Featured Entrepreneur

Manoa Chocolate

Dylan Butterbaugh, Founder
Kailua, Oahu

Founded by Dylan Butterbaugh, Manoa Chocolate is a bean-to-bar chocolate factory focused on producing quality dark chocolate in Kailua, Oahu. Since the beginning, their goal has been to showcase the unique flavors and characteristics of cacao through direct trade of single origin beans from around the world and across the Hawaiian Islands.

In 2010, while studying at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Dylan made a friend who was researching the potential success of growing cacao in Hawaii. Shortly after, he spent six months in labs at the College of Tropical Agriculture learning the processes that turn the fruit into chocolate. When the chocolate industry in Hawaii began to emerge, he identified a need for local processors and launched Manoa Chocolate and today the company is a pioneer in the local cacao industry.

Like many small local businesses, Manoa Chocolate is making big waves in our community. Learn more about their large impact on Hawaii’s economy.

How Manoa Chocolate is making big waves

Manoa Chocolate employs 40 local residents and sells approximately 90,000 chocolate bars per year using 100% Hawaiian cacao (grown in Hawaii). They’ve expanded to include 50 retail accounts outside of Hawaii and have built a mix of sales channels that includes retail, wholesale, e-Commerce, subscription program, distribution, co-manufacturing and tours.

How they give back

It’s essential that all the cacao Manoa Chocolate sources has been done so transparently and through direct trade. Rather than having middle men from the farm to the factory, Dylan wants to be able to compensate local farmers directly, call them on the phone, and proudly showcase their process to customers. This assures that the cacao they buy is of the highest quality and is the only way to know for certain that it’s been sourced ethically.

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