A Real Smoothie Operator

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - August 27, 2008
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Going bananas at Diamond Head Cove Health Bar (from left) Molly Cole, Ann Takiguchi-Marcos, Marcus Marcos and Zoe Kaulagher
Going bananas at Diamond Head Cove Health Bar (from left) Molly Cole, Ann Takiguchi-Marcos, Marcus Marcos and Zoe Kaulagher

Marcus Marcos, a self-proclaimed smoothie schlep, bursts through the doors of his Diamond Head Cove Health Bar with one goal in mind: to have good fun.

The shop offers fruit smoothies, poke, sashimi, salads, guacamole, hummus, juices and kava.

“I love local fish, local farmers and local products,” says Marcos as he scrolls through the names of more than 40 fishermen whose numbers are entered into his cell phone.

“When the fishermen catch their fish, they call me directly, and I buy it from them. I use as many local products as I can.”

A few of the most popular orders are the fish salad, fish wrap and Da Mana Cove Bowl, filled with acai, strawberries, bananas, blueberries, granola and honey.

“There’s a big sign here that says this is ‘the opposite of fast food,’” he explains. “We make everything fresh, so it’s not fast food. It takes time.”

Marcos, a Kaimuki High and UH grad who previously worked in office equipment sales, knew he wanted to have his own business someday.

When the owner of this Monsarrat Avenue store was ready to retire, the timing was right for Marcos to take over the space.

With the full support of his wife Ann, he opened Diamond Head Cove Health Bar in 2003.

“I knew smoothies were popular enough to start with and so that was the base,” recalls Marcos. “Everything else just came into place.”

Marcos, who loves to cook, surf, paddle and travel, says his employees must have fun. To be sure his staff of three are on the same page as he is, he sometimes takes them out for a barbecue picnic on the beach and a canoe paddling excursion.

“On a canoe, we all have to work together in the same direction,” explains Marcos.

At the store, he shares the cultural significance of the Polynesian elixir, ‘awa. He says it was used to calm a fussy child, and it was sipped by the Hawaiian people as they sat together in a circle and worked out their problems.

“‘Awa is good to help people relax after a long, hard day or to relax sore muscles,” Marcos says. “And it can open their creative side.”

He cuts, shapes and smooths out the coconut cups in which the ‘awa is served. ‘Awa nights - Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays - at the snack bar are when musicians, such as the Girlas, Lei Melket of Keahiwai, Kupa’aina and Charlie Palumbo take the stage.

“I want people to come back here with their friends and family,” Marcos says with a big smile. “And you don’t know who is going to be playing (music) here.”

The Diamond Head Cove Health Bar is located at 3045 Monsarrat Ave. The hours of operation are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday from 10 a.m. to midnight, and Monday, Friday, Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, call 732-8744 or log onto www.diamondheadcove.com.


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