Top

Producer

Hakalau Chocolate
Address: Po Box 100036 Hakalau, HI, 96710
About Us
Owners: Dan Kelly and Rachel Laderman
Website: www.kulikefarm.com
Location: Hakalau


Kulike Farm is an off-grid, organic permaculture farm with ~400 cacao trees and many other tropical food plants. We are on the flank of Mauna Kea, in Hakalau, at 1000’ elevation. Our main crop is cacao, which we make into a unique 2-ingredient honey-sweetened chocolate bar. Our bars only use local ingredients, so each is truly 100% Hawaiian. This chocolate embodies the values of the farm - made with all Hawaiian ingredients, in partnership with other small organic farmer friends, with all aspects of production as clean and simple and good to the earth as possible. On the farm, we grow the cacao, ferment and dry it. We take the dried beans to the Hilo Food Hub to complete the processing in a commercial kitchen – roasting, cracking, winnowing, blending in a melanger for several days, and then pouring into bars or filling pouches with bulk cacao products. We sell Hakalau Chocolate in small local stores and also via a website and a farmstand on our property. We offer individualized tours that include tasting tropical fruits along with learning how we make chocolate from bean to bar.
Practices
We began our journey towards energy and food self-sufficiency in 2007, starting with restoring soil health and flora/fauna diversity to this 20 acres that had been a gravel mine as well as sugar cane land. We only use organic methods for growing foods and try to source our materials from the island; so we make our own compost from inputs such as fishpond dredging, coconut coir, and chipped branches, and we make our own wood chips for mulch. We incorporate permaculture methods such as hugelkulture mounds, food forests, mixed orchards with support species, and many layers of nitrogen-fixing plants for chop-and-drop mulching. The farm now hosts a diverse ecosystem with thriving soil microbiology, hundreds of food plants, numerous birds, and pollinators. We have a mix of canoe plants (taro, coconuts, bananas, sugarcane), native plants and introduced food plants, growing in edible landscaping style throughout the farm. We have a large Korean Natural Farming style chicken coop inside of a chicken food forest and sell organic eggs to neighbors. We also have an Airbnb, and enjoy giving guests tours of all these systems plus our waterfall!