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Iconic Maui company begins 2017 on high notes

By Staff | Jan 26, 2017

Maui Soda & Ice Works Ltd. patriarch and Chairman of the Board David “Buddy” Nobriga marked his 90th birthday in December 2016. He still comes to work at the Wailuku plant every day.

WAILUKU – Last year marked positive change for Maui Soda & Ice Works Ltd. and its Roselani Ice Cream division. In 2017, the iconic island family-owned and operated company enters its 129th year of doing business on Maui.

Equipment upgrades and the continuation of “green” initiatives and innovations led the way in 2016. A complete photovoltaic system was installed in December at a total cost of $655,000. The system will save the company approximately 22 percent of its monthly electricity bill, which translates to more than $100,000 a year.

The Roselani Ice Cream manufacturing facility was the beneficiary of a partnership with the State of Hawaii’s High Technology Development Corporation/Innovate Hawaii program.

“We spent $275,000 to improve our production facilities – chiller, condenser, converter of heat exchanger,” said recently named company President Cathy Nobriga Kim.

“The result is a refined and much more energy-efficient process. And thanks to the state’s program to help manufacturers, we were able to receive a 20 percent reimbursement on our investment. We are, obviously, extremely grateful for the support.”

A recycling initiative started in 2012 has made significant strides.

“We continue to work to reduce our trash footprint. Everyone from management down to our warehouse personnel now routinely separates recyclables and uses our trash compactor. We have reduced our trash by more than one third,” said Nobriga Kim.

Coca-Cola product lines continue to expand. “Our portfolio has a wide range of variety with something to satisfy every taste and need, from those who look for refreshment in the traditional sense, to low or no-calorie products, sparkling fruit juices, Minute Maid juices, a wide array of waters, sparkling waters and flavored waters,” said Nobriga Kim.

In 2016, the Yup! line of shelf-stable milk beverages – under the Fairlife label – was added. In addition, the Gold Peak Tea brand expanded its product offerings to include flavored coffee drinks.

One of the most anticipated additions to the portfolio will take place next month. Dunkin’ Donuts-branded ready-to-drink coffee beverages will be added to the Coca-Cola portfolio.

Total sales – for both beverage and frozen divisions – were $24.3 million in 2016, on par with the previous year; projections for 2017 sales indicate slight growth.

Established in 1888, Maui Soda & Ice Works Ltd. is today one of approximately 24 independent Coca-Cola distributors in the country and supplies Coca-Cola products and other beverages to the islands of Maui and Lanai.

Maui’s Own Roselani Ice Cream has been manufactured from scratch since 1932. The company supplies its ice cream to supermarkets, convenience stores and other retail outlets as well as scooping parlors, restaurants, hotels and resorts statewide with a total repertoire of more than 40 flavors.

Visit www.mauisoda.com and www.roselani.com for comprehensive information about the company and its products.