The appearance of a craft cocktail is nearly as important as its taste. Within the last couple of years, ice has become as intentional as garnishes. Crystal-clear ice in particular is extremely trendy and for good reason. Not only is it more attractive and appetizing than traditional ice, it enhances a drink’s flavor profile because it has less impurities. Hailey Berkey, Owner of The Nook, Neighborhood Bistro in Oahu, Honolulu, was watching some of the beverage trends in-house at her restaurant and decided to start experimenting with making clear ice.
“We just became really obsessed with clear ice and started doing it in freezers and cooler boxes and essentially the main science behind how to make clear ice; freezing in one direction is the most important,” said Berkey. “It was my jam at the time at the restaurant and myself and one other person decided to just go for it.”
On The Rock, Hawaii’s Craft Ice Co., was born in 2017 and they quickly began forming partnerships with bars, restaurants and hotels. However, Berkey was extremely stressed about delivery and logistics. She assumed she’d need to budget thousands of dollars for heavy, expensive coolers.
“I was at Bargreen picking something for The Nook and I saw a GoBox and so I bought one. I was like, ‘This is amazing. This is so lightweight.’ It looks like Styrofoam, but it’s not,” said Berkey. “We were able to afford so many more and then they’re so lightweight. It’s absolutely amazing.”
With the GoBox, looks can be deceiving. It’s simultaneously lightweight and durable, while maintaining safe temperatures for at least four hours.
“The ice is so heavy already, loading a full GoBox into a car is the max for me. I wouldn’t have been able to run deliveries, not that I’m weak, but doing that with other brands [is difficult]. The thing is, it’s no less insulated. It’s so well done,” said Berkey. “We actually did a test and put a whole bunch of ice in it and left it out all night and saw how well it insulated and we were totally blown away. Legitimately, it changed everything for us.”
As a business that relied heavily on the foodservice industry, On The Rock pivoted in a way that’s worked well for them despite the challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We do a home subscription. We actually started it prior to Covid, but Covid really changed our direction of it, of pushing that more, especially because Honolulu had some of the strictest closures for bars,” said Berkey. “We also have some bars selling our ice with their takeout cocktails. That’s been super helpful. People that we already had relationships with that have found ways to continue and they make a little money off of it which is great.”
During the pandemic, Berkey stopped looking for new accounts, but On The Rock’s reputation was able to speak for itself.
“We’ve actually gotten a few new accounts during this time. The fact that through word of mouth people have sent people our way. It’s a small island and a tight community,” said Berkey.
GoBoxes are available in a variety of sizes and the option of top loading or front loading. Contact your Cambro rep today to find the right model for your business.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: ADRIANA DESIDERIO IS THE DIGITAL CONTENT MANAGER AT CAMBRO.