Big Island Candies – Handmade Treats With A Touch of Aloha
One of the many great things I love about homeschooling is that I get to pick where we take our field trips. This week in Social Studies my daughter was learning about producers, consumers, and goods and so I had the excellent idea (if I do say so myself – and you will see why) to take her to Big Island Candies, whose main location happens to be right where we live in Hilo. At the factory in Hilo you get to actually watch as their hardworking employees hand make their award winning and mouth pleasing treats. Then we got to be consumers and buy some of their delectable goods, which is what I call a win win situation.
Big Island Candies opened in 1977 in the quiet town of Hilo, but has built a fan base with both the locals in Hawaii and visitors from abroad through their determination to make high quality treats that leave you wanting more. And trust me you will want more. Credit must also be given to the high level of service, as well as their store ambiance that is in one word – impeccable.
As you make your way to their front entrance, before you can even reach for the door it is opened for you by a friendly employee who offers you complimentary samples, as well as 100% Kona Coffee to enjoy while you browse their endless selection of goodies; and trust me when I say there is something for everyone here. They have one section for their brand of Hawaiian treats called Hawaiian Da-Kines, which is a collection of some of Hawaii’s favorite snacks dipped into chocolate. Seriously if it can be dipped into chocolate Big Island Candies has done, including dried Iku which is cuttlefish. Now I myself do not like dried Iku, whether it is dipped in chocolate or not, but my husband loves it and assures me it is delicious. I will just have to take his word on that one. My personal favorite Big Island Candies treat is their world renowned chocolate dipped shortbread cookie (can’t go wrong with this one), as well as their Hawaiian Crunchies which is a combination of crisp potato chips, Hawaiian macadamia nuts, and creamy milk chocolate – I got one word three letters for you– yum. For those among us that can’t consume sugar they also have a sugar free version of some of their most popular treats that are no less delicious.
Here in Hawaii we don’t get to experience autumn, but I felt the beauty of fall while walking around Big Island Candies because it is decorated it the most elegant way for fall. In fact elegant is the perfect word to describe the inside of the factory. I will be sure to go back in December because winter truly comes to Hawaii through the skillful decorations that change each year at Big Island Candies – each year no less beautiful than the last.
As for my daughter- who is six – she so enjoyed watching the cookie and chocolate making process and made me promise that we would go back again but this time bring her brother because she said, “he will love it.” She even asked me – with the most serious of faces – why we don’t go there more often, and I didn’t have a good answer because quite frankly I was wondering the same thing! While there she also turned to me and said, “everyone is so nice here,” and she was right. It was not just the employees but the fellow shoppers – which was made up of a mixture of locals as wells as tourist – that went out of their way to make eye contact and smile or say a quick hello. It is just such a nice environment it is hard not to walk around with a smile on your face while you collect your share of goodies.
Big Island Candies has become a rich part of The Big Islands past and present, which is why tour bus after tour bus makes daily rounds bringing tourist to their factory, but it is not just a tourist attraction we locals love Big Island Candies as well. I can remember being my daughter’s age and being so excited when I would see a Big Island Candies box or gift basket in my house. It is the perfect gift to give to someone or bring along to a party. You don’t even have to wrap it because their packaging is a gift box in itself. They also do wedding and party favors, which is the “icing on the cake” of any event.
If you won’t be in Hawaii anytime soon not to worry Big Island Candies has a site where you can order and enjoy a piece of Hawaii from anywhere. If you should be on the Big Island make sure to stop by, and bring along the kids because you can take them under the guise of learning about goods and services, when in reality you are really there to forgo that diet and indulge in a wide array of delectable treats. At least that is what I did ;).
Disclosure: The Travel Moms received no compensation for the review of Big Island Candies. Any and all opinions expressed are that of The Travel Moms.