Val Marie Bakerie are on our menu.”
When it’s not on Halau Street, Rainbeau Jo’s can be found at the Kapaa Art Walk in front of Deep Kauai, or in the upper parking lot at Kauai Marriott Resort from 7 to 9 a.m. Saturday mornings. On Jan. 2, Rainbeau Jo’s will be one of three food trucks parked in front of Kauai Beer Company for Truck Stop Thursday, which begins at 5 p.m.
Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Marta Lane is a Kauai-based food writer. For more information, visit TastingKauai.com.
Correction: The Dec. 11 issue of Kauai Midweek incorrectly stated that Merriman’s Fish House in Poipu won a Hale Aina Silver Award. It won the 2014 Gold for Best Restaurant on Kauai.