A Chinatown Chocolate Factory Whose Entire Profits Help the Homeless
Chocolate on a Mission even has some Easter treats—but you need to preorder today.
Easter is coming. And with Easter comes chocolate. I found a locally made chocolate operation in an unlikely place: the heart of Chinatown.
Chocolate on a Mission is distinctive not just for its location. They’re a non-profit chocolate factory. All the proceeds go to homeless outreach programs in Hawai‘i. “Out of everything that’s sold, 100% of the proceeds are donated to River of Life for the sake of funding the housing and feeding programs. This is a two-prong spirit of trying to help,” says Hector Acosta, Chocolate on a Mission’s director of chocolate. “On one side we offer job training and enrichment for people who are seeking it. And all of the money that gets made gets funneled back into the mission, into the social work that they do.”
According to Acosta, Chocolate on a Mission was created to provide job training for people transitioning out of homelessness and drug addiction. Career chocolatiers like Ana Sagadraca lead the chocolate-making. You can find everything from various chocolate bars to chocolate-dipped dried mango and chocolate-covered crunches. Of the chocolate candies, the Custom Fortune Cookie is popular for events and gatherings. A premium house blend of dark and milk chocolate covers a crisp fortune cookie. A mini sugar decoration tops it. Custom fortune cookies are $1.99 each. A minimum order of 30 is required for custom messages. Custom message crafted by you.
I mentioned Easter. Chocolate on a Mission is selling minty chocolate-covered Oreos decorated with a bunny, chick or Easter egg. But you have to order by today, Wednesday for pickup this Friday. Why Friday? The factory and shop are closed on weekends. Especially Easter weekend. Order online or by phone at (808) 524-7770. If you pre-pay, you can arrange for curbside pickup.
If you don’t like minty Oreos, Sagadraca says you can walk in and buy other chocolates and get Easter stickers to put on them. The shop at Maunakea and Pauahi streets is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. except on Thursday. On Thursday they close at 2:30 for worship.
The best-sellers are their barks. Barks come in 4.5-ounce gift bags for $11.99 each. Additional flavors include Blended Olena, Coffee N Cream, and Sea Salt Onyx Chocolate Bark. The most popular are:
Minty Matcha Chocolate Bark
A blend of white chocolate and matcha mix, created by Sagadraca. The first thing I notice is the color. An eye-catching pastel green. The chocolate has an extremely smooth finish. I expect the mint to overpower the matcha, but I find it to be well balanced. The sweetness is light and pairs well with the silky texture.
Chef Russell’s Coffee Crunch Chocolate Bark
A bark made with Hawaiian roasted coffee and inspired by local chef Russell Siu. Acosta considers this his go-to. He recommends it to fellow coffee fans like himself.
The coffee flavor blends well with the richness of the chocolate. A roasted aroma fills my nose, then I bite into an airy chocolate crunch. The bitter coffee finish is satisfying and leaves me wanting more.
Dark N Spicy Chocolate Ginger Bark
A dark chocolate bark sprinkled with bits of organic spicy ginger sourced from Kaua‘i. Acosta recommends this for chocolate lovers who aren’t sweet tooths.The dark chocolate flavor is strong, a bitter sourness accompanied by a light sweetness. A slight ginger zest leaves a mild spicy sensation lingering on my taste buds.
If you’re looking for an opportunity to volunteer, you can sign up to work in the chocolate factory either labeling, packing or sorting chocolate goods. Frolic’s Maria Burke volunteers at Chocolate on a Mission and tipped me off about this remarkable chocolate factory. She even convinced me to volunteer. Maybe I’ll see you there sometime!
To view the chocolate selections, place an order, or volunteer, check out the website.
101 N. Pauahi St. 3rd floor, (808) 524-7770, chocolateonamission.com