Episode 96: The Sunrise Shack on Oahu: Its Origin Story with Co-Founder Travis Smith

by | Jul 19, 2023

Our guest today, Travis Smith, co-founder of the Sunrise Shack, unveils the colorful backstory behind one of Hawaii’s most loved food spots.

With its uplifting vibe, vibrant colors reminiscent of a sunrise, and scrumptious health-focused offerings, the Sunrise Shack embodies the spirit of Hawaii most delightfully. Aspiring travelers and food enthusiasts, listen to the episode for the full scoop!

Planning a trip to Hawaii? Have any questions? Join our Hawaii’s Best Travel Facebook group here now! It’s the perfect place to ask any questions and to be inspired!

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning that I may earn a commission if you use a link provided.

This post gives general info and isn’t legal or authoritative advice. It helps travelers with tips but can’t replace personal abilities, fitness, experience, or local knowledge. Marine activities have risks; assess conditions and follow local laws.

The Origin and Evolution of the Sunrise Shack

Travis shares how the Sunrise Shack was born from a simple idea and grew into an unforgettable food destination on Oahu. Discover the essence of the shack’s vibrant colors, its plans for a possible remodel, and how it stands out from typical inline locations.

This entrepreneurial journey, dotted with decisions and experiments, is a testament to their commitment to keeping their vibe positive, fresh, and unique.

Going International

Travis shares the exciting story of Sunrise Shack’s licensing deal in Japan.

This interesting cultural exchange has not only expanded the Sunrise Shack’s global footprint but has also helped to refine its brand identity.

For those planning a trip to Hawaii, Travis shares invaluable advice on choosing which island to visit, what to expect, and how to make the most of your experience.

The episode shines a spotlight on Oahu as a base and discusses the world-famous surf spot, Pipeline. You don’t want to miss these local insights!

Personal Insights

Beyond the business, we also get to know more about Travis as a person. He shares his understanding of “Aloha,” his favorite music, and the best advice he’s ever received. Travis’ life, much like the Sunrise Shack, embodies the spirit of Hawaii, resonating with love, respect, and positivity.


This episode is a treat for anyone planning to visit Oahu or interested in the island’s vibrant food culture.

Travis’ passion for the Sunrise Shack is infectious, and the story behind it is truly inspiring. So why wait? Dive into this episode and experience the aloha spirit of the Sunrise Shack on Oahu!

For more information about Travis and Sunrise Shack, don’t forget to visit their Instagram and website.

Mahalo for your continuous support!

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The Sunrise Shack - REPLAY

[00:00:00] Bryan Murphy: Coming up next on this episode of Hawaii's Best.

[00:00:04] Travis Smith - Sunrise Shack: That's kind of how it started. It was really small times at first. We're doing like a hundred dollars a day. And we also just thought we were just a pop up for just that winter time because we get a huge flux of people here in the winter.

[00:00:19] Hawaii's Best: Aloha. Welcome to Hawaii's Best.

[00:00:21] Here, you'll learn what to know before traveling as we discover Hawaiian culture, local businesses, and the experiences that make Hawaii one of the most incredible places in the world. And now, your host, Brian Murphy.

[00:00:36] Bryan Murphy: On this episode, we are taking it all the way back. To 2019. This was my very first interview.

[00:00:45] It happened to be with Travis Smith, who is one of the founders of the very popular Sunrise Shack on the Island of Oahu. And it was cool going back and listening to this episode. And maybe you [00:01:00] hear some of the nerves in my first interview, but this is a story that I think is still worth telling and sharing, just loved hearing Travis's heart.

[00:01:09] Now, four years later from that interview, they now have five locations across the island of Oahu. And at the time of the interview, there was only two. They had just opened up the location in Waikiki at the Outrigger. And since then, they now have a location at Shark's Cove, which is a really cool location, uh, really big, right across from Shark's Cove on the North shore.

[00:01:33] And they also just recently opened up. And, uh, Ala Moana and also on the east side, the windward side of the island in Kailua. So wherever you're at, wherever you're staying, there's probably, um, a location close to you. I would love to see them go over to the west side. That would be cool. That'd be a nice addition.

[00:01:52] It's covered the whole island, but, uh, if you're staying in, in, uh, Waikiki, if you're up on the north shore east side, there [00:02:00] is a spot there to grab some amazing bowls, coffee. And their menu has grown since the conversation with travis, but i'm taking this month july To kind of recharge and fresh, and I hope you're having a great summer.

[00:02:17] So I'm just want to experience summer with, um, my family and, and get ready to launch into a new season and in August, we'll be having some new episodes launch. So be sure that you hit that follow button. If you're listening on Apple podcasts and you'll get notified when those new episodes get released.

[00:02:38] And I'm going to kick it over to myself four years ago, as we dive into the history of the Sunrise Shack on the island of Oahu. The Sunrise Shack started about two years ago. It's incredible what these brothers have been able to build in this short amount of time. [00:03:00] The brothers, Travis Smith, Koaw Smith, Alex Smith, and also Koaw Rothman.

[00:03:05] Some of those names are probably very familiar to you if you are at all familiar with the surfing world. The Smith brothers come from a very entrepreneurial background and you're going to hear some of that and how the Sunrise Shack came to be. Travis and I, we, we get to talk about everything from modeling.

[00:03:23] In New York to, um, growing up on Kauai and also how the Sunrise Shack started. And it was just kind of, as you heard him say, it was just intended to be like this pop up thing up on the North shore, which around winter time is very busy. All the surf competitions happen around that time. We're going to unpack some of that, how that came to be.

[00:03:45] So I can't wait for you to hear my conversation today with Travis and hear all about how the Sunrise Shack came to be.[00:04:00]

[00:04:01] Thanks for joining us today on this very first episode of Hawaii's Best Podcast. How are you doing today?

[00:04:07] Travis Smith - Sunrise Shack: Yeah, I'm doing good. I'm just, um, sitting here in my apartment and it's right on the North Shore.

[00:04:13] Bryan Murphy: How long have you been living on the North Shore? Oh, I've been

[00:04:15] Travis Smith - Sunrise Shack: living here for probably two years now.

[00:04:19] Before that, I was in New York for five years. Um, I was out there doing some modeling stuff. And then before that I was raised on Hawaii. So then what brought

[00:04:30] Bryan Murphy: you back to the islands a couple years ago?

[00:04:32] Travis Smith - Sunrise Shack: Yeah, so I kind of just graduated high school and I got approached for modeling. And I really just like didn't know what I was going to do.

[00:04:41] I didn't want to go to college. I wanted to see the world a bit. So I just went with this modeling route. It was really fun while it lasted. I had like some amazing opportunities. I got to travel all over New York City and all over America really and the world. I, I, I got [00:05:00] to live in London for a bit. I went to Thailand and Hong Kong and Singapore.

[00:05:05] Yeah, I mean, the whole fashion industry is really amazing. That just the whole time I was just feeling like this. piece of me missing, you know, I was just like, I need the ocean. I need that warm, like tropical, just environment. And, um, I've even been to other places too that are tropical. And for me, it's not as good as Hawaii.

[00:05:26] I think I've, I always planned on coming home. I just didn't know when I was going to come home. So

[00:05:32] Bryan Murphy: where did, where did the idea of the Sunrise Shack, where did that kind of start and how that come about?

[00:05:37] Travis Smith - Sunrise Shack: Yeah. So, I mean, if you bring it back, like more the beginning. Um, I have two brothers. They're both professional surfers.

[00:05:46] One is 24 years old now. He's Koa Smith. He's a pretty well known surfer. And then I'm 26 years old, Travis Smith. I'm in the middle. And then my older brother, Alex Smith is 28 years [00:06:00] old. He's also like a really talented pro surfer as well. So we just grew up surfing our whole lives and We kind of grew up right in nature too, like where we're from on Kauai, like half the places have no phone service because it's such a dense jungle.

[00:06:16] In the mountains. We'll go find these little surf spots and growing up, be homeschooled. So we surfed like five, six hours a day and it was just like in our blood, you know? But yeah, just, I think being like so close to the ocean and so close to nature. We just had a really good understanding for like good food and what, what food like you should eat and, you know, avoid the processed foods or the foods that have been touched too much like chemicals and everything like that.

[00:06:48] So that's kind of originally how it started. We heard about this, um, concept called bullet coffee or like bulletproof coffee. I was probably like 16 years old or so [00:07:00] and the first time I tried it, it just like really just turned my brain on and I was just like, my first batch is just like some good organic coffee with some coconut oil, some grass fed butter.

[00:07:11] And just blended it all together and poured it out. It's like super creamy and frothy and we're just like, okay, like, let's try it out. And then we drank it and just like, I mean, you only know if you've tried it, but we, yeah, we were so fascinated at the idea of this bullet coffee. I just dove way deeper into it, different healthy fats to just blend into this really good organic coffee.

[00:07:36] We found, like, the best coffee we could find and we just made all these different combinations and we would, like, bring, like, we would invite, like, ten of our best friends over and be like, hey guys, like, come, come, come over in the morning at, like, 5 a. m. We're gonna, like, I'm gonna make a massive batch of this bullet coffee and we're all just gonna go surf, like, big waves, like, [00:08:00] and we're just all, like, like, super yoggy and I'm just, like, mad.

[00:08:06] This is raging. Haha. We're like, yeah, like play good music and everyone's just psyching, Oh, look at that way. Oh my gosh. And then we all go out there and a pack and I just heard it from so many people so many times that like, they're like, you should like sell this. You should sell it. So, that's actually what I did and I, I actually started in New York City.

[00:08:29] I called it, uh, Trigger Happy Coffee, kind of a funny name, but my middle name is Trigger and it, it was like the coffee, what was the slogan? I kind of forget the slogan, but it was just like. Like this little guy and he was like a little cup and he was super happy.

[00:08:46] Bryan Murphy: Oh man. You had like a logo on the whole

[00:08:48] Travis Smith - Sunrise Shack: thing?

[00:08:48] Yeah, I and I started in farmer's markets in New York City, which are really hard to get into, but there's like this one coffee vendor that pulled out and I had a window [00:09:00] to jump in and I did. And uh, our first day, like I had no idea what I was doing. I had like six of my buddies helping me. Like I didn't know what equipment to use.

[00:09:10] I was using this coffee pot that like, uh, just burnt the hell out of the coffee. And you know, I didn't know what I was doing and it's really hard to transport stuff around the New York City. You know, like I was carrying like 200 pounds of stuff on the subway, coffee pots and coffee and everything. And, and our first, our first, uh, festival was in, um, was in Long Island City and which is like right, you know, in Brooklyn.

[00:09:39] And, uh, we did like 2, 500 in five hours. So it's like almost like a coffee every few minutes. Yeah, we did. We did really good. And then we had it the next weekend too. And we like had this buzz in the air. Like a lot of the people that came the first time came back, everyone was just super amped on it. I was like, wow, you [00:10:00] know, it's really cool.

[00:10:00] This, this, uh, coffee concepts working. And so I. Just kept on doing it. We did a week after week and it was just such a grind in New York, just having to carry all this stuff. And, and then I actually met a few of these guys and they were interested in investing in the concept. And I sat down and I thought about it.

[00:10:22] I was like, you know, do I really want to live in New York city for the next few years or starting a business might be a lifetime, you know, you never know. So I kind of just like pulled back and I was like, you know what? Why don't I try to do something back in Hawaii, I could partner up with my brothers and one of our really good friends, he is just a real local here on the North Shore of Oahu.

[00:10:48] He just has all the connections you need and he's just a super good friend. And so I just reached out to him as well and I was like, Hey, like if you found like a spot for us, love to just like partner up, we'll just do a [00:11:00] little pop up. We'll just sell coffee and like this bullet coffee. And he's like, yeah, let's do it.

[00:11:05] Cause he, he knows about the bullet coffee, you know? Yeah, yeah. A few months go by over the summer of 2016 and um, and he keeps on like, sending me these little things on Craigslist. What about this, what about this? We wanted to be at Pipeline because that's all the action is. And then he just randomly sent me this little photo of this beat up little shack, and it was like a pretty ugly colors like between a blue and a green and another color, and it's like it was almost blending into the bushes, he couldn't even see it.

[00:11:38] And he's like, what about this? It's like, Oh, that's not what I was thinking. You know, trailer, like, you know, tow around, we could be mobile. He's like, okay, well, just keep that, like, you know, keep that in your thoughts. And so we couldn't find anything else. And then it was coming down to, okay, let's just go for the shack.

[00:11:57] And luckily him and his [00:12:00] family knew that, like the owners of the property. We all partnered up. We just started. We painted the whole thing yellow. We called it the Sunrise Shack because it's across from Sunset Beach. Right. Sunset Beach is like right there where the sunrise, where like a morning, um, experience, you know, sunrise, sun.

[00:12:20] And, um, we have just those bullet coffees to, to launch the whole concept and that's kind of how we started. It was really small times at first, we're doing like a hundred dollars a day. And we also just thought we were just a pop up for just that winter time because we get a huge flux of people here in the winter.

[00:12:39] There's all the surf events. The waves are massive. It's just the time to be here if you're going to come to the North Shore. And that, that's what we had in mind. And so, yeah, it was really slow starts in the beginning. I was just there by myself and, you know, all of a sudden the health inspector comes in and he's like, [00:13:00] You know what I know, like, oh my god, I didn't sign up for this.

[00:13:03] I was like, hell no, the health inspector, there you go. He didn't know what I was getting myself into. Yeah. But we, we ended up passing the health inspection after being shut down for like a week. And then, uh, we were running off the generator and it like one day it exploded. And so we had to shut business down and go buy a new one.

[00:13:23] And it's just like really like tough times in the beginning. Yeah. But yeah, that's kind of how it started. Talk

[00:13:30] Bryan Murphy: a little bit about those tough times. Like what kept you focused and, and driven? Cause now, now you guys have a couple more locations, but what kept you focused? Like they believe it in the

[00:13:40] Travis Smith - Sunrise Shack: vision.

[00:13:41] Yeah. I don't know. I think it's so fun for me. Like I just, I really love to sell people on the concept and I really believe I still, I mean, I believe in what we're doing so much. Like, we are making a big impact on health and that, [00:14:00] that was the core, core principles to it. I've seen other companies to like, uh, work with like this bullet coffee or bulletproof coffee.

[00:14:10] And, um, they, they kind of have a real like crazy science y spin on it. And if you're not like super deep into health and you. You don't know what like a ketogenic diet is or paleo or whatever, then it's like, you're like, they almost laugh at you, you know, it's like, Oh, you don't understand. Like, and I didn't like all that stuff.

[00:14:28] I just wanted to simply like tell it how it is, you know, it's like coffee, blended with healthy fats, the fats are good for you and it makes you feel really good and makes you feel happy. And. Basically, one of the best energy sources you can get from a, from a, you know, a dream. So that's, that was the core principles I had like built into it.

[00:14:51] So I think that kept me going through the hard times, but it's definitely quite a rollercoaster of a startup.

[00:14:59] Bryan Murphy: Like [00:15:00] you, you and your brothers growing up, were you guys modeled this kind of entrepreneurial mindset or where'd

[00:15:06] Travis Smith - Sunrise Shack: that kind of come from? I mean, It was funny, we, we've had an amazing life, like, when we grew up, we were fortunate to be raised on this little private beach, and we were just like little kids from, you know, from being born to age like six, just running around, playing in the trees, playing in the sand, never wearing a shirt or shoes, playing in the river, catching little like frogs and stuff and like.

[00:15:32] You just, that was childhood. So I don't know. I think that was a big part of it. And then we kept going down that route. We just dove into surfing. Um, my parents are from Michigan and they moved to Hawaii a few years before we were born. So they didn't really know about like growing up in Hawaii. They were like living firsthand through us.

[00:15:56] And what I just remember one day, my older brother went surfing with [00:16:00] one of his best friends at the time, and he was just hooked. And like, it was like every morning at five in the morning, just so he'd wake my mom up, like, Mom, like, let's go to the, let's go surfing, you know? It became such a big thing that my parents realized that maybe we should homeschool.

[00:16:16] And my, my brothers were sponsored and myself to basically I'm a bodyboarder, which is like a different sport, right? It's laying down on the wave and a lot of people think like, it's just like a sport for tourists or something like going straight in the whitewash, like on the small part of the wave. But it gets pretty radical.

[00:16:35] You can go out to pipeline as big as it gets and you can do huge aerial maneuvers and stuff. And that, that's. what I like to do and, um, a smaller sport. So you can't really make it from, make a living from it unless you're like a world champion or something. So that's what I do. Um, I have the sponsors as well.

[00:16:56] And these guys got sponsored by like, uh, Rip [00:17:00] Curl and Nike and all kinds of big, big companies. And they're getting paid at like age 12, you know? So, you know, between just like I mean, just taking that surfing route is such an untraditional way of growing up. Never really planned on going to college, you know, never planned on getting a normal job.

[00:17:21] I, I had a few jobs growing up, like, you know, helping in a restaurant or catering food around or doing some surf lessons. Yeah. I mean, I never planned on working like in an office or yeah, anything like that. I think our parents really installed it into us. at a young age. My dad's a very entrepreneurial type of guy.

[00:17:46] Uh, he always just has these really cool business ideas. You know, he's like, he's a, he's a real estate developer and he was like, look at this, like beaten up like little restaurant or whatever. It's like, it's [00:18:00] closed down. He's like, you know, you can buy that, you know, you can turn it like. invest some money into it, you know, remodel it and then you could sell it for like this much more.

[00:18:11] We're like, wow. So he always had these ideas and he's like, he is a big backbone into like everything that we do. It's pretty amazing. Like even for the Sunrise Shack, he's like, I'm going to Costco run right now to go get some more almond milk or whatever. He's just a big team player and couldn't do it without him.

[00:18:33] That's awesome. Everyone in our family, there's five of us, we're just like, we're... We're always talking about ideas. We're not talking like drama or they like, we're not, I don't know. We're talking about ideas. And that could even be just like an idea I came up with today. It's like, yeah, like it'd be like a healthy candy or something, you know, it's like whatever it is.

[00:18:57] And so it's funny. And we're all open ears and we'd love to [00:19:00] like give feedback. I mean, Sunrise Shack is probably just one of the ideas out of like a thousand that actually pursued. And since people, the feedback's been so amazing, it's like now we're this deep into it, you know? And it's Taking up most of my life now.

[00:19:17] And

[00:19:19] Bryan Murphy: there, there's this quote as you were talking. I have it actually pinned up on my board. It's, it's an Eleanor Roosevelt quote. It's, uh, I gotta read it. Uh, great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people.

[00:19:33] Travis Smith - Sunrise Shack: Yeah.

[00:19:33] Bryan Murphy: And that's kind, that's cool to hear. Your family's kind of all in on that.

[00:19:37] Travis Smith - Sunrise Shack: That's, that's pretty cool. Yeah. I mean, we'll even have like a friend around or whatever. It's hard for us to even stop, you know, like all us. We have this brand that's involved in this idea, you know, that's cool. Just to brainstorm and, you know, that's what, that's what we're up to all the time. What

[00:19:56] Bryan Murphy: would you say people love most about the

[00:19:58] Travis Smith - Sunrise Shack: shack?[00:20:00]

[00:20:00] Yeah. I mean, it started with the, the, with the bullet coffees and then we realized like, all right, we're, we're, we're targeting like a small portion of our day, you know, we target all day long. Um, what, what could balance that out? So we started introducing these little like food items. It's not like a lunch place, but like a papaya bowl.

[00:20:20] It's like a half a papaya. It's like almond butter or peanut butter with like gluten free vegan granola with a bunch of local fruit on top, like local honey drizzled on it. Now we have like all these smoothies and smoothie bowls as well. So I mean, people really come to us for, I think the vibe, like it's full of bright colors.

[00:20:44] And then I'm, I'm sure people really love a certain thing on the menu as well, or just all of it. Everything we do is very unique. We put a lot of love into everything. All the ingredients are very well sourced. You know, it can [00:21:00] be hard for us as a business because our profit margins might not be as good as Someone that's just doing it real cheap, you know, everything we, it's like organic or local and everything we use is also eco friendly as well.

[00:21:14] We just don't want to like hurt the world, you know, I always thought about like, it'd be so crazy if you had like your business and there was like something that was just like hurting the world. You're like, for me personally, I feel pretty guilty, you know, I really feel like I'm doing something good.

[00:21:32] Yeah,

[00:21:32] Bryan Murphy: as you look back from this moment, yeah, like, okay, what did I build and was it, how did it affect, not just people, but you know, obviously the

[00:21:40] Travis Smith - Sunrise Shack: land and yeah, I mean, it's hard to have like plastic bottles or something and it's like, here's your little juice in the plastic bottle and like millions of them are getting bought or whatever, like straight and gray, but like, you know, plastic bottles are just, [00:22:00]

[00:22:00] Bryan Murphy: So 2016, uh, the Sunset Beach location opened up and just recently, um, Waikiki opened up.

[00:22:09] Maybe talk a little bit about how that came

[00:22:10] Travis Smith - Sunrise Shack: to be. Yeah, totally. So, um, right when I opened the Sunrise Shack. You know, like, like I said before, I have like zero experience in the restaurant and I've definitely learned a lot, but we just opened that one up and all of a sudden we did really well. Like there's a big contest, one of the biggest contests in like surfing is right at Sunset Beach and my brother Koaw was in it.

[00:22:37] And he just like, after he won his heat, he's like, yeah, I'm going to check out the Sunrise Shop. And, uh, there's like 50 people online. You just have this mini coffee pot that couldn't even brew any coffee. We're just like, generators blowing up, people waiting 45 minutes for like a black coffee or whatever.

[00:22:58] Wild. But yeah, so [00:23:00] I really like learned fast and we just. Dialed in the business. I mean, we're still trying to dial it in, but, um, it took like a whole year and then coming in to 2018, I was really thinking like, okay, let's expand. Let's You know, let's bring this somewhere else. And I still, like now, think like, I might have jumped the gun too early, such a crazy learning curve.

[00:23:26] Like, there's so much that goes on in the restaurant industry, it's just wild. And um, so Outrigger Hotels in Waikiki, they sent us a direct message on Instagram. Mm hmm. They said. Hey, we have an opening in our hotel, and we would love to have like a local cafe come in, and would you guys be interested? And I just showed it to my dad.

[00:23:53] My dad knows like the whole real estate and um, all that kind of thing within Waikiki like very well. [00:24:00] Like, it's just like a once in a lifetime opportunity. You couldn't even like, if you're wanting to go to Waikiki, you couldn't even find anything like this. Um, so we just kind of were like, let's do it. We didn't have any like money for it or anything.

[00:24:19] We had no like, no bouts, like no managers to help us, like nothing. We just were like, let's do it. And so we, we ended up signing the lease and we, um, we had like, like I said, no money to fund it. And my dad had like a few like business partners that were interested, um, but it kept, kept on dragging on week after week and no one was.

[00:24:44] Like contributing any money. And so I was like, okay, how, like, how am I going to raise this money? So I literally had like an epiphany. I was like, okay, I'm just going to like throw it on my Instagram and, um, I'm just going to do it really like lightly. And [00:25:00] just like, I basically said, like, um, we're looking for like any family or friends that are interested in investing into our next location.

[00:25:09] We have amazing opportunity. And then like somehow just. The messages came flooding in as wild and we, I just, I remember like for like 10 days I was on the phone five to 10 hours a day just like, um, talking to these people from like all walks of life. Like I've never met most of them. They just like have followed our story since the beginning and they like.

[00:25:39] Whether they wanted to contribute to our concept because it was like for a good cause, you know, healthy and then bad or if they just saw it as like a good business opportunity, we have so many different people and we, we raised money. from, from doing it like that. And so that And yeah, last summer we [00:26:00] ended up opening up and we had my mom like design the whole shack and my dad helped with the contract and my older brother designing the menu because our current concept at the time wasn't really relevant for like a YTT location.

[00:26:16] We have firebugs next to us and a Honolulu coffee. We have like mad competition, right? So we had to bring a lot more to the table. And so we introduced like more healthy swindles and swindling, and we have like an avocado toast. We have like good organic sandwiches. So yeah, I mean, that's kind of how it all happens.

[00:26:37] Bryan Murphy: That's amazing, man. Like just

[00:26:39] Travis Smith - Sunrise Shack: the power of social social. Yeah. I mean, some people can, can hate on it. I mean, it's. I just think it's an amazing tool, you know? Thing just for the press of a button that we can have like a reach never before, you know, like I don't know, 10, 15 years ago. I don't even know how you could reach this [00:27:00] many people.

[00:27:00] You'd have to make a billboard. Right. So it's really cool. You can get to your direct audience just by Instagram. Actually like the only form of marketing since the beginning as well.

[00:27:15] Bryan Murphy: Man, that's pretty impressive because in like under two years, all this is going down and then you guys are on the cover of Hawaii magazine.

[00:27:25] The very first business to be featured on the cover. Yeah. How did that happen? Is it another, another DM or?

[00:27:34] Travis Smith - Sunrise Shack: Yeah. Our being, um, Hawaii magazine, we, we know the people over there and why magazine, we, we got to work with them a few other times. Like I think how they reached out on a DM, um, and they wanted to just like, uh, Hey, like we want to like, we're thinking about putting the center and shack on the cover.

[00:27:54] Like, would you be interested in that? Like, like, is there a model that, you know, [00:28:00] you know about or anything? And I was like, I mean, I'll, I'll do it. And they hired a girl and yeah, and I knew the photographer, I'll just sit in person and think about how can you replicate this? Like I spent like a year thinking about how to replicate the North Shore because it's this little shack between two real palm trees surrounded by real like jungle plants.

[00:28:28] Um, behind it is just this massive orchard of Sumerian chickens that smell like so amazing. Um, we have these wild chickens, we're on to like our 15th generation of chickens. Every like three months like a huge batch of little chicks comes out and they're just eating all like the crumbs around and stuff.

[00:28:48] So funny. It's like growing up on Kauai, huh? Yeah. Well, like, at one point there's like a bunch of wild pigs, [00:29:00] started with three pigs. And then they would come down and we, and they just, the whole herd just grew and grew and they got 20 pigs. So intense where like, we're scared that they're going to like nibble at a customer or something.

[00:29:15] We had to like put up this little bamboo fence and, um, since they don't get as much food now, I think they kind of like journeyed off into a different area, but, um, yeah, I mean, it's just wild. How do you replicate that? Exactly right.

[00:29:30] Bryan Murphy: Right next to

[00:29:30] Travis Smith - Sunrise Shack: Starbucks. Yeah. Um, well, I mean, we just, the vibe for us is like positive and happy, just want to keep that going.

[00:29:40] And our color land is like. Like yellow and orange, like the sunrise or like we have like hints of blue in there as well. So yeah, I mean, we're even thinking about like slightly remodeling here and there on the Y location. I'd say it. We definitely like don't have [00:30:00] one concept for inline location that we just replicate.

[00:30:03] We're still working on that model, but yeah, I mean, it it's, it's full on. It's like, you know, indoor and it's way different. Right.

[00:30:13] Bryan Murphy: What, what, maybe speak inside a little bit. Like, what is it, what do you see the future of the shack

[00:30:18] Travis Smith - Sunrise Shack: looking like? Yeah, well, we also did like a, um, we did a licensing deal in Japan.

[00:30:25] Um, one of our best friends approached us, he's like one of the most famous surfers in Japan. He's like, I'm, I'm bringing this to Japan. I'm going to like, okay, okay. And honestly, like a lot of people have hit us up about like franchising and stuff. But this guy, I really knew well. And I really like. He's a very trustworthy person and I was just like, yeah, I think, I think this guy could do it.

[00:30:51] He calls me like a year later after being in touch for a year about it. Like we're getting closer. We're getting closer. The language barrier is pretty good. And [00:31:00] he flew out like a whole team, like a CEO, an investor, like an ambassador. Oh, wow. Himself and they all came down. We sat at a little table at the shack on the North Shore.

[00:31:11] And that, in my opinion, I'm stoked I did it, but I don't think at this in Australia or something now, because we're really trying to fine tune our business. But I'm super glad we did that deal because I love the Japanese culture. Like there's such disciplined and hard workers. It's so amazing. I remember I was just like, Oh yeah, like this should be yellow.

[00:31:38] Like, you know, what kind of yellow? But like I had to pick the yellow and then like. The time we were still playing with the blue color a little bit. Like we didn't exactly know which blue and then I like chose with blue. That was like close to what I wanted. I should have like explained more like this is close, but I was just like, oh this, this is good.

[00:31:57] And then like next day, like all these [00:32:00] things were that cool. Exactly. So yeah, but I just think somewhere else like wouldn't be so on it. It's the Japanese culture is amazing, you know, so they're really hardworking and those are doing pretty well. We have one in Tokyo and one in Kamakura.

[00:32:17] Bryan Murphy: Cool. If someone's, cause maybe for the first time or maybe they've been there before, what, what advice just in general, like what would you give someone coming to, coming

[00:32:26] Travis Smith - Sunrise Shack: to the islands?

[00:32:27] Yeah. I mean, it's, first of all, it's hard to choose which island you're going to go to. I would say. You should visit all the islands, um, in your lifetime, you know. Oahu, it depends what you like. Oahu is just a really good base, you know, like there's a lot of... opportunities. There's a lot more to do here.

[00:32:48] Like, like, the kind of the shopping side, or like going to see a nice movie, or eating in, it's literally like the best foods you'll ever, you know, I [00:33:00] think it's the closest thing to like visiting the moon on, on like planet Earth. Yeah. It's wild over there. Um, so they're all different. I mean, I think most people just come to Oahu, you can really experience nature here.

[00:33:15] You can experience nature on all the islands here in Hawaii. Uh, Pipeline is like right there. Famous wave in the whole world. And it's just so close to the beach. Wave like that throughout the world, it's normally like Really far out on a reef or something where you know, like you just can't see but I got pipeline It's just like it's just this arena of amazing amazing waves Die every year in there and they'll be some of the best surfers in the world.

[00:33:50] Sometimes it's really heavy Experience of like getting the barrel out there is like nowhere you can get anywhere else in the world And [00:34:00] it's like pulling into like a cave of, of ocean, you know, and power is so intense. It's what a lot of people live for here, a lot of pro surfers, and there's people with full sponsorships and they make a living and that's all they do, surf pipeline.

[00:34:19] In the summertime, it goes flat and you don't really hear about these guys, like they're just hanging out. And then in the wintertime, pipeline starts coming again. And they are getting cover shots and, you know, winning contests and all this stuff. And it's like, that's all they do is say, yeah,

[00:34:39] Bryan Murphy: uh, the next part just wanted to ask some like just random questions, maybe, um, just kind of off the cuff just to learn more about, about you and, um, So first one, what does, what does aloha mean to

[00:34:53] Travis Smith - Sunrise Shack: you?

[00:34:54] Yeah. Aloha for me, um, I, I say it all the time. It's like a [00:35:00] greeting, you know, aloha means a lot of different things. It can mean like, hello or goodbye. I, it's not just like, hello, you know, it's like very impactful. It's like a very loving word. That's what it means to me. I mean, I think it's all good vibes.

[00:35:17] It's like, you know, such a positive thing to say. That's what Aloha means to me.

[00:35:22] Bryan Murphy: What, what's the best advice that you've ever been

[00:35:26] Travis Smith - Sunrise Shack: given? To always just listen to your gut feeling. Believe in that. How to, just going through like, this whole Sunrise Shack experience. There's things that I just know so deeply about, whether it's because I think about the Sunrise Shack so often, you know, it's always relevant.

[00:35:47] It's like such a passion for me. I like dream about it, you know, and there's something that like, you know, I'll ask for someone's opinion, like one of my loved ones or [00:36:00] someone. And, you know, maybe they say the opposite thing, which I have to like, you know, you got to take that in. I just, at the end of the day, it's like always knowing your gut feeling and following that.

[00:36:15] And I think there's things in your life that you can do to make your, like, intuition like heightened. I think it's just like eating really good and being really healthy. You'll experience that more, you'll be closer to like your intuition. And just trusting the process. I mean, I think like whatever. Your lifestyle is, you know, the air quality you breathe, to the water you drink, to the food you eat.

[00:36:41] to just who you surround yourself with and what your mind believes, you know, your mind is so strong. All those things, I think you'll just be on a pretty epic path. Yeah. Hey, who,

[00:36:54] Bryan Murphy: who are some of your favorite, um, artists or

[00:36:57] Travis Smith - Sunrise Shack: musicians? We like to [00:37:00] listen to a lot of like Ireland style music here. Uh huh. All like Hawaiian music.

[00:37:04] It's like Hawaiian reggae. Right. It's just funny. I feel like at like the youngest age growing up here in Hawaii, like no, it's just like this music that you've heard your whole life, you know, and it's, it's not like annoying. It's like, You love it, you know, like walk into any grocery store here and it's just like playing some like mellow Hawaiian reggae song, you know, or yeah, that, that like speaks to me the most.

[00:37:35] But I mean, I obviously love like all kinds of music, rap music out there. There's good, like, I've been at Coachella a few times, appreciate it. hearing music on those speakers and I mean, I really don't hate on like any genre of music. I appreciate it all in my country, jazz and everything that I'm not used to here in Hawaii.

[00:37:58] Yeah. I really love [00:38:00] it all.

[00:38:00] Bryan Murphy: Awesome, man. Hey, Travis. Thanks so much, man, for taking the time and, and hearing more about the story behind the Sunrise Shack. If people want to know more about the shack or how to find you, what's the best way to do that?

[00:38:15] Travis Smith - Sunrise Shack: You can follow us on Instagram at Sunrise Shack. Uh, we also have like our new e commerce store online and it has some details about like our story.

[00:38:26] And that's sunriseshackhawaii. com, um, yeah, and that's where you can find us. If you're ever out here in Hawaii, we have the one in Waikiki and then the one here on the North Shore. And I think our future will be probably expanding here on, on Oahu, you know, we have a super solid team now. We have like 20 to 25 employees and they all work.

[00:38:56] I think it would be easier to have a third one here rather than a third one in [00:39:00] California or something, but yeah, we're now and people are always hitting us up and it's always exciting to hear what

[00:39:07] Bryan Murphy: people have to say. There's some great spots in, in Southern California. I think you guys would do really well.

[00:39:12] Yeah, I can see

[00:39:13] Travis Smith - Sunrise Shack: that. I think, you know, like I just realized a lot of these other businesses that are in this genre of smoothies and stuff like they, um, they've been around for a long time, you know, like 10 years, three years. So we have time, you know, only two years old.

[00:39:32] Bryan Murphy: I know what you guys have been able to do in two years is, is really

[00:39:35] Travis Smith - Sunrise Shack: amazing.

[00:39:35] Yeah. Yeah. So I think 2019 for me is actually just going to be like to just fine tune. You know, like I'll walk in, I'll see one employee put like 20 goji berries on the bowl. It's only supposed to be 10. Probably didn't even make money on that bowl. So yeah, we're still like getting the fine tuning down.

[00:39:59] Bryan Murphy: [00:40:00] Awesome. Well, thanks again, man. Um, appreciate you and, and what you're doing on Oahu and really kind of around the world, man. So, um, thanks so much.

[00:40:10] Travis Smith - Sunrise Shack: Yeah. Thank you, man. Thanks for, uh, doing this.

[00:40:13] Bryan Murphy: Well, I just want to thank Travis again for being here today and for taking the time to share a little bit about how the Sunrise Shack came to be.

[00:40:23] And also just to hear more about, about who he is and just kind of his outlook on life. And to find out more information about Travis, you can find them on Instagram at Trig Trav. That is T R I G G. T r a v And you can also go to sunrise shack hawaii Dot com where you can find and their locations and all that good stuff We'll get on over to leave a review subscribe And that way we can Uh, really start the whole journey together and be able to [00:41:00] share with as many people we can.

[00:41:01] So the show notes and all the links mentioned about, uh, in this episode, you can go to livehawaiisbest. com slash episode zero zero two. So until next time, have a great rest of your day. Aloha.

[00:41:18] Hawaii's Best: Mahalo for listening to this episode of Hawaii's Best. To stay up to date on future episodes, please subscribe and visit us at Hawaii's Best.

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