It was here though, in 1956 that Mamoru and Helen Matsumoto brought a little hand cranked shave-ice machine from Japan so that it could shave the finest snow from a block of ice and provide a cool treat for families in the summer heat. It was the first shave ice machine on the North Shore according to their son, Stanley. He was five years old at the time. Shave ice is an ancient treat that comes from Japan and dates back to at least the 9th century - but of course - the world had never seen anything like the Hawaiian Shave Ice that the Matsumotos created.
The Matsumotos created dozens of tropical flavors with the sweet cane sugar produced right there on the North Shore. Later innovations included ice cream on the bottom, sweet azuki beans, condensed milk poured over the top and even including mochi in the mix. During the 1960s when the North Shore was discovered by California surfers, the business really took off and eventually by 1976 when little Stan took over - shave ice was just about all they sold. Through the years, t-shirts,souvenirs and some other stuff have been added - but Matsumoto's General Store is famous all over the world for one thing - shave ice.
The lines may be long, but if you choose to get a Matsumoto’s Shave Ice, the time will pass quickly. In addition, don’t be surprised to see a jovial Stan Matsumoto wearing a t-shirt with a cartoon of himself on it - and sharing the stories of this wonderful little town called Hale'iwa and the life he's spent there.