Banan brings Hawaiian banana ice cream to first stateside store in San Francisco

February 23, 2024 • Source: SF Business Times • Posted in: Company News

A Hawaiian vegan ice cream brand slinging acai-bowl-esque banana soft-serve will make its first splash stateside in San Francisco.

Banan (also spelled Banán) began as a food truck collaboration between childhood friends at the base of Diamond Head trail in Oahu, and has since grown to three locations across Honolulu. The company confirmed on Thursday it's readying to soon add its first continental U.S. outpost: a cozy 700-square-foot spot at 3862 24th St. in Noe Valley.

The store plans to open in the spring, the company told me this week. It's currently putting out fliers for a store manager.

Blatteis Realty Co. represented the space in a recent listing on behalf of the property owner, a Novato-based trust associated with the Szeto family.

Since its founding in 2015 by Matt Hong and Zak Barry, Banan has built a local brand burnished on guilt-free dessert and farm-to-table philosophy.

Banan's other lines of business include Hawaii catering operations and two retail products: banana ice cream chocolate bars Chee Hoo — recently landing distribution in Foodland grocery stores across Oahu — and its much lauded macadamia nut honey butter.

The company was part of Hawaiian product company accelerator Mana Up's cohort of 2021 and early on had some success supplementing with a Kickstarter campaign.

Banan bowls are made with a base of frozen bananas and other tropical fruits, blended together with other ingredients like kale, ginger and mint — or for the more daring, spirulina algae. It's then topped with granola or macadamia butter (or both) and served in a 'boat' of papaya or pineapple.

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