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I first met Nat Bletter at the Haleiwa Farmers Market a few years back. He and his friend David Elliott had been putting on what looked like a science experiment for a group of people huddled under their tent. But as I peered over someone’s shoulder, I realized they were making something far more interesting than any high school science class I ever took. They were making chocolate!
Turns out, they owned a small chocolate shop in Kailua called Madre Chocolate; before that, however, they traveled the world to learn more about this wonderful creation. And now, they’re moving on to even sweeter things. Nat and David plan to open a second location in Chinatown, where they hope to have a garden space for growing ingredients, as well as a cacao cafe and chocolate shop.
As for the Kailua location, it will be converted into a truffle confectionary, according to a “Pacific Business News” article. This is where they’ll be expanding their line of sweets usually only offered during the holidays. Like having Christmas all year long.
What I admire most about this pair is their constant push to educate customers. After the demo in Haleiwa, I realized just how much goes on into making that bar of chocolate I splurge on from time to time, hehe. Knowing that its homegrown to Hawaii is even all the better. Madre Chocolate offers hands-on classes throughout the year. These include learning how to pair beers (or tea) with chocolates and also how to make your own bar of choc. All very unique to Hawaii and exciting for this growing local business!