However, with four kids to support and my husband working over forty hours a week in an underpaid and extremely
labor intensive job, I thought “why not?”
We started off selling our toffee in a little stand on the side of our road, the Onomea scenic route along the Hamakua Coast. Before we knew it, people began returning and our customer base began to grow, both locals and tourists alike. We learned of a handful of them who either owned small mom-and-pop shops or knew of others who owned local businesses. The next thing we know, we’re in every store there is on our little 4-mile road. This word-of-mouth was a perfect example of “coconut wireless” and was truly amazing!
Our first day selling toffee, Onomea Scenic Route
Our road side toffee stand
The family's confectionery store, 1920's
The 5th generation recipe for our toffee originates from my great great grandfather who had a little confectionery shop in the early 1920’s. Most members of our family know how to cook the toffee but no one has commercially sold it since my great great grandfather. Normally, family members would only make it for gifts or during the holidays.
Our daughter enjoying the toffee stand
However, our toffee was no where else on our island. So early one morning, my husband packed the car full of toffee and away he drove. He came home late that night with nothing left, saying that after tasting samples, every shop he visited was excited to carry our candy. It was a very remarkable and memorable experience. We still can’t believe it. Today, we are in many stores across the Big Island, Maui, Oahu, and Kauai.
We want every customer to know that they are getting an honestly made, authentic product that is created with the highest integrity and quality by real people, me and my husband. Everything is cooked in small batches and is 100% handmade, hand cracked, and hand packed. Decorative packaging, strategic marketing methods, and synthetic ingredients are the opposite of what we stand for. We take great pride in knowing that every single aspect
of our company is created entire by us, including our production process, logo, packaging, website, networking, and product photos. We cannot thank you enough for all of your support. It truly means the world to us!
From the Big Island,
Emily & Kegan Yuson
Hamakua Toffee Company