Two Sunday’s ago I had the fortunate opportunity to check out the 2nd Annual Cacao Festival at the Haleiwa’s Farmer’s Market. Actually, me going to this event happened on a whim. The day before, Ernest (remember Waldo from the Makapuu to Tom-Tom hike?) invited me to check out the festival with him. I heard about it a few days earlier but had forgotten about it when Ernest brought it up. My interest was renewed now that I had someone to go with. The funny thing is that we never really set a time to go. That Sunday, I woke up a bit late, jumped in my car and drove to Haleiwa wondering if Ernest would still be joining me. Before heading to the Farmer’s Market, I made a pitstop at the Haleiwa American Savings Bank to grab some quick cash. It turned out that Ernest had reached Haleiwa at around the same that I stopped at the ATM. Cool. Only thing, he missed the Farmer’s Market and ended up lost somewhere in the North Shore. Fortunately, I guided him to the intersection of Jospeh P. Leong Bypass & Kamehameha Hwy and he was able to find his way the Farmer’s Market. All this excitement and we hadn’t even checked out the Cacao Festival yet!
The Haleiwa Farmer’s Market was definitely bustling and packed with people. It was great to see such a large crowd supporting local businesses. As I walked around and checked out the different vendors I became impressed by the large number of local business that I had never heard of prior. This was great and I was very stoked. The various cacao vendors where interspersed with the regular maker sellers. Our first stop was at the
Waialua Estate Sweet Paradise Chocolatier Brew Bar where they were serving Hawaiian Hot Chocolate Shots. Ernest bought me a shot and my taste buds were instantly surprised, shocked, and satisfied. The shot included 70% Hawaiian grown Waialua Estate chocolate, local vanilla bean, ginger, cinnamon, and Hawaiian chili pepper. The shot was amazing.
Hawaiian Hot Chocolate Shots. Photo by Coty Gonzales.
Waialua Estate Coffee. Photo by Coty Gonzales.
Fresh Coffee Beans. Photo by Coty Gonzales.
My next stop was at the Roots of Hawaii Tea stand. They were giving away samples of their Noni Sweetlove tea, which contained noni leaf, raspberry leaf, lemon grass, hibiscus, and stevia. The seller mentioned that it was good for aiding the digestive system, and helps to rid of acid reflex, heartburn and gas. It did taste good.
The very friendly Roots of Hawaii Tea stand. Photo by Coty Gonzales.
Kava Shots. Photo by Coty Gonzales.
At the very end of the lot, under a huge tent was Malie Kai Chocolates. I love chocolate, so again, I was surprised that I had never heard about this chocolatier. Their chocolates are made entirely from cacao beans that are grown on the North Shore. They had really nice packaging and of course, the chocolates tasted very rich. The only drawback was that these premium chocolates have a hefty price tag relative to the average Nestle chocolate bar. Then again, these are all Hawaii made organic chocolates. How can you not like that? After this event I had a new found appreciation for finely made chocolates.
The neat Malie Kai Chocolates table. Photo by Coty Gonzales.
Tiny Pineapples. Photo by Coty Gonzales.
Once I had my fill of samples from Malie Kai Chocolates, I made my way over to Ono Pops. Now, this was a vendor that I was 100% familiar with. I had tasted their product at one of the Eat The Street events last year. I remember their pops being super refreshing and very tasty. I wanted some. I ordered a Lilikoi 50/50 for myself and a Chinese Chocolate concoction (I can’t remember the real name, I think it was 6-spice Chinese Chocolate). Yep, my memory served me right. These pops were so delicious, especially on this particularly sunny day. And I finally found out why it’s called Lilikoi 50/50. It’s because they can’t use the trademarked term “creamsicle.” Instead, they went with the term “50/50″ which was used by an old and now defunct popsicle maker to describe their “creamsicle” like popsicles.
Lilikoi 50/50 from Ono Pops. Photo by Coty Gonzales.
Ernest enjoying his 6-Spice Chinese Chocolate popsicle. Photo by Coty Gonzales.
The Ono Pops guy. He was cool. Photo by Coty Gonzales.
Keep The Country Country Button Jar. Photo by Coty Gonzales.
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