March 30: Menehune Mac
“The chocolate is fantastic and Menehune Mac makes their candies by hand!” The sold-out Boardroom for Menehune Mac gave the HSBP members insight into an original Hawaii manufacturing company that is able to stay profitable in the age of mechanized chocolates.
The lucky HSBP members were able to make their own box of wrapped chocolates and to learn to pour and mix chocolates with mac nuts.
Then HSBP members were led on a tour of the factory by Menehune Mac President Neal Arakaki. The 35,000 sq ft building is staffed by experienced chocolate makers making the chocolates “by hand”. We were able to see the mac nut candies from its start – as a ten pound bar of Guittard chocolate, through the heating process and tempering process right through boxing the chocolates.
Menehune Mac’s President described how his mac nuts and chocolates use the best chocolate available and nuts from the Big Island. Tempering is a tricky process and the next time you eat a chocolate that scratches the back of your throat you will know that the tempering was done too quickly, so that large sugar crystals formed. No large sugar crystals in the delicious Menhune Mac products!
Packaging also is specialized and the only mechanized process at the factory. Menehune Mac was the first in Hawaii to use the packaging system developed in Japan and utilizing plastic wrap used in medical facilities and hospitals!
Touring the showroom, HSBP members were able to purchase the delicious chocolates and to also purchase some of Menehune Mac’s newest products, like Liliikoi Bars, that are only carried by Neiman Marcus.