The annual HCCA farm tour and conference will be held in Hilo, Hawaii, on March 11 (farm tour) and March 12 (conference). The farm tour will begin at 11:00 am at Hamakua Chocolate Farm. Parking will be limited so people are encouraged to car pool from Hilo (driving directions are in the location links). Lunch will be served after at Tom Sharkey's house, about a 5 minute drive from Hamakua Chocolate Farm (look for the white plantation farmhouse on the left side of the street above the Catholic Church and Kalanianaole Instermediate School). After that, we'll stop at Kazemaru’s OLA Kai farm. After these first two tours we will go back to Hilo and visit Mahilani farm on the hillside above Hilo. You’ll get a chance to see not only the farm but their post-harvest processing facility and their emerging chocolate factory. At the end of the tour we will have dinner at Mahilani. Lunch and dinner are included in the $100 fee for the farm tour. We are not able to process credit cards in Hilo for the farm tour or the conference so either pay ahead of time via PayPal on our REGISTRATION PAGE or pay by check in Hilo.
News and Events
The 6th Annual Hawai‘i Chocolate Festival debuted at a new location at the Ward Village Courtyard on Saturday, October 15, 2016. Local purveyors of all things chocolate gathered at the premier showcase of Hawai‘i-grown chocolate products while chocolate-lovers tasted their way around the sweetest of celebrations. The event featured over 20 vendors who highlighted chocolate and Hawai‘i-grown cacao. The event tickets did not only guarantee admission to the Festival to browse, learn about and shop for all things chocolate, but they were also a passport to 10 chocolate samplings from 10 different chocolate vendors.
The Kaua'i Chocolate and Coffee Festival was held on Friday and Saturday, October 21 & 22 in Historic Hanapepe on the island of Kaua'i, featuring local farmers, chefs, roasters, manufacturers and retailers. Despite the gusty weather and some rain, the event drew an estimated 5,000 people to the tiny town for the event. Nearly 600 attendees participated in the passport program for the event, which guaranteed them samples of chocolate and coffee. The event took place in the park on Friday night, in conjunction with Friday Art Night in Hanapepe, and again on Saturday. There were over 18 different vendors to choose from for chocolate and coffee samples.
The annual HCCA Conference convened on Maui March 12-13. The two-day event began with a farm tour of HCCA President, Gunars Valkirs’ farm in Lahaina. Members were able to observe many experiments with cacao growing by Gunars and the Hawaii Cacao Foundation as well as his use of irrigation, wind-break and shade trees. Gunars hosted a dinner at his home that evening. The business portion of the conference began on Sunday, March 13th and was followed by a series of diverse and educational presentations.