With the Superbowl around the corner, I'm sure our supermarkets will be seeing an influx of customers looking for a CRUNCH! to keep them occupied throughout the game!
Now, this bag right here isn't just offering a fresh treat to snack on during the game, HAWAIIAN CHIP COMPANY is giving you MADE IN HAWAII, LOCAL TARO and SWEET POTATO CHIPS all-year-long!
Since 1999, this small local business has been pumping out Sweet Potato and Taro chips for residents and visitors of Hawaii. The chips are made local and shipped around the islands for everyone to enjoy. The owner James (Jimmy) Chan met with me to talk about his incredible company.
So in all honestly, when I visited the factory/store, I was a little confused as the location is known for more of a warehouse atmosphere rather than a storefront or tasting room. Needless to say, once I was there, my preconceived notions were all pleasantly shattered. (Located at 1928 Republican Street Honolulu, Hi 96819) Parking is at the front of the building, along the street or across the street.
Just from speaking with Jimmy over the telephone and via email, you know that he's a passionate person and committed to seeing only the best come out of his store! That's extremely comforting as everyone likes to see (and taste) great quality.
Jimmy told me about how this dream came to fruition and how it keeps growing! Hawaiian Chip Company came about as one day Jimmy and friends were watching "Emeril Live" (Emeril Lagasse) while he was concocting chips and dips. Jimmy decided that it was high time to create chips for the people of Hawaii using sweet potatoes and taro! It just goes to show you that we are inspired by our atmosphere!
Eighteen years later, Hawaiian Chip Company is still going strong and growing! Jimmy has mentioned that CUSTOMERS can come to their showroom and not only try the chips, but they are able to get FRESH MADE (right out the oven) taro and sweet potato chips to take home!
Now, I tried these FRESH MADE chips and lemme tell you... YUMMY! He also set up a toppings bar so you could add your own customized flavor! From sea salt to spicy garlic to adobo to kilauea fire spice...and so much more! Or why not just add them all to your special bag!
Mr. Chan told me that everyone asks him what his favorite flavor combination is and he always tells them ORIGINAL! I guess nothing beats the original because after trying the flavors, my favorite was the original too! But that doesn't mean he doesn't have something for everyone's liking... Check out his other flavors and find which is your favorite OR just grab a fresh bag and use the topping bar to create your own!
The cool thing about small local businesses is their ability to adapt, change, and try new things! Jimmy also created a hot sauce that was derived from his father's very own recipe! While his father lived in the Chinatown district in Oakland, California, he came up with a base sauce that Jimmy used to create a hot sauce! Of course, he added his own twist on it to create what you can see and taste today!
The beauty of this story is that everything you see here you can pick up or try at their tasting room on Republican street!
Hours of Operation:
As a member of the Chamber Of Commerce Hawaii, Jimmy and the Hawaiian Chip Company are pushing forward to support other local businesses throughout the state of Hawaii. Hawaiian Chip Company has also collaborated with small businesses like "Island Brew LLC" who operate a coffee and tea cafe (inside of Hawaiian Chip Company) that customers can patron to pick up coffee or tea. (As of right now, the cafe is only open on FRIDAY and SATURDAY)
My overall thoughts:
I love what I do and this visit to Hawaiian Chip Company makes me happy to be supporting small local businesses in Hawaii. Mr. Chan is a visionary man who really wants to give the best he can to not only the residents of Hawaii but the world! (take a look below and see where visitors have stopped in from) With the airport nearby, people are able to stop in on their way to the hotel or on their way out from this island paradise! Why not take a crunchy treat back home with you!
Make plans today to visit the HAWAIIAN CHIP COMPANY and try a bag of FRESHLY MADE IN HAWAII Sweet Potato and Taro Chips or grab your very own "Kilauea Fire Sauce"!
MY BIGGEST MAHALO to James "Jimmy" Chan for opening his shop to me! I appreciate the time he gave and I'm looking forward to seeing his sauces and chips used more in restaurants throughout the island.