Founder / Creator of Aloha Feels
Chocolate had a magical ambiance ever since I was a child. During my teenage years, my mum said chocolate is good for being lovesick or for a 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. By studying tea I became aware that 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 Workplace Wellbeing at Oxford Leadership, I have extensive experience in individual health and a healthy workforce. In 2009, during a session with the Global Vice President of Brand and Sustainable Development at Unilever, the inspiration of starting a tree to bar chocolate brand took birth. Rather than discussing fairness and human sustainability, I felt inspired to develop a business that functions based on the principles of love through the process of the product, for the team, and for whom we serve.
The majority of the world's Chocolate industry currently sources their product (cacao) from areas involving slavery and forced child labour. Slavery is one of the main reasons big industry processed chocolate is so cheap. Chocolate is connected to love and celebration, is a perfect example on why slavery and Human trafficking should not exist. During my Certification Course in Ending Modern Slavery by Professor Kevin Bales at the Nottingham University, it reaffirming my decision to work with a few specially selected organizations that work to get save children from slavery in the cacao industry.
In December of 2013, my company, Aloha Feels, planted the first 250 cacao trees, and by 2015, there were cacao pods ready to be harvested. Finally, by the end of 2017, Aloha Feels has chocolate bars made from the cacao pods planted in 2013. My dream to develop a healthy chocolate brand and share joy without hurting anybody was finally coming alive! Pain of any kind should not be part of our pleasure and whatever brings a little more joy into people's lives is worth striving for. People struggle enough, and slave-free Hawaiian chocolate is an easy way to share a bit of 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. I have so many people to thank for getting this company and product ready.
To sum it all up, I run a Hawaiian chocolate company because:
1. I want to raise awareness of what customers support with their wallet,
2. I want to donate a percentage of the revenues to organizations working against slavery and child labor in the cacao industry. (I have done a lot of research and am in close contact with the organizations we are affiliated with to ensure the money goes to the right places and makes an impact).
3. I want to support Hawaii's growing cacao industry
4. But most of all, I want to bring a little bar of heavenly bliss into people's lives!