“Uncle” Clay Chang and his nephew, Bronson, take great pride as they prepare a display at Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha in Aina Haina. It’s one of many products offered at the popular shop in east Honolulu.
But this one in particular is very special and has strong ties to an important voyage.
“We kind of thought with the Malama Honua worldwide voyage happening, how can we support it? It’s such an amazing voyage that’s happening,” said Bronson Chang.
Earlier this year, Bronson Chang and his team processed 60 pounds of organic ginger from Kauai into a dehydrated ginger snack for Hokulea crew members. Ginger has been used for centuries as a natural remedy to fight sea sickness.
Clay Chang says it’s a reflection of “how we can get involved as a little manini, as they say in Hawaii, small little business.”
The gift to Hokulea was the inspiration for HOPAlea Ginger Chocolate, which was designed to support the Malama Honua voyage around the world.
“(It’s) a product that shares the story of the voyage that’s happening and tastes really great too,” said Bronson Chang.
The ginger chocolate has become a hot-seller and has even made its way to the White House as a gift from Maya Soetoro-Ng to President Barack Obama and the First Family.
“She later than actually mailed me back the box with his autograph on it,” said Bronson Chang.
Like the source of the product, Bronson Chang will never forget its roots and what inspired their vision. All after tax, profits from the sale of HOPAlea Ginger Chocolate will be gifted to the Polynesian Voyaging Society.
“Every unit that we sell really is a way for every person to give just little bit to the voyage and be part of it,” he said. “It’s a priceless feeling to be able to contribute through the gifts that I have as an entrepreneur to something that is special and so timely in the world today.”
“It’s a privilege and honor to just try and support brother Nai as he goes around the world sharing that vision for us,” said Clay Chang.