Kazemaru YukawaFounder / Creator of Aloha Feels
Chocolate had a magic ambience for me since I was a child and during my teenage years my mum said chocolate is good for a lovesick or broken heart. My father was an expert and a teacher in the benefits of Japanese green tea, which initially was reserved only for the Zen monks and the nobility in ancient Japan. Through studying about tea I became aware that similarly, cacao drinks were initially only reserved for the Native American Chiefs. Chocolate seemed so potent in making us stronger and happier.
With a professional background in Eastern Medicine and also in Workplace Wellbeing at Oxford Leadership I have extensive experience in individual health and a healthy workforce. It was in 2009 during a session with the Global Vice President of Brand and Sustainable Development at Unilever that the thought of starting a tree to bar chocolate business took birth. We discussed fairness and human sustainability in business and instead of teaching about it, I felt inspired to actually develop a business that functions on the basis of the principles of love all the way through the process of the product, for the team and for whom we serve.
The majority of the world Chocolate industry currently sources their product (cacao) from areas involving slavery and forced child labour. This is one of the main reasons big industry processed chocolate is so cheap. Human trafficking in the cacao industry being such an issue made me thing that chocolate, which is so connected to love and celebration, would be the perfect vehicle through which to raise awareness. To understand more about the modern slavery I took a Certification Course in Ending Modern Slavery by Professor Kevin Bales offered through the Nottingham University. Concluded to support with some of the handpicked organisations that work with getting children away from slavery on the cacao fields.
December 2013 we planted the first 250 cacao trees and already in 2015 there were cacao pods ready to be harvested. End of 2017 finally the product was ready in chocolate form. Finally, my long dream to develop a chocolate brand that is healthy and can share joy without hurting anybody’s life is coming alive. I deeply believe nobody’s pain should be part of our pleasure and I always had passion for whatever brings a little more joy into peoples lives. People suffer enough illness and struggle so slave-free Hawaiian chocolate is an easy way to share a little Heavenly Aloha in people’s lives. Especially that the cacao is growing in the beautiful island of Hawaii and the values of Aloha is what I believe in.
To support the Hawaiian Cacao industry I became a member of The Hawaii Cacao and Chocolate Association (https://hawaiichocolate.org/) I have learned about Hawaiian cacao and chocolate on the go and have so many people to thank for getting this company and product ready.
Short summary About Why I run a Hawaiian chocolate company:
1. To raise awareness of what customers support with their wallet,
2. To donate a percentage of the membership fees to organizations working against slave work in the cacao industry or child labour. (To make sure the money goes to the right place I have done a lot of research and contacted the organizations we decided to affiliate with.)
3. To support Hawaii’s growing cacao industry
4. But most of all to bring a little bar of heavenly bliss into people’s life!you