This year, Hawaiian Host is celebrating 95 incredible years in business. Our founding couple, Mamoru & Aiko Takitani, had a vision to be the ultimate Hosts of Hawai‘i. They sought to find a way to share the beloved Islands’ spirit of warmth, openness, and human connection, in the form of a chocolate-covered macadamia, with the world. Through initiative, grit, and perseverance in their entrepreneurial pursuits, they were able to do just that.
It all began in 1927, when local candymaker John Dye and his wife, Georgina Dias, opened Ellen Dye Candies in downtown Honolulu. They began experimenting with chocolate and locally grown macadamia nuts and became the first manufacturer of chocolate-dipped macadamias. In the 1950s, Mamoru was crafting his own version of the same delectable combination in Wailuku, Maui
On January 1, 1960, Mamoru & Aiko purchased Ellen Dye Candies and renamed it to our very own, Hawaiian Host. Since then, over nearly a century, we’ve seen the business grow and evolve into what it is today.
There’s a reason that Hawaiian Host has remained such a special and successful brand over the past 95 years, and our tagline says it best: It’s genuine, classic, & original. Hawaiian Host has stayed true to founder Mamoru’s signature recipe, and our iconic combination of chocolate and macadamias simply cannot be replicated. Customers have come to know, love, and count on our high-quality products time and time again, which has greatly contributed to our brand’s longtime success.
For Theresa Tuxhorn, Managing Director of KOHO, working on such an iconic and timeless brand is a privilege: “it is so special to take a brand with such a cherished story and help write its next chapters; to elevate Hawaiian Host and help the brand evolve.”
To celebrate reaching 95 years, Hawaiian Host held a media event at the Bishop Museum on October 12, 2022, launched a limited-edition 95th anniversary box of the original chocolate-covered macadamias, and was featured in a 24-page article in Honolulu Magazine.
Up next for the brand are exciting projects including refreshing the mid-tier packaging with new designs, adding a dark chocolate variety to the ever-popular Caramac line, continuing collaborative partnerships with local brands such as Uncle’s Ice Cream, and opening its first retail location that will serve as a corporate gifting hub.
As Hawaiian Host continues to expand its horizons, Tegan Hetzel-Dobbins, Innovation Manager, is most excited to “bring innovative concepts to market that will help elevate the brand, while keeping the strong connection to our existing, loyal customer base.”
Here’s to 95 sweet years!
Niko del Papa