- We are a Hawaii based Chocolate Maker, which is a lot like saying "Wine Maker." Wine makers buy grapes and turn them into wine. Chocolate Makers buy cacao and turn them into chocolate.
- A "Chocolatier" is not that same thing as a "Chocolate Maker"; Chocolate Makers forge beans into chocolate. Chocolatiers buy finished chocolate and remelt it to make their recipes.
- Our chocolate is socially responsible through DIRECT TRADE of fine cacao beans from around the world.
- Whenever there is available Hawaiian cacao supply, we source as much as possible from local farms. If a given Hawaii farm does not have the scale and/or quality we are looking to buy, we can offer private-label manufacturing services to turn their cacao harvests into chocolate.
- Bean-to-Bar is a movement in chocolate, it is much like the growing craft beer industry in the sense that we are moving away from mass production and focusing on smaller batches and fine quality.
- Bean-to-Bar makers are also defined by the fact that we direct trade with cacao farms around the world, paying socially responsible prices for quality. In contrast, most cacao is sourced from West Africa. The beans are priced so low that are often major social issues like child slavery occur on the farms in those regions.
- Craft chocolate is the opposite, rather than sourcing cheap and blending from a variety of regions we source cacao at high prices and tell the story of where the chocolate is grown.
- Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. that can grow cacao commercially due to our tropical climate. Chocolate is made from the seeds of this tropical fruit tree.
- The story of our business began in the labs at the University of Hawaii in 2010 where our friends were studying cacao as a crop for the state.
- At this time, the global sourcing and consumption of cacao was beginning to shift in the sense that people are now paying attention to where chocolate is grown -- not only where it is made. For example, "Swiss" and "Belgian Chocolate" does not grow in Switzerland or Belgium!
- As more and more cacao farms and research trials were starting to pop-up around the state, we realized that there was a need for local chocolate manufacturing--someone to buy the cacao beans and/or help farmers turn their crop into chocolate.
- We started as college students with no money and bootstrapped our business with ingenuity and determination. For example, our original equipment involved a barbeque to roast and a tricycle-powered winnower to remove the cacao shells. Now we are the largest chocolate maker in the State with regard to our production, and in the top ten of the largest bean-to-bar craft chocolate makers in the U.S.
Check out our original equipment as we set-out to create a Hawaii-based chocolate factory from scratch back in 2010.