Living Healthy with Miko and the Juice
Stepping into Miko and the Juice, I could see right away that this place was different. The owner, Miko, has an open space where people can not only see what he puts into his smoothies but also start a friendly conversation with him. At first, I was a bit hesitant when I asked him for an interview as he mentioned that he was busy making soup and finishing up a few orders but offered me a seat. An older woman proceeded to come to the stand with a little girl holding up a $5 bill. Miko began to talk story with her as if they were old friends. Right away I could tell that this spot is going to feel like home.
Miko came to Hawaii from the Philippines about five years ago after needing a change of pace. He originally worked at a food truck in Haleiwa for $6/hour, thinking it would be good money in comparison to the money back home in the Philippines. One day, he experimented with some of the food ingredients, creating something similar to his now “Black Amanda” smoothie, which is a sweet coffee, chocolate and coconut based drink. His boss tasted his creation but didn’t share Miko’s enthusiasm.
Shaken but not stirred, Miko took his creation and sold it at the Farmers Market in Waikiki where it became a hit. Inspired, he continued to create more smoothies and eventually Miko and the Juice came to life. He obtained a regular spot in Waikiki and thrived on the new business. With this success he was able to provide remittances for his family and relatives back in the Philippines. Miko was able to send his relatives to school, pay off his aunt’s dental bill, and even provide enough for him to travel around the world. After seeing how much more income he received compared to the food truck in Haleiwa, Miko knew that he wanted to continue working as his own boss.
Everything was going so well at his spot in Waikiki until city authorities asked him to leave due to upcoming expansions to a nearby hotel. In November 2018, Miko and the Juice found its new home in Ohana Hale Marketplace. While he shared his experience of having a slower start at this new location, Miko feels grateful for the sense of family that are inherent in the marketplace community.
Despite having a change in pace being at Ohana Hale Marketplace, Miko shared that this family feeling motivates him. Miko shared that it is not in his nature to give up so easily, especially when it comes to his dream of being his own boss. Having the juice stand, Miko and the Juice, has provided the opportunity to promote a healthier lifestyle for his customers. Miko uses only natural ingredients in all of his smoothies. Even though he knows that his biggest competition is bubble tea, Miko wants to continue staying true to his core values and philosophy. “I want to be healthy and provide healthy options for people.”
Miko hopes to obtain a second location for his business in the near future and eventually go global. In the meantime, people can find him at his juice stand in Ohana Hale Marketplace and choose from sixteen different options. Don’t like any of the smoothies? Let Miko know and he’ll create a custom drink based on your needs and wants!