Near the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, in early 2020, Matt Hong, co-founder of Oahu’s Banan frozen banana dessert chain, got some bad news. Banan’s banana supplier, Sugarland Farms, was throwing in the towel on the Cavendish variety bananas Banan uses – and with no warning.
Fortunately, for Banan, it had some backup: Gabriel Sachter-Smith, a banana scientist and farmer known as “Banana Gabe.”
Banan had invested $10,000 years before to help Sachter-Smith develop a banana nursery at Haleiwa’s Counter Culture Organic Farm on Oahu’s North Shore, Hong said. And it turned out Sachter-Smith’s banana operation, called Hawaii Banana Source, was starting to mature just when Banan needed bananas most.