Hawaii's First Coworking Space | BoxLunch
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BoxLunch Vendor: Laverne’s Lunch Wagon

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.


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
facebook-16Laverne’s Restaurant and Catering
instagram-16 laverne’s_catering
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


BoxLunch Vendor: Chef Hana

BoxLunch is a lunchtime series featuring food vendors in the BoxJelly storefront from 11am – 3pm. Click here for the list of schedules. Chef Hana will be at BoxLunch Thursday 9/19.

ChefHanaChef Hana will be our second BoxLunch vendor of the series. From Indonesia, Chef Hana has been a food service operator ever since her college days, owning first a restaurant, and a marketplace food stall. She moved to Hawaii where her first vendor experience was for Balinese Night at the Hawaii State Art Museum this past March. “I enjoyed doing it,” she says of the event, “and thought it would be a great to connect Indonesian culture with other cultures in Hawaii.” You may also have seen her at the Makiki Farmer’s Market and the Made in Hawaii Festival.

Getting ready for a popup dinner! Vegetable curry, beef rendang, and rice.

Getting ready for a popup dinner! Vegetable curry, beef rendang, and rice.

How did you come up with the concept for your business?
Well, I want to bottle our Indonesian peanut sauce. Indonesian peanut sauce is different from like a Thai peanut sauce. It is not easy to make and everyone enjoys it, so we want to bottle it and sell it here. But first, I need to get to know the local people face to face, so we can introduce the sauce. 
I want to bring variety to Hawaii. So the concept would be introducing the hidden treasure of Indonesian cuisine. It really is like a hidden treasure, and  is different on every island. Rendang is the most famous Indonesian dish. We have curry (gulai), such as the Thai and Indians do, but we use spices that are different.
Hawaii has many different food cultures here, and Indonesian food is a community food, and I want to connect it with the cultures already in the Hawaii community.

Beef Rendang

Beef Rendang

What are some of the biggest/unexpected challenges you face with your business?
The limitation of space; sometimes it is not enough space, or it is just not affordable. Also finding people who know how to cook (Indonesian food). We are still trying to become a part of the community culture here; I would love to train people in cooking Indonesian food!

Veggie-stuffed Tofu

Veggie-stuffed Tofu

What are some of the most rewarding aspects of your business?
The satisfaction when they first try Indonesian food, and being able to introduce Indonesian treasure to the world. Sometimes, it’s not about making money. I would like to make money, but I’m passionate about what my culture is. I’m proud about introducing Indonesian culture to the world.

Find Chef Hana at

Chef Hana
facebook-16CHEF HANA
instagram-16 ChefHana
Thurs. 9/26, 10/3, 10/10:BoxLunch 11am – 3pm 
Fri. 9/27, 10/4Taste Table 10am – 2:30pm
Events: Eat the Street, Made in Hawaii Festival




BoxJelly - 307 A Kamani Street, 96813

BoxJelly – 307 A Kamani Street, 96813

Next week Monday will be the start of our lunchtime event series, BoxLunchAfter listening to members and talking with the neighbors, we are opening up the BoxJelly storefront to meet the demands of variety, convenience, and quality on Kamani Street. So come by, 11am – 3pm to see what’s cooking. Our first vendors: Laverne’s Lunch Wagon and Chef Hana!

Laverne’s Lunch Truck

LavernesTruckYour classic plate lunch wagon, made with local love and care! Combo, regular, mix, and mini plates are all available for whatever your appetite might be. They are a part of a catering company out in Waipahu, and even do plates such as garlic shrimp, and Eat The Street events (latest featured dish: their Kalua Pig Poppers!) Menu items include: Pork adobo, shoyu chicken, lau lau, squid luau, smoked meat, and even haupia!
Follow them on Facebook and Instagram.


Chef Hana

ChefHanaA taste of Indonesia right on Kamani Street! Chef Hana is an internationally versed cook, and is brining her knowledge of Indonesian cuisine to Hawaii. Her variety of menu options offers something for all sorts of palates! She’ll be featuring her most popular items: chicken curry and vegetable curry! Chef Hana will also be bringing beef randang, and her speciality melon-passion fruit drink, es buah!
Follow her on Facebook.



For more info., questions, or to suggest a vendor, email britney@theboxjelly.com!