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Lahaina gets a new $10M chocolate factory and cacao farm, with all the profits going to charity

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Video by Cindy Ellen Russell / crussell@staradvertiser.com
Lahaina gets a new $10 million chocolate factory and cacao farm, with all the profits going to charity.
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Gunars Valkirs, CEO and founder of Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate, inspects and sorts 25-gram bars of chocolate as technology director Dennis Elms feeds them into a machine that seals them for packaging.
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CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

Gunars Valkirs, CEO and founder of Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate, inspects and sorts 25-gram bars of chocolate as technology director Dennis Elms feeds them into a machine that seals them for packaging.

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                A box of Blood Orange Dark Chocolate awaits the final steps for packaging at Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate in Lahaina.
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CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

A box of Blood Orange Dark Chocolate awaits the final steps for packaging at Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate in Lahaina.

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Cacao pods hang from the original plot of trees planted at the 20- acre Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate farm in Lahaina. The first harvest, planted from 2015 to 2017, will take seven years to fully mature.
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CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

Cacao pods hang from the original plot of trees planted at the 20- acre Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate farm in Lahaina. The first harvest, planted from 2015 to 2017, will take seven years to fully mature.

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Dark Milk Blood Orange Chocolate is sampled while in production at the factory in Lahaina.
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CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

Dark Milk Blood Orange Chocolate is sampled while in production at the factory in Lahaina.

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Processed cacao, called cocoa mass, is seen at the factory in Lahaina.
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CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

Processed cacao, called cocoa mass, is seen at the factory in Lahaina.

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Krista Hertz packages chocolates into box sets at the Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate factory in Lahaina. The chocolate is made as a dark milk chocolate or dark chocolate (vegan) and is also available in blood orange, peppermint, Maui coffee and lemongrass flavors.
7/8
Swipe or click to see more

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

Krista Hertz packages chocolates into box sets at the Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate factory in Lahaina. The chocolate is made as a dark milk chocolate or dark chocolate (vegan) and is also available in blood orange, peppermint, Maui coffee and lemongrass flavors.

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Gunars Valkirs, CEO and founder of Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate, inspects the finished product.
8/8
Swipe or click to see more

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

Gunars Valkirs, CEO and founder of Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate, inspects the finished product.

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Gunars Valkirs, CEO and founder of Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate, inspects and sorts 25-gram bars of chocolate as technology director Dennis Elms feeds them into a machine that seals them for packaging.
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                A box of Blood Orange Dark Chocolate awaits the final steps for packaging at Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate in Lahaina.
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Cacao pods hang from the original plot of trees planted at the 20- acre Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate farm in Lahaina. The first harvest, planted from 2015 to 2017, will take seven years to fully mature.
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Dark Milk Blood Orange Chocolate is sampled while in production at the factory in Lahaina.
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Processed cacao, called cocoa mass, is seen at the factory in Lahaina.
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Krista Hertz packages chocolates into box sets at the Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate factory in Lahaina. The chocolate is made as a dark milk chocolate or dark chocolate (vegan) and is also available in blood orange, peppermint, Maui coffee and lemongrass flavors.
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Gunars Valkirs, CEO and founder of Maui Ku’ia Estate Chocolate, inspects the finished product.