HOW IT ALL STARTED
In 2010, we happened upon a little taro plantation in Upper Waiehu, on the slopes of the mountains of West Maui. The property was host to a quaint century-old house, taro ponds, and it had an abundance fruit and coconut trees — we fell in love with it, and just had to make it our own piece of paradise. We then set out on a mission to nurture our little aina, restore the plantation home, grow food staples native to the area, and preserve this piece of Hawaiian heritage.
While clearing up the weeds around the property, we came across an enormous pile of brown, mature coconuts at the base of one of our coconut trees. We didn’t know what to do with them, as we’d only ever seen tourists drink coconut water from the young, green coconuts. It was soon after this discovery that we came across another find: Aunt Jeanie’s stand at a local Maui farmers market. We sampled her coconut candy and were instantly hooked.
Each week after, we would go back to the farmers market and buy her delicious confections, only to devour them all before reaching home. During a conversation on one of our visits to her stand, Aunt Jeanie told us that is was becoming more difficult for her to source local coconuts each year, as the brown coconuts are only harvested when they’ve freshly fallen from the trees and aren’t picked when they’re green. We told her about our huge supply of mature coconuts, and then started supplying her with coconuts for her candy until she retired and moved to the South Pacific in 2013.
AUNTIE JEANIE’S HERITAGE
After her retirement, Jeanie graciously handed down her candy recipe to us. We knew we couldn’t keep this gem to ourselves, and we started making and hand slicing coconut candy so that people could continue to get a taste of this treat. In addition to Aunt Jeanie’s original dark roasted, sweeter coconut candy we started to make a lighter, less sweet candy, island fruit and nut medley, macadamia nut brittle, and fresh roasted macadamia nuts. We’re proud to carry on her tradition of selling at the local Maui Swap Meet Market every Saturday morning.
HAWAIIAN HERITAGE FARMS FARMING THEIR OWN INGREDIENTS
Small scale candy making has taught us to think outside the box — if we consume and use certain ingredients so often, why not grow what we need? We did just that, and now Hawaiian Heritage Farms has our own vanilla orchid vines, mangoes, and macadamia trees. Our first vanilla blossoms made their appearance in May of 2015, and we successfully hand pollinated two vanilla beans. It’s a labor of love, but we hope to grow and harvest all of our own vanilla beans by 2017.
While we don’t have a brick and mortar retail store, Hawaiian Heritage Farms products can be found at many of Maui’s boutiques, artisan shops, and natural food stores. We’d love to have you join our customer family and enjoy the fruits of our labor.