New: Kokolani Chocolates and the Chocolate Festival

Truffles from Kokolani Chocolates, Kailua's newest chocolatier

Kailua is the only place on the island where chocolate is grown, processed and made into confections, thanks to bean-to-bar makers Madre Chocolate and Manoa Chocolate, and the newest chocolate kid on the block: Kokolani Chocolates, which produces truffles and candies.

For the upcoming Chocolate Festival at Dole Cannery, Kokolani plans on highlighting a Kailua-grown and -made truffle—the cacao grown in Maunawili, the chocolate processed by Manoa Chocolate, and the final candy shaped by Kokolani. Virginia Douglas, who calls herself a former chocolate gypsy who has now found a home in her tiny chocolate shop on Kuulei Street, doesn't limit herself to Windward chocolate, though. She also uses Waialua Estate's chocolate for her Hawaiian dark truffles and one of Valrhona's (the famed French chocolate maker) latest products, a blond chocolate, for a sweet that tastes like caramelized white chocolate filled with a soft dulce de leche.

Her truffle flavors also include passionfruit, strawberry guava, mango mint, coconut with kaffir, chai, and hibiscus. Expect more unique flavors down the line; Douglas recently purchased a machine to make her own essential oils.

In the meantime, you'll be able to try Kokolani's uniquely Kailua confection at the annual Chocolate Festival celebrating local chocolate and chocolatiers, on Saturday February 22.  More than 30 vendors, including Choco Lea, Padovani's Chocolate, Madre Chocolate, Manoa Chocolate and Hawaiian Nougat will be there to showcase their treats.

Kokolani Chocolates, 324 Kuulei Road, 781-6353
Hawaii Chocolate Festival, $20 in advance/$25 at the door, Saturday, February 22 at Dole Cannery,