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 inspiration of starting a tree to bar chocolate brand took birth. Rather than discussing fairness and human sustainability 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 worlds 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. Chocolate which is so connected to love and celebration is a perfect sample through which to highlight that slavery and Human trafficking should not exist. I took a Certification Course in Ending Modern Slavery by Professor Kevin Bales at the Nottingham University which reaffirmed my decision to work with a few specially selected organisations that work to get 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. Nobody’s pain should be part of our pleasure and whatever brings a little more joy into peoples lives is worth striving for. People struggle enough as it is and slave-free Hawaiian chocolate is an easy way to share a little Heavenly Aloha in their life and introducing the values of Aloha.
To support the Hawaiian Cacao industry I also am 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 revenues to organizations working against slavery and child labor in the cacao industry. (To make sure the money goes to the right place I have done a lot of research and am in close contact with the organizations we are affiliated 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