Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sweet treats await at Choco le'a at Manoa Square

Nadine Kam photos
Choco le'a milk chocolate-covered macadamia nuts made with a blend of Belgian, Swiss and Hawaiian Waialua Estate chocolate, plus chocolate-dipped strawberries and raspberries.

Choco le’a celebrated the grand opening of its first Manoa boutique with an open house and tasting of its artisan chocolates on Nov. 22nd at Manoa Square, 2909 Lowrey AVe.

Patrons filed through all day for a sample of some of their varied, handmade chocolate creations—made with a blend of fine European and Hawaiian chocolate—that whet the appetite for more!

The counter is stocked with such truffle creations as fresh mochi on ganache, caramel with Alae’a Hawaiian sea salt, and Guinness beer. There is also an assortment of chocolate-covered Oreos including mint, peanut butter, and peppermint flavors, and other treats such as fresh dipped strawberries.

Co-owners Erin Uehara and her uncle, chocolatier Colins Kawai.

With the opening perfectly timed for the the start of the holiday gift-giving season, some of the more festive options include specialty Dom Perignon champagne and Canadian ice wine truffles.

In addition, they launched their European-style sipping chocolate that was served with a handful of potato chips. Delicious, but so rich a little goes a long way.

The kama’aina company started with experimentation by Colins Kawai, marketing director for the University of Hawaii Press, who merely wanted to try to wow friends and family by making truffles as a dinner dessert. People liked it, so he tried new flavors, and before long, dinner guests were requesting to buy them.

Soon he was offering his signature chocolate truffle bar for catered corporate events, parties and weddings, and Kawai now co-owns the business with wife Joan, niece Erin Uehara and her husband Chris.

With a mission of “Bringing peace to our world, one chocolate at a time,” a portion of every sale is donated to charitable organizations.
Choco le’a is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Call (808) 371-2234, visit or follow @chocoleahawaii on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Choco le’a makes holiday gift-giving easier with your custom picks of such delectables as milk, white or dark chocolate-covered macadamia nuts, chocolate-dipped fruit including mango, pictured, mochi-centered truffles and sea salt caramel truffles.

The chocolates appear like jewels, ready to be custom packed into gift boxes.

Closer look at the chocolate-dipped fruit.

A tempting array of chocolates awaits at the Chocole’a counter.

The source: the cacao pod.

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