The Hawaii Chocolate Meeting
Aloha! Thanks to the replies. We conducted a survey to assess the status of Hawaii cacao/chocolate industry and thanks to those who fed us the necessary information. The results were presented during the Hawaii Chocolate meeting last September 28, 2011 at the Hawaii State Capitol. Thanks to Skip Bittenbender and Amy Hammond who made this meeting possible. The participants agreed to organize Hawaii Chocolate Association, which willprovide central point (clearinghouse) for information in and out of Hawaii and to look out for the interests of the cacao / chocolate industry. A committee takes charge to research on the type of the association and other matters. A meeting will be called later this October and the Strategic Planning Workshop will be conducted sometime in December. We also deeply appreciate the presence of Representative Corrine Ching who is very much willing to support the industry.
Amy Hammond presented the review of the Hawaii ChocolateFestival 2011. It featured all the various
activities and sponsors during the Festival. The video made by the Hawaiian Airlines featuring Hawaii and its cacao/chocolate industry was also presented. I happened to view the video during my travel from the Philippines to Hawaii last August 18, 2011. Both videos were superb! You must see it, guys! The next Hawaii Chocolate Festival is set on February 26, 2012, February being declared as the Hawaii Chocolate Month. You may contact Amy Hammond for your inquiries regarding the Festival.
Dan O'Doherty presented the update on the Statewide Cacao Variety Trials by the UHM. More cacao will be planted to other sites of Hawaii for the variety trials. It gained more interest from the cacao growers present during the meeting and invited Dan to visit their farm and conduct same trial in their locations.
The meeting ended up with the simple evaluation of the whole day activity. Here are the comments:
+ We liked: Food, venue, cooperation of attendees, capturing viewpoints, interaction with others in the group, positive collective energy, facilitator, ability to network, became aware of what is happening, decorations, legislator present, democratic nature of meeting.
> We should change next time: more available parking, more chocolate, cover more farm issues, interisland
interactive connection , Skype??, shorter meeting , post meeting tour of something chocolate, everyone bring chocolate.
For me, it was a very comprehensive, insightful meeting. It was indeed a very fruitful and rewarding day for all of us! Skip was a great facilitator, always providing information- neat and clean. Amy is great at organizing events, with all of her skills from decorating to networking. Thanks to all who participated in the meeting. It won’t happen without your help.
The Cacao Bean to Chocolate Tour
I visited the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory last October 14, 2011. Mr. Bob Cooper is a very good host who was so kind to tour us to his cacao orchard and factory. He sells a nice DVD at $15 showing the process from bean to bar at the OHCF.
The Kona Chocolate Symposium and Festival
I attended the Kona Chocolate Symposium and Festival on October 15, 2011. I was not that contented as to what they called symposium because it happened to be just a demo on chocolate beverages making. Only three chocolate recipes were taught. I liked the chocolate martini and the Chocolate with coconut cream and curry, though! I hope to get some more from the symposium next time, I hope they get better on that.
That evening, I enjoyed the Kona Chocolate Festival. It offered more chocolate food tastings, with wine, more music and dancing! It was also a venue of silent auction of many products and services in Hawaii. The festival was scheduled from 6:00pm- 10:00pm. So bad, I had to leave at 7:00pm to catch the flight to Honolulu.
God’s Amazing Perfect Work of Art!
I enjoyed the at least a part of the Big Island, the Outrigger Keauhou Hotel, the music, the dances, its beautiful sceneries and beaches depicting God’s amazing perfect work of art!
I especially would like to thank my Adviser, Dr. Skip Bittenbender who picked me up at my apartment at 3:45am and dropped me off to the airport to catch my 5:00am flight. He and his wife Dr. Donna Ching again picked me up at the airport at 9:30pm. So nice of them!
I am also happy to have met fellow Filipinos, Manny Cabanas who picked me up at the airport and drove me to the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory to the Keauhou Hotel and Dr. Sonny Genio who was so kind to treat me for a lunch and sent me off to the airport to catch my 8:30pm flight.
I am so very grateful to the Fulbright Program which gave me the opportunity to travel here at the US and learn and enjoy all the adventures that come my way. Above all, for all these overwhelming blessings- I give all the praises and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ. He's really awesome!