This week marks a new chapter for Sweet Paradise, the purchase of 7 acres on the Hana Hwy in Haiku for farming cacao.
Who would have thought that at 58 I'd become a farmer and yet the very thought is quite exciting.
I currently have several hundred trees in a greenhouse . Not knowing the exact parentage of the seeds we tasted all the pulp and gave each batch a name based on its taste aling with pics and descriptions of its pod. Thick or thin wall, shape and color, number of seeds and pulp quanity. These things may be needless info ... Or not.
Our collection sports names like sweet and juicy, lychee, green apple and fruit loops.
Its exciting to think that in just 3 years we could be making our own chocolate from these trees.
With a sustainable goal in mind we are also planting all the other things we use in our chocolate production- lilikoi vines, blood oranges, coffee,cloves, starfruit and vanilla .Being in natures seasonal rythmn gives value to life and appreciation for our food sources.
Although I've never farmed on a large scale , property development and small scale orchards have been part of my past when I owned a large boarding stable for horses. It introduced me to rural life, tractors, chickens and moving earth.
So here we are in Hawaii on a new farming journey and a goal to have a sustainable chocolate production.
Stay tuned as the journey unfolds.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
We are really excited by the idea of Chocolate in Hawaii. Not just any chocolate, but Hawaii grown chocolate. Did you know Hawaii is the only state that can grow chocolate? There are still only about 200 acres or fewer in production (making Hawaii one of the rarest chocolates in the world) but that number is increasing steadily. The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory in Kona was a pioneer in Hawaii Chocolate. Pam and Bob Cooper grow, harvest, ferment, dry and roast their own beans and process it into chocolate, all on their own farm. Waialua Estate on the North Shore of Oahu is the largest cacao farm in Hawaii with 25 productive acres. They grow, harvest, ferment and dry their beans then ship them to Guittard in California to transform it into chocolate on state of the art equipemnt not yet to be found in Hawaii. There are dozens of other small farms on Kauai,Oahu, Big island and Maui, ranging from about 2-5 acres in size. Our hope is that one day Hawaii will support an industry in chocolate like the Napa Valley has done with wine. Our own trees are thriving in Maui...watch for our chocolate in a year or two.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Valentines Day is fast approaching. Guys, need a little help? Here's some do's and don'ts. If you have been dating for just a short while, DO give a gift box of chocolate but don't overdo it with one of those fabulous giant hearts. Chocolate will win her heart for sure. If you've been dating over a year that big heart would be most welcome and tell her she's pretty special. Ready to pop the big question? Bury that ring in with the chocolates for an extra special surprise or let us do a custom gift basket.
Married and want to spice things up? Kama Sutra makes some terrific and fun body products. Oil of Love is a massage oil made with vanilla, chocolate and spices. How about getting creative with chocolate or caramel body paint? Or a light dusting of edible Honey dust in chocolate. And don't forget the card...sure you could get one of those soapy Hallmark cards but how about an elegant hand made card from Artist Marilyn Jansen Lopes. We have a huge selection and the blank card inside lets YOU write a more meaningful personal message. Trust me you'll score big on this no matter how long you've been together.
Valentines is also a great excuse to tell your friends and co-workers that you care for them with a little treat. We have passionfruit kisses and cute 4 pc boxes with Essence of Rose, a Nipple of Venus, Red Velvet and a Salt Caramel.
Speaking of Nipple of Venus, for the those who really want some fun, ask about our Kama Sutra Chocolates...you must be 21 or over for a sneak peek...
We will have a limited supply of chocolate dipped strawberries on Valentines Day. These must be made and eaten the same day. Berries go soggy in the fridge overnight so you won't impress anyone by buying them the day before and would you trust something that fragile to ship a few days in the mail and be fresh without a preservative? Not. Come and get them after noon until we are sold out on Tuesday only. MAke it a great day!
Saturday, January 7, 2012
Happy new year 2012. Its an exciting time in chocolate. Our flagship Wailea store is open and doing well and we are in the thick of the winter season in Maui which means lots of tourists and the return of humpback whales. In November I enrolled in the Dept of Commerce's "Export University" program. There is a lot to exporting but it can potentially be lucrative. We went thru a rigorous process and paperwork to sell our products in Japan and now We are busy fulfilling a large order for a large Japanese Dept store and look forward to the filming in 2 weeks of a chocolate segment for Japanese TV and in store promotion.
We are officially EXPORTERS!
I am enjoying the seasonal /holiday change in store decor and product presentation. Each holiday is a chance to be creative and artistic. Now we are approaching Valentines Day, the largest chocolate holiday of the year. I've been shopping for packaging which is never an easy task. Especially when you are floating on an island in the ocean. I got in a few samples of things that did not impress me. heart packaging can be so drugstore cheesy when not done right and very elegant when made well. I think we finally have it settled and can now focus on some other products. We also carry Kama Sutra products in chocolate which are fun...body paint, body souffle, honey dust and chocolate massage oil.Its such a joy when people come in and discover the "perfect" gift for someone they love.
Also on our horizon is the Philadelphia International Flower show in March and The Honolulu Chocolate Festival in late February. Theres no resting in the winter!
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Our Wailea , Maui Chocolate Boutique will finally open in time for Mother's Day. This has been a nine month process from the day we signed our lease. Doing business in Hawaii is not easy. Our "offical" grand opening party will be June 16th in conjunction with the Wailea film festival.
We are located in the new Wailea Gateway shopping center at the end of the Pii'lani Hwy where it turns into Wailea Ike Drive and drops down into the resort. Our hours are 10am-7PM, 7 days a week.
In addition to our signature tropical chocolate truffles we feature Tropical Dreams Ice Cream and Sorbets from the Big Island.Cool off on your way back from Big Beach in our airconditioned chocolate paradise. www.sweetparadisechocolate.com
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Award Winning Hawaii Chocolatier adds Sweet Luxury to Maui
Award Winning Hawaii Chocolatier adds Sweet Luxury to Maui
Lahaina, Maui Oct 9th, 2010
Sweet Paradise Chocolatier, an artisan chocolate company owned by Melanie Boudar with a retail location in Kailua, Oahu is expanding its horizons to Maui.
The company has relocated its production kitchen from the Big Island of Hawaii to the Lahaina Design Center in West Maui due to open mid October. It will be an open concept kitchen where customers can order a handmade hot chocolate or 100% Hawaiian drip/French press coffee, and sit and watch the artisan chocolates being made. You may also purchase a guided tasting flight of world origin chocolates including Hawaii grown chocolate.
Customers can purchase fresh take home boxes of chocolates direct from the kitchen showcase which will tempt you with its myriad of colors ,textures and flavors such as Coconut Curry, Lilikoi Silk, Mango Mojito, Cappucino Tiramisu Lime in the Coconut, Lemon Basil with Pink Peppercorn or Wasbe Ginger Sesame. Melanie creates over 40 unique and tropical flavor truffles and confections, whose hand painted artistry looks like edible gems, and is made with premium dark , milk and white chocolates.
Melanie chose the Lahaina Design Center after meeting award- winning kitchen designer Rick Cowan of Archipelago Maui. Archipelago built out the unique commercial kitchen for Sweet Paradise Chocolatier which looks more like a TV set from the Food Network than an industrial kitchen. The Lahaina Design Center and Sweet Paradise Chocolatier plan to host various chocolate and cooking classes plus foodie events in the new space.
Sweet Paradise Chocolatier has also signed a lease with the new Wailea Gateway Center, Piilani Hwy at Wailea Ike Dr and will join other fine retailers and restaurants like Merrimans, Pita Paradise and Waterlily Boutique in that location. The store is scheduled to open in time for Xmas and will also feature Tropical Dreams Premium Ice Cream, Gelato and Sorbets, made on the Big Island . In her signature style Melanie has designed the store interior to showcase the world origins of fine chocolate from the colorful cocoa pods produced by the tree to finished bars and confections. The store will feature a life size replica of a cacao tree created by artist Elizabeth Miller of Volcano.
Melanie has won numerous awards for her chocolate artistry including the Coveted Judges Choice award 3 years running at the Kona Chocolate Festival, Kailua Chamber of Commerce’s best new Business in 2009 , 2010 Talk of the Town Customer Service award, and The Edible Hawaiian Islands Magazine Local Hero Food Artisan award in 2010.
More information contact: Melanie Boudar Hawaiichocolate@gmail.com
Or (808) 557-5358 www.sweetparadisechocolate.com