With summer just around the corner, Michele Goldsmith can't wait to bring a sweet Polynesian treat to the metro-east.
Polynesian Breeze in Collinsville is expected to open later this month with shave ice, Kona coffee and Hawaiian cookies on the menu. Customers can find the business' yellow hut in the same parking lot as Swing City Music, which is located at 1811 Vandalia St.
"It takes you to a place," Goldsmith said of the unique menu. "I think we could all learn something."
The dessert is known as “shave ice” not “shaved ice," Goldsmith said. Anyone, who refers to it as shaved ice, might not have an authentic product.
Shave ice starts with an ice cream base, which is optional, topped with thinly shaved ice off a block. Then it's drizzled with Hawaiian flavors, and you can add toppings if you want to. The most popular topping added is called a snow cap, which is sweetened condensed milk.
"It just gives it another layer of flavor," Goldsmith said. Also available as toppings are fresh fruit, Azuki beans and Mochi balls.
Goldsmith said her husband, William, inspired her to open the business. He has Polynesian roots, and Goldsmith wanted to give him a piece of home by bringing his culture to the metro-east.
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Small Business Development Center provided support ahead of the opening.
Polynesian Breeze will have people of Polynesian culture performing occasionally, including Nyssa Collins, a former contestant on the New Zealand television talent show "The X Factor."