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Neighborhood Chocolate Factory

Dylan Butterbaugh started Manoa Chocolate as a project that combined his passions - science, sustainability, and chocolate. Dylan was one of the first producers we started working with when we started Hello Makana. At the time, he had just finished building out a small space where roasting, bar-making, packaging, flavor development, and tastings were all happening at once, often with machinery Dylan made himself.

When we visited Dylan last week, we saw a lot of excitement around his growing chocolate enterprise. As sales of Manoa Chocolate have grown, Dylan has expanded production in his Kailua factory and shop. He purchased a roasting machine with the help of a Kickstarter campaign, built-out a proper tasting room to accommodate visitors and educational groups, and installed new areas for storage and processing.

Along with these successes, we talked about some of the challenges Manoa Chocolate faces. One is developing a steady supply of Hawaiian-grown cacao. Dylan is incredibly committed to Hawaiiʻs burgeoning cacao community. He is constantly looking for local farmers who can start growing and build up enough production to keep Manoa Chocolate supplied with home-grown cacao. He says "If we could find someone in Hawaii with 10 acres or 8,000 trees in production, we could buy it all today and make even more Hawaii-grown chocolate that people would buy in an instant!"

So with your Manoa Chocolate purchase, you're helping contribute to Dylan's vision of a sustainable bean-to-bar industry in Hawaii. And, of course, enjoying some of the most delicious chocolate around! Try the Hawaiian Sea Salt Dark Chocolate bars, newly available on our shop.