Meet the Owners: Greg and Yayoi Hall, Kohu Road

Born and raised in Wellington, Greg Hall travelled around Europe and Asia in his twenties. When he visited Japan, it was there that he met his wife Yayoi, a chef at a traditional Japanese restaurant. 

After he moved back to New Zealand with his wife and three children, Hall was determined to start his own business from scratch.

Using his Mister Snowy ice cream kit, Hall created his very first batch of ice cream at home, which was well-received.

"Everyone who tried it fell in love with it, which sparked an idea. Why not make this a business?" added Hall.

Opening their ice cream business, Kohu Road, in 2007, the brand's award-winning, hand-made and natural ice cream has quickly become a New Zealand staple.

“Our goal has always been to provide New Zealand with the highest quality dessert possible. Since our primary consumers are adults, we always want to highlight how important it is to treat yourself. What better way to do that than ice cream?" explained Hall.

With their wide selection of classic flavour profiles, such as Dark Chocolate and Brandy Cream, and use of natural and local ingredients, it is no surprise that many of Kohu Road's current customer base have been supporting the business since their beginning.

Their signature flavour is its Dark Chocolate flavour, which continues to be a long-time classic and favourite among customers. 

“It is not layered with sauce, contains no chocolate chips and needs no extra chocolate than it already contains. Hand-melting the chocolate in a pot creates a rich dark chocolate heaven that we have always been proud of making." 

When brainstorming new flavours, the Halls often draw inspiration from the four seasons, nostalgia and trendy drinks. In 2022, Kohu Road launched Black Sesame and Brown Sugar Milk Tea ice cream, a nod to the family's Asian heritage. Created after Yayoi scoured the market for years, both flavours were released to celebrate the business' 15th anniversary.

Kohu Road also takes pride in creating ice cream that is suitable for people with various dietary requirements. One of Greg's favourite innovations is their Vegan Double Chocolate ice cream. The flavour's coconut base ensures that the ice cream is creamy and smooth, keeping the feel of dairy ice cream

While Kohu Road have faced many issues as a result of the pandemic, they have continued to keep their company running with the help of their small team.

Looking forward, the business plans to release several seasonal flavours - offerings that will continue Kohu Road's philosophy of creating natural, simple, yet decadent ice cream that can be enjoyed by all.