It’s common to buy ingredients from the wholesale club. Less common is to go the farm. Uncommon is to study climate, soil nutrition, aquifers, peak sweetness and Lava Lava Love to do it.
Does greater challenge make more savory the triumph? Yes - I think so. Victories feel more honest and genuine when they cost some sweat and effort. Old school? Maybe. Or, perhaps I’m a challenge junkie who gets his jollies breaking the norms.
First year in business an airline had us improve its snacks for first class passengers. Contract for tropical dried fruit trail mix was solid enough that a bank loaned $100,000 for machines and materials. New machines were humming, a container load of pineapple, mango and coconut were chopped and things were right on schedule September 2001. But we never made delivery. The tragedy of 911 canceled that order.
Bank loan, payroll, rent, aging fruits and zero income to pay the bills… in the ashes of failure are embers of new inspiration. That setback sparked our first tropical fruit macadamia shortbread cookies.
Took things to the next level by dressing our gourmet cookies in sophistication and style. Neiman Marcus became our client. Sales grew enough to warrant opening a boutique in the grandest hotel in Waikiki. (With sincere humility I say, to this day; I have never seen an epicure product that equals Clara Confectioners.) But once more setbacks struck - the economy soured and the hotel closed for renovations. This time my loan was $300,000 and once again no way to pay it.
In the ashes of failure are embers of new inspiration … little did we know that wholesale clubs had an appetite for hidden treasures. In 2007 we transitioned from star of epicure to gem of wholesale club.
Maybe the law of attraction is real. Could my thrill of hurdling fissures actually be a magnet for disasters? Lord knows we’ve had more than our fair share of tough roads. But every struggle has led us to finer ingredients. Each adversity has innovated quality of production. What I’m proudest about is that in the face of failure; our passion for perfection did not bend to shortcuts nor compromise purity nor diminish quality. Every solution began by aiming to surpass the “best”.
In 2014 a client needed help to deplete an excess supply of nuts. Bakers brittle was born.
Do good deeds begat better blessings? Are great struggles training for greater triumph? Absolutely YES! Maybe everything does happen for a reason. For the past 15 years we have counted on you to demand WOW. You can count on us to never quit (no matter what happens) the pursuit of WOW. It’s true … “life is better with a little NUTS!”
My favorite creation is our Island Biscotti, a fluffy passion fruit and guava loaf sprinkled with pineapple, mango, papaya and macadamia, then baked twice. The best parts are the crispy crusts covered with chewy island fruits. I used to share them at the beach with my crew. These crunchy munchies drew a crowd at “The Fenceline” faster than “3 to 5” waves rising on a soft trade wind.
This was my inspiration creating Island Lava. Light - thin and tasty. Exotic passion fruit brittles loaded with natural fruits and nuts - made from scratch – makes you crave for more. Insatiably GREAT! Like a great surf spot, once you try our Island Lava, you’ll know why it’s best to keep this Hawaiian treasure hidden.