Current NewsHaupia

Maui Means Business

          We were honored that our President and General Manager Cathy Nobriga Kim was invited to be a panelist at Pacific Business News’ second annual “Maui Means Business” conference. The gathering of island business leaders was held on Thursday, April 4th at the beautiful Fairmont Kea Lani resort in Wailea.

          The other panelists were Ryan MacLaughlin of Island Sotheby’s International Realty, Lisa Paulson of the Maui Hotel & Lodging Association, Mike Rembis of Maui Health Systems and Mitzi Toro of The Maui Cookie Lady. Moderated by PBN Editor-in-Chief A. Kam Napier, the discussion covered topics as diverse as the range of the panelists’ expertise – the costs of health care and housing, the future outlook for the visitor industry, the challenges facing small businesses, the responsibilities business leaders have to their wider communities. The consensus that emerged was that we all – business leaders in particular – have a responsibility not just to our “bottom lines,” but to the greater good.

          Cathy was informative, relaxed and a fantastic representative of Maui Soda & Ice Works, Ltd., Roselani Ice Cream, her family and the business that has operated on Maui since 1884 – a fact that drew sounds of amazement and a round of applause from the packed ballroom.

And we’re back!

For the first time in more than a decade, we have introduced a new retail carton for our Tropics line of flavors. Our handsome new, 48-oz. carton (down from 56-oz.), is in line with our industry standards and is a more practical size for many of our customers. The new retail carton is now available in supermarkets, grocery, convenience stores and our other regular outlets statewide. Flavors in the line are Haupia, Kona Mud Pie, Hawaiian Vanilla Bean, Chocolate Macadamia  Nut, Classic (Vanilla) Macadamia Nut, Mango ‘n Cream, and Pa‘uwela Sunrise. We appreciate everyone’s patience and patronage very, very much!

Join our ‘ohana!

We have new job openings on our beverage side – Maui Soda & Ice Works, Ltd. Find out more here.

New Retail Carton Coming Soon

Many of you may not know that we are introducing a new retail package. It’s a handsome, 48-oz. carton (down from 56-oz.), in line with our industry standards, and a more practical size for many of our customers. The design and printing process is taking far longer than we ever expected. And we cannot thank you enough for your patience and all the kind words so many of you have sent. As soon as we receive the first shipment of new cartons, we will fill our retail outlet freezer shelves with Haupia, Kona Mud Pie, Hawaiian Vanilla Bean, Chocolate Macadamia  Nut, Classic (Vanilla) Macadamia Nut, Mango ‘n Cream, and Pa‘uwela Sunrise.

We wish we could say how much longer this transition will take but we simply cannot, at this time. We humbly ask for your continued patience. Our scooping parlor partners are stocked with three-gallon tubs of Roselani Ice Cream and hope you will patronize those near you. (You can find a list at We will certainly keep you informed through the process. And we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.

We are proud to be a sponsor, once again this year, of the Kokua for Kokonuts walk to benefit the Maui Memorial Medical Center Foundation breast cancer awareness fund. You can easily sign up – or donate! – here.  

More info here –

And please encourage your friends and family to join us in this most worthy cause. It’s FUN, too!

SBA Award Winners 2014 sbabanner-300x133

29 local entrepreneurs, companies and champions are honored

Each year, the Hawaii region of the federal Small Business Administration gives out awards that celebrate some of the state’s best small businesses and small-business advocates. Hawaii Business is proud to profile the 2014 winners.
To nominate a company or champion for next year’s awards, check the October 2014 issue of Hawaii Business for information on the nominating process or talk to your banker.
To learn about SBA loans for small businesses, go to or ask your banker.

Family-Owned Business of the Year

Maui Soda and Ice Works Ltd.
Michael Nobriga, President

Sponsor: Curtis Tom, Bank of Hawaii

For Michael Nobriga, every day is like a family reunion.

The Maui Soda & Ice Works president shares an office with his father, David “Buddy” Nobriga, and sister Cathy Nobriga Kim. Spread across the company’s Wailuku headquarters are Michael’s three brothers, along with a cousin and nephew.

“If we need anything, we just shout across the hall,” Michael jokes.

He explains that the company’s definition of family extends beyond blood relations.

“We try to foster that feeling of ohana, from the executives down to the last person we hired in the warehouse,” says Michael, adding that, “Everybody who works for us is part of the Nobriga family.”

The Nobriga legacy began when longtime Maui Soda & Ice Works manager Manuel Nobriga took over the business in the 1940s. Back then, the company was best known as the local bottler and distributor of Coca-Cola, having held the franchise since 1924. When Manuel retired in 1971, his son Buddy became president. Leadership was passed down once again in 1998, when Buddy retired and his eldest son, Michael, stepped in. Today, there are four generations of Nobrigas working at the company.

Maui Soda & Ice Works now includes the Roselani Tropics ice cream division, and distributes more than 200 beverage products and about 300 freezer products across the island.

“I’m pretty confident (Manuel Nobriga) would be amazed at what’s going on here. I don’t think he’d believe we’re still in the business,” Michael says.

Pukalani Superette operations manager Jerry Masaki, who has done business with Maui Soda & Ice Works for 15 years, credits the company’s longevity to the Nobriga family’s values.

“Their upbringing, and willingness to communicate and compromise is something that all businesses need,” Masaki says. “They’re a close-knit company, and they’ve figured out a way for all family members to contribute to the success of the entire group.”

Michael points out that a sense of ownership extends throughout the company.

“I make a promise to my employees that I’ll share all the profits that we make. It’s a shared success. If we succeed, they’re going to reap the benefits.”

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