Featured Entrepreneur

Pono Potions

Peter Hessler, Founder
Honolulu, Oahu

Founded in 2019 by Peter A. Hessler, Pono Potions manufactures all-natural flavored syrups for coffee, cocktails and culinary creations. Peter uses locally sourced, whole ingredients in its syrups to create the most flavorful and unique beverage syrups on the market.

The company is committed to empowering Hawaii's community and economy with its bottle recycling program, support of small farms and businesses, and donation of 10 cents from every syrup bottle sold to the Hawaii Food Bank. Pono Potions also offers a fun and refreshing experience at its factory store and espresso bar on Smith Street in Chinatown.

What was your experience like during the Bank of Hawaii mentorship program and what was the biggest takeaway you got from it?

The Bank of Hawaii mentorship was a great experience because we were paired with a hands-on mentor within the discipline of our choice. I was able to get accounting help as well as small business loan prep from Bank of Hawaii professionals.

What does it mean to have a business in Hawaii?

It means to be a part of your community by working and getting advice from other professionals as well setting a positive example for other businesses in Hawaii by striving to be more sustainable. It also means to learn and understand traditional Hawaiian values and customs and respect them in your business practices. Being an island, it is important to always represent our culture.

What do you need to make your business work?

Teamwork, communication and access to resources are the keys to make our business work. Mentorship and advice from other small business owners in Hawaii. Support from our community

What's next for Pono Potions?

We want to expand our production facility and streamline our distribution. We’d also like to expand our product line with more ready to drink options

What’s a business tip you learned from the program?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and always plan ahead for where you want to be in 5 years.

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