Manoa Chocolate Hawaii was founded upon friendship, surfing and a passion for fine local foods. My name is Dylan Butterbaugh. I was born and raised in Kailua, Oahu. I am a chocolate maker. Like many kids in Hawaii, I grew up playing sports and surfing. I have a passion for traveling. I have been all over the world, exploring remote coastlines while immersing myself in different cultures. Traveling has helped me to really appreciate where I come from. I look forward to sharing this appreciation for Hawaii with the rest of the world through chocolate.
Cacao beans to chocolate bars
I first noticed cacao when I was 19, during an Indonesian surfing trip. A couple of years later, I had the opportunity to witness raw cacao beans become a finished product. I was invited into the UH Cacao Lab to see the chocolate-making process and it immediately intrigued me. Before I knew it, I was in the lab between and after classes to learn more about growing cacao and manufacturing chocolate.
Look how far we have come
I was fortunate enough to attract a great team to lend their time and talents during the start-up and product development phases of Manoa Chocolate Hawaii. Together, we advanced our machinery, recipes, processes, logo, packaging, website and company infrastructure.
We had our product and booth ready to debut at Hawaii's 1st Annual Cacao Festival at Dole Cannery in February 2011. This first taste of the Hawaiian cacao community gave us confidence and inspiration to push ahead in the emerging local industry.