Maui Preserved Hits Local Store Shelves

Maui Preserved products on sale at Whole Foods Market in Kahala. Photo courtesy Kerry Wilkins.

“Our whole mission to use grown on Maui produce and spices and craft pantry items both traditional and new,” says Kerry Wilkins of Haiku-based Maui Preserved. “We are working hard to bridge the gap between farmer’s and consumers to make our state more sustainable.”

Just listed as being among the “Best of Hawaii” by Hawaii Magazine, their products are now being sold at Whole Foods Market stores in Kahala and Kailua on Oahu, as well as the Whole Foods Market in Kahului on Maui.

As part of Maui Preserved’s local launch, company co-founder Anthony LaBua-Keiser will be doing a demo at Whole Foods in Kahala this Saturday, October 20, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

From Kerry Wilkins, Maui Preserved:

Photo courtesy Kerry Wilkins/Maui Preserved.

With green tea in our pickled beets and pineapple steeped in Hawaiian chile pepper syrup, Maui Preserved bottles our dynamic food culture here in Maui.

Maui Preserved is rooted in the idea that eating locally, Maui grown fruits and vegetables is not only good for our health and community but intensely delicious. Rich volcanic soils, afternoon mists and year round sunshine yield a variety of produce. Tourists and locals alike vie for a taste of the island’s delectable tropical fruits and in season vegetables. Maui Preserved savors these beautiful harvests jar by jar by producing jams, pickles, sauces syrups, and vanilla beans.

Timing is everything. How long does it take for a shipment to arrive from the mainland to the islands? Our cucumbers don’t take a boat ride! Starting with the highest-quality local produce, our products capture flavor at the peak of freshness for your enjoyment year round.

The mission of Maui Preserved is to deliver farm fresh produce into your pantries while
protecting Maui’s ability to grow and eat locally. Maui Preserved allows our farmers to sell their produce reliably while maintaining stride to make Hawaii more sustainable. We are preserving our island’s food culture one jar at a time. Our products start and finish in Maui, giving a dependable excellence to our customers.

Maui Preserved was started in June 2010 by Maleta Van Loan and Anthony LaBua.

Maleta Van Loan graduated from The Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts, New York in 2005. Starting as a line chef at Pure Food and Wine, Maleta evolved to manage not only restaurant finances but also their premier raw food snack line One Lucky Duck. Excelling in restaurant and food management, she continued her education at Baruch College, New York in 2008 pursuing professional studies in finance.

Anthony LaBua worked throughout New York City, from Smith Street in Brooklyn to Olives in the W Hotel New York in Union Square, before becoming the Executive Sous Chef at the Fine dining restaurant Pure Food and Wine in 2006. While working Anthony also volunteered at the James Beard House in the West Village, and attended the Institute of Culinary Education while moonlighting there as a stagiare. He graduated with a degree in Culinary Management in 2008.

Maleta and Anthony both obtained Certificates of Food Protection from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene of New York. Considered one of the most stringent courses on Food Safety in the Nation, the certification enables them to manage their kitchen and food production to the highest of standards.

Maui Preserved is hand packed in Haiku, Maui. For more information please send us an email at

Madre Chocolate Takes Silver at International Chocolate Awards

Madre Chocolate, based in part in Kailua, announced today that it has won the World Silver Medal for their Triple Cacao bar in the International Chocolate Awards in England.

Madre was one of only four American companies to win world final medals, and the youngest company to win. Madre Chocolates is only two years old.

This same bar had recently won the US Gold medal and Americas Silver medal in the International Chocolate Awards flavored dark chocolate category and the NW Chocolate Festival Inclusions Silver medal.

The Triple Cacao bar is the only bar in the world that incorporates the tangy, lychee-tasting fruit of the cacao pod as well as nutty, crunchy nibs and smooth, rich dark chocolate to give you a taste of three flavors and textures all from cacao. This bar, and Madre’s full line up of Hawaiian and Latin American chocolates, are showing the world that we can make world-class chocolate right here in Hawaii creating a great market for the new but rapidly growing cacao crop in the Islands.

Madre Chocolate’s cofounders David Elliott and Nat Bletter said they were elated and proud of the worldwide recognition of their hard work and social mission to support cacao growing communities throughout the tropics, but only rested briefly to relish the award from the lengthy work of selecting, sorting, roasting, cracking, winnowing, grinding, tempering, and wrapping their chocolate from cacao bean to bar.

“We’ve got to get back to making more of these delicious bars to meet the imminent surge in demand locally and from halfway across the globe,” said Madre flavormeister Bletter, and then returned to his task of making sure each cacao nib for the Triple Cacao bar was exactly 1.5 mm wide with a digital caliper and a quadriflux confocal laser microscope.

Elliott, Madre’s expert chocolate maker, could not give further comment as he was already off in a cloud of cocoa powder to conche another batch of chocolate for this award-winning bar.

Madre Chocolate bars, bean-to-bar chocolate making kits, and Cinnamon Daddy Mactella are available in their online store, and in stores throughout Hawaii, the US mainland, and across Europe in Belgium, Holland, Germany, and Sweden.

Submitted by Nat Bletter of Madre Chocolate.