CUH alum leaves teaching for ‘The Sugar Hut’


Photo Courtesy of The Sugar Hut

Customizable macarons at The Sugar Hut

By Chantelle Aguilar, Staff Writer

After receiving rave reviews about her homemade desserts, Shavone Lave, 29, walked away from elementary teaching and decided to follow her passion. As a result, The Sugar Hut, a French macaron and gourmet dessert truck in Hawaii that has been dubbed Sweetie was born.

“It was a difficult decision to leave my career as a teacher, but the best decision I have ever made,” Lave said. “I am able to do what I love with the people I love.”

A Chaminade alumna who graduated in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, Lave is making a name for herself in the food truck industry. The Sugar Hut takes the French macaron (a meringue sandwich with filling) to a new level with flavors like fruity pebbles, peanut butter and guava, lilikoi, strawberry green tea and other unique flavors. As if that wasn’t enough, truffles, blondies (blonde brownies), chocolate pyramids and a variety of dessert pops are also offered.

Surprisingly, Lave did not begin her baking career with the macarons she is known for. Instead, she started with Oreo bonbons. While balancing a full-time job and her passion, Lave would make these treats for family and friends during Christmas. The feedback was unexpected — Oreo bonbons were a hit and the crowd encouraged Lave to start her own business.

Lave is a self-taught baker and encountered numerous challenges along the way. She watched YouTube videos and read blogs to learn about the art of macarons, but fell short — literally. Lave’s first batch of macarons had “zero feet, it fell flat, and basically looked like a big blob.”

“I didn’t let that stop me. I tried to bake a batch almost every night until I finally made some progress.  It took me about 3 months to finally be able to make a batch of macarons that I was proud of,” said Lave.

After mastering the art of various sweet treats for four long years, Lave opened up a business in August 2013. It wasn’t until two months later that her business was given the name The Sugar Hut. Lave baked from her home and offered “sample sales” on Instagram, where Lave would meet up with customers or they would pick up from her home in Nanakuli.

In May 2014, Lave began baking in a commercial kitchen and in June ended her career as a teacher to devote all her time into the business. In that same year, The Sugar Hut expanded and started selling at the Kapolei Farmers Market, Waianae Farmers Market and other pop-up events like Eat The Street. In December, “Sweetie,” the food truck, was created and Lave expanded her customer base even more by reaching out to other areas like Mililani, Ewa Beach and downtown, Honolulu.

For Lave, starting a business was hard work. “I didn’t realize how hard it would be until I began the business,” said Lave. “Its long hours and lots of work, but nothing beats being able to work on your dream.”

Every week is a busy week at The Sugar Hut. Several days are dedicated to preparation, baking and servicing events, with the exception to Sunday that is reserved for family. Lave is the head baker and is also in charge of the administrative aspect of the business, but she is not alone. Everyone is pitching in, from her husband Sautia, to her cousins, siblings and in-laws.

In the future, Lave hopes to open a storefront with a full-service bakery where she can expand on her dreams, and most importantly continue what she loves doing with the people she loves. Aside from all the challenges she has endured, she enjoys what she does.

“I love watching our customers enjoy their first bite of a macaron,” she said. “The joy it brings is priceless!”

The Sugar Hut also provides dessert bar services at various events like birthdays, baby showers and weddings. Most of Lave’s creations can be customized to a client’s liking. Consumers are in full charge and are able to choose from a variety of colors, flavors, decorations and more.

The Sugar Hut is at the Kapolei Farmers Market on Thursdays from 3 p.m.- 6:30 p.m., the Waianae Farmers Market on Saturdays from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m., and various pop-up events. Follow The Sugar Hut on Instagram @TheSugarHut to know the latest information about its weekly schedules and menu. Or order a batch online at and have them delivered.