A Latte To Love
By Elima Pangorang
Are you looking to step out of the redundancy of big-time coffee chains? Maybe something a little more close to the heart, where the feeling of embracing communal values takes precedence? Look no further than Arvo, in Salt at Our Kakaako.
The charming cafe recently reopened at a new location in the Kakaako shopping center. Previously on the mauka side of Salt on Auahi Street, coffee aficionados and others can find Arvo with just a few steps into the complex, adjacent to Moku Kitchen.
Husband and wife duo Mason and Dixie Rose, founders of Arvo, started it up in February 2016 and saw immediate success within the growing district.
“My husband is Australian and we used to live in Australia,” begins Dixie. “When we moved to Hawaii, one thing that was missing was a neighborhood cafe. The kind where the baristas know your name or your dog’s name — you know, that kind of close-knit cafe culture, so to speak.”
So the couple got to the drawing board and created Arvo, which is Australian slang for “afternoon.”
“Everything is good in the arvo,” continues Dixie, “you’re getting off of work, you’re winding down (from the day).” Whether morning or afternoon, Arvo is a place to relax, enjoy and unwind.
Its hearty menu and enthusiastic staff help to make that happen, which is what brings repeat customers back and newcomers in through its doors. The sustainable menu offerings boast a slew of organic and mostly locally sourced ingredients. Popular bites on the menu are the Loaded Avocado Toast and Smoked Salmon Toast. The bread in these dishes and others is from local producer Roscoe’s Sourdough.
“During our five-month break (of transitioning locations) we went to farmers markets a lot to see what’s out there locally, and this guy popped up named Roscoe,” Dixie explains. “We also get our tomatoes from Ho Farms, microgreens from Kahuku Farms, and we pretty much make all of our cheeses and sauces in house.”
Additionally, something unique to try is the Charcoal Latte, which comprises activated charcoal in a homemade vanilla syrup with espresso and milk.
This can all be enjoyed in Arvo’s cool, shaded outdoor dining area, which presents a sense of community where people can mingle to make new friends or just hang out with their original crew.
The Roses’ commitment to keep guests fueled and happy with its friendly offerings and outdoor comfort resonates with the staff as well, who Dixie comments, have all sorts of hidden talents that bring diversity to the team.
“Everybody that works for us, they’re all creative and they live a healthy lifestyle where they are all active, such as surfing,” she says. “We all support each other and we’ve become, what we like to say, an ‘Arvohana.’ We pretty much inherit your whole family and your partners. We’re very close and very huge believers in team bonding and reinforcing our culture as an Australian-style cafe, diving deep into everyone ‘s creative talent.”
The employees who are currently working at Arvo have been there for years, practically since its beginnings and hold a very high passion for what they do as baristas and servers. Many have previous experience in working at cafes or similar environments, which is a desired trait for working at Arvo.
While the cafe is not currently hiring, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye out, especially since the Roses are hopeful in expanding the little eatery’s night hours to fully embrace Kakaako’s social life from morning until night.
“We are applying for our liquor license, too,” concludes Dixie. “We are trying to throw more nighttime events and we think it’d be a good spot to come and have a drink, say for example, if Moku has a long wait time. Plus, The Village is expanding, so this courtyard is going to be the place to be.”
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LOCATION: Salt at Our Kakaako 324 Coral St.
FOUNDERS: Dixie and Mason Rose
NOTEWORTHY: Arvo’s new location is open Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
ANTHONY CONSILLIO PHOTOS