Big Kahuna Dog
(Featuring from Kauai – Aunty Liliko’i’s AMAZING Relishes and Passion fruit Mustards)
How does a family that owns a tug boat company make the decision to get into the restaurant business?
For Jacqui and Jerry Petrunia, it was a life-changing trip to the island of Kauai in 2018 that provided the necessary inspiration. While they were there, on Saturday morning, January 13, 2018, a false ballistic missile alert was issued over television, radio, and cellphones via the Emergency Alert System in Hawaii. Jacqui and Jerry tried to reach family, but the lines were jammed. They texted their love… and passwords, then sat down on the deck hand in hand to ‘wait to be evaporated’.
39 minutes later, the alert was cancelled, and they were advised it was a false alarm. As they were already packed to move hotels and had some time to kill, they decided to drive back to a hot dog stand they had discovered earlier.
While the dogs were pretty good, both decided they could do even better. As they drove on that day, they came upon the Aunty Liliko’i storefront and factory and recognized this was the supplier of the unique, authentically Hawaiian condiments that made the hot dogs special. On the spur of the moment they decided to go in and meet the founder Aunty Liliko’i. This is when the idea of Big Kahuna Dog came alive.
With a hard look at what was important in life Jacqui and Jerry decided it was time to slow down a bit and scale back their lives to allow for more community involvement.
It took a year to develop the unique branding and concept to the restaurant, design the menu and source the food products and the toasters used to prepare the hotdog buns.
The inspiration for the restaurant is their family pet, a yellow lab named ’Buck’… with his blonde flowing hair, cool dude looks and laid back vibe. The artwork even reflects his ‘soul patch’.
Jacqui says they wanted to capture the ‘Aloha Vibe’, “When you go to Hawaii, everything just slows down…it’s the good life!”
Featuring Nathan’s Hot dogs, chosen for their healthier profile, including no preservatives, much of the menu is home made, including the garlic sauce, chili and coleslaw dressing. There is also a veggie-lovers option. And every couple of months, a 40lb box of home-made condiments arrives from Aunty Liliko’i including their tropical relishes in pineapple, mango or coconut. Mustard flavours included Passionfruit, Passionfruit Wasabi, and Passionfruit Habanero.
Jacqui and Jerry have now applied to trademark their name and secure the original concept and there is a possibility, down the road, there may be more Big Kahuna Dog locations.
The chance to give back to community means that Big Kahuna Dog will sponsor kids’ sports teams, providing sponsorship for uniforms and equipment, and discount coupons for their dogs.
Additionally, Big Kahuna Dog has started to cater, with an affordable option for family and corporate events. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org and see their menu options at www.bigkahunadog.ca