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. Some of our original pieces of equipment involved a barbeque to roast and a tricycle-powered winnower to operate the cacao shells from the nibs. Today, we are one of the largest craft chocolate makers in the U.S. - still striving to make the best chocolate possible and help grow the craft chocolate industry as a whole.