BoxLunch is a lunchtime series featuring food vendors in the BoxJelly storefront from 11am – 3pm. Click here for the list of schedules. Laverne’s will be at BoxLunch Monday’s.
 

LavernesTruckRene Paulo first opened Laverne’s Restaurant and Catering in Waipahu over 10 years ago. Rene’s son Travis manages the lunch wagon (now operating for over 5 years) and catering services, with Rene and Laverne cooking all the food. You may have seen Laverne’s at the last luau, birthday, wedding or graduation party you went to; the month of June alone, they served over 7,000 people.

Laverne's manager Travis Paulo (left) and Brandon.

Laverne’s manager Travis Paulo (left), and Brandon.

Although they are phasing out the restaurant, you may see them soon at your grocery store. Within the next year, Travis is looking to package their squid luau and smoked meat, and bottle their sauces. “A lot of people from the mainland ask us to box it up and ship [the squid luau] to them, so we thought it would be a good idea to expand into the retail sector.” As a graduate of University of Las Vegas who studied Finance, Travis brought his skills back home and contributes his knowledge towards building the family business. With Rene’s recipes and Travis’s finance skills, we can look forward to sharing in many more memories with Laverne’s.

Interview with Rene Paulo, owner of Laverne’s Restaurant and Catering:

The mahi plate - mini.

The (mini) Mahi plate – a favorite among many.

How did your concept come about?
I used to work for the state, Department of Education. I worked in food service, first as a cook, then a manager, and operated cafeterias. Then I decided to start my own restaurant back in November 2000.

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The Teriyaki Chicken plate – mini (with sauce on da rice!)

What are some of the biggest/most unexpected challenges you face?
Getting good workers. Besides doing the food, it’s finding good, dependable workers. We are pretty well established as far as catering, but the success of your business depends on the kind of workers you have.

BoxJelly members, cruising on Kamani!

BoxJelly members Jo Anne, Danni, & Chelsea, cruising Kamani St. with Laverne’s!

What are the most rewarding aspects of your business?
Just hearing the comments from people. That’s the highest compliment I can get – “Oh your food is so good!”, or “Your smoked meat is the best!” In restaurants, the bottom line is your food. If you have great service but bad food, great spices but bad food, then you really don’t have anything.

 

Laverne’s Restaurant and Catering
808-678-1678
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Monday’s:¬†BoxLunch (307 Kamani Street)
Wednesday’s & Thurdays.: Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa, Engineering Building
Friday’s: Oceanic Cable Mililani Tech. Park
Mon. – Fri.: Campbell Industrial Park
Events: Eat the Street, the Food and New Products Show