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Kohana Rum Chocolate Bar
Manoa Chcolate is 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 the same thing as a "chocolate maker"; chocolate makers forge beans into chocolate. Chocolatiers buy finished chocolate and remelt it to make their recipes.
Manoa Chocolate is socially responsible through Direct Trade of fine cacao beans from around the world. Whenever there is available Hawaiian cacao supply, they 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, they can offer private-label manufacturing services to turn their cacao harvests into chocolate.
The story of Manoa Chocolate began in the labs at the University of Hawaii in 2010 where the founder's 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, the founders 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.
Manoa Chocolate started as college students with no money and bootstrapped our business with ingenuity and determination. Some of their original pieces of equipment involved a barbeque to roast and a tricycle-powered winnower to operate the cacao shells from the nibs. Manoa Chocolate is one of the largest chocolate makers in the U.S. and are still working hard to make better and better chocolate and help grow the craft chocolate industry as a whole.