Meet the two ladies making Hilo’s famous strawberry mochi

Two Ladies Kitchen

If you are heading to Hilo, it is likely that someone will request a pit stop at Two Ladies Kitchen for its famous strawberry mochi. HI Now host Kanoe Gibson made sure she got her order of mochi in, and she talked to one of the two ladies in the kitchen.

Two Ladies Kitchen started in owner Nora Uchida’s mother’s kitchen in 1991. She and her auntie were the original two ladies, and it all started with traditional mochi that her grandmother perfected in Okinawa.

“They didn’t have very many desserts in those days, so mochi was very much appreciated,” said Two Ladies Kitchen Owner Nora Uchida.

Mochi desserts are traditionally sweet red beans and mochi, but over the years, they have evolved into cloudlike confections encasing anything from fruits to chocolate. Uchida says her fresh fruit-filled mochi are a contemporary spin off from what her grandmother taught her. Today she has branched off from the original strawberry and red bean mochi that made the shop famous, to seasonal fruits including persimmons, grapes and pears.

“As long as the fruit is good, then the mochi will be good,” said Uchida.

Uchida recognizes that not everyone likes the sweet red bean filling, so she has recently introduced flavors like strawberry shortcake mochi, which was originally created for the Merrie Monarch season. But because of the high demand, Uchida brought it back as a staple. She and her team also create and feature seasonal flavors such as Pumpkin Pie.

“We never turn down any ideas. As long as it has some shelf life and people like it, we always test it, give samples… and if they like it, then we can go ahead with it,” she said.

A native Hilo girl, Uchida has no plans to expand the shop beyond its current location.

“Oh my gosh, we are so appreciative of that line out the door,” said Uchida, “but it’s just a Hilo product so I’m happy about that.”

For more Information: FB: @Two Ladies Kitchen