Manoa Chocolate on Oahu

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We always make it a point to stop by our favorite chocolate shop, Manoa Chocolate, when we are on Oahu. We first stumbled across the craft chocolate makers back in 2015. Back then, they occupied a tiny shop across the parking lot on the top floor of Kailua Square Shopping Center. We booked their “Tour & Tasting Experience” and were blown away by their entire lineup of chocolates. Even now, they remain our favorite craft chocolate makers, and we have chocolate shipped to our home on the mainland in large batches!

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At the time, the owners took an active role in the tour and tasting. You could tell they have a huge passion for chocolate and the entire process. They were extremely knowledgable and we learned so much about the world of cacao. For instance, it was through them that we learned that the fleshy pulp surrounding the cacao seeds can be eaten. Fast forward a few years later, and we finally got to try the fruit at the Lavaloha Tree to Chocolate Tour. We were surprised that the fruit itself tasted nothing like the chocolate we know and love today!

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Manoa Chocolate's new facility is much larger and they staff a few more “chocolate sommeliers” than when we first started going. When you walk in, it feels like stepping into a boutique winery. This may have been the intention, since they now offer wine and chocolate pairing experiences in addition to their classic tasting experience.

Supporting the Hawaiian Community

Although we miss some of Manoa Chocolate’s original offerings, we love that they have shifted more focus towards sourcing their cacao beans from Hawaiian growers. Hawaiian grown chocolate bars are not something you come across on most shelves. This is due to the fact that cacao has only gained traction as a commercial crop in the last few decades, even though it has been around on the islands for almost 200 years.

They have also created a “Support Maui Bar” in which the net proceeds go towards disaster relief. Purchases can be made on their website,

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Our Top Picks

There is a Manoa Chocolate bar to suite any preference. They come in a variety of flavor notes and you can even find chocolates made with alternative milks such as goats milk and coconut milk! Just like with any good wine or whiskey, each of their single origin chocolate bars have a distinct flavor and are aptly named after the region that the beans are sourced from. It’s hard to choose a favorite, but the ones we recommend and ALWAYS keep stocked are the following:

The cacao nibs are also great on ice cream or acai bowls. A little goes a long way, so we usually get the smaller bag of nibs. On the palate there are flavor notes of roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate upfront which leads into a burst of banana and cherry. They have a delightful crunch with a slight bitterness that enhances the sweet notes in whatever you pair it with. Not only do they taste delicious, but they are also considered a superfood and are packed with antioxidants.

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Art & Events

Manoa Chocolate is not only supporting Hawaii's agriculture and reforestation efforts, but they are an important part of the art and cultural community. Many of the chocolate bar covers are illustrated by Shar Tuiasoa of Punky Aloha Studio, a local artist, and they also host frequent live events showcasing local musical talents. 

Check out their website for the latest updates, event calendar, order online or to book an experience.

We hope you give Manoa Chocolate a try, and if you do be sure to let us know your thoughts! If you can't make your way to their store located in Kailua, HI, you can now find their chocolates at a Whole Foods near you!

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