Heilala Vanilla is sourced from the Kingdom of Tonga. The Pacific is part of our DNA.
Heilala Vanilla was founded by John Ross to assist the Latu family and the village of Utungake in Vava’u following Cyclone Waka that struck Tonga on January 1st in 2002. Together the two families established a vanilla plantation with a vision to provide a sustainable future, employment, and a sense of purpose and pride for the village.
It’s been over 15 years since Heilala Vanilla started its humanitarian mission to empower the people of Tonga with a rich local industry and thriving future. Heilala’s commitment to their grower families is to promote inter-generational self-sufficiency while also harvesting superior quality vanilla.
Because of the depth of their relationships in grower communities, Heilala are the only vanilla company that is directly involved in planting, growing, harvesting, processing, and marketing vanilla. Their community focus and unique ‘bean to bottle’ supply chain ensures the company is sustainable for generations to come.
Heilala believe that the best vanilla comes from long-term relationships based on solidarity, trust and mutual respect. The company is passionate about supporting 400 vanilla farming families in Tonga through partnerships that build local community opportunities.
Heilala Vanilla is the good vanilla – good for the community, the growers and their families.
Heilala Hand Sanitizer initiative 2020
In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, Heilala decided to switch some of their production and resources over to making hand sanitizer. The need arose when Heilala's Tongan team asked for masks and hand sanitizer to prepare for the outbreak and it became evident that there was a sanitizer shortage. Since this realization, Heilala have taken advantage of their production capabilities to produce a commercial grade sanitizer. The company keeps stock of the ingredients which are already used in the vanilla extract manufacturing process. Heilala realized that we could make the product quickly and get it shipped to Tongan hospitals. Three shipments of hand sanitizer are destined for Nuku’alofa hospital, followed by Vava’u and Eua’ hospitals. Heilala want to do everything possible to help keep Covid-19 out of Tonga to keep the country and communities safe.