In 2002, Heilala's story unfolded after a hurricane struck the Kingdom of Tonga, a group of islands in the South Pacific. New Zealand farmer John Ross aided families in Vava'u by helping them rebuild their homes in the aftermath of the hurricane. As a token of gratitude, John received a piece of land and aimed to create job opportunities on the remote island.
During his efforts, John discovered that vanilla had a historical connection to the area and that it thrived in the ideal conditions there. Intrigued, he embarked on a global journey to learn more about vanilla cultivation before planting his first crop of this beloved spice. Jennifer Boggiss, his daughter, then introduced the delightful flavors to chefs who not only appreciated the unique profile of the vanilla but also supported the local farmers.
Today, Heilala vanilla shares a story of resilience, community, and exceptional taste, inspired by the islands where it all began.
Heilala proudly holds the distinction of being the world's first B Corp certified company, emphasizing its unwavering commitment to social and environmental responsibility.
Heilala vanilla beans undergo a meticulous process—the unique orchid variety is, hand-pollinated, hand-picked, and thoughtfully dried and cured under the warm South Pacific sun. These beans are then transformed into a premium selection of delectable vanilla products.