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How Da Vine Foods Got its Start

How Da Vine Foods Got its Start

There are two of us that own and operate Da Vine Foods, LLC; Rochelle & Merry Ann. Before we started Da Vine Foods we did many things together, mostly around food. We are both foodies, we love to create and eat great and interesting foods. We would get together every Friday evening for sunset cocktails and dinner, with our spouses of course.

Merry Ann had a beautiful garden. One of the things she grew was Lilikoi, the Hawaiian Passion Fruit. An entire wall of it! When it was ripe we would go through the laborious process of collecting them and extracting the juice to use in jelly and other recipes. One of our Friday evenings we decided to use the lilikoi juice to make our favorite drink, a lilikoi martini. It was delicious. Well, we thought so and so did our husbands. We bottled our Lilikoi Cocktail Mix and gave it to friends and family for Christmas. The response was phenomenal. Everyone loved it; we even had one response saying “this stuff is liquid gold.” The general consensus was that we should bottle it and sell it to the public. We should start a business! So we started out on a journey together to do just that. We received our business license in the mail on April 1, 2012. We were officially in business and that was no April fool’s joke.

Merry Ann and I talked a lot and decided to split the business activities up so it would be part time for both of us. She did all the bottling at first and I handled the business aspect of things; licenses, marketing, graphics & accounting. This worked out great for a while. Very soon it was apparent that we would both need to be bottling together to keep up with the demand. So our Fridays were spent bottling the mix and our evenings were saved for cocktails and dinner. We had to keep our beloved tradition that was already set in motion alive, and keep our husbands tummy’s happy

It wasn’t long before we decided to start selling our product at a local farmer’s market here in Kailua Kona, a town on the big island of Hawaii. The Ho’oulu Farmer’s Market was on Saturdays and Wednesdays, every week. We started with the Saturdays, thinking we could always add a second day later. After 9 months of every Saturday we were told that the market was going to close on Saturdays and only be open on Wednesdays. So we switched to the Wednesday market where we are now. As of October of 2015 we have been selling at the same Farmer’s Market for 2 years. About 9 months ago we applied for the Kokua Kailua Stroll and got a space for three months. We have been sharing our Lilikoi products on the 3rd Sunday of every month at the Kokua Kailua Stroll market ever since.

It was apparent that we would do better at the market if we had a more diverse product line. So we started making our Lilikoi Coconut Syrup next. The response was just as favorable as it was for our Lilikoi Cocktail Mix, so we kept going and our next product our Lilikoi Coconut Butter. This last year, we introduced a new product, Lilikoi Chili Pepper Sauce. Yup, you guessed it; the response has been absolutely mind blowing for the lilikoi chili pepper sauce too. I believe that once you taste anything passion fruit (lilikoi) you’re going to love it. It has a flavor so unique that it draws almost everyone in!

At this point we have four products, sell at the farmer’s market every week, as well as at the Kokua Kailua Stroll and in various festivals throughout the year. We have a web site where you can purchase our products from the convenience of your home at www.davinehawaii.com and we ship using the USPS flat rate boxes to anywhere in the United States. Alaska, that includes you! These boxes ship for the same price no matter where you live in the USA. What a great find!

We have been able to maintain our original desire to have all of our products be made from natural ingredients; no emulsifiers, fillers or chemicals. You can pronounce everything on the label and you know what the ingredients are. They are all gluten free as well. Our products are handcrafted in small batches on the big island of Hawaii with products from Hawaii.

It is our hope that when you try our products, our love and excitement come through in whatever event it is that you are enjoying them for and whoever you are sharing them with. Friendship is one of the sweetest gifts we have in this life. Sharing great food and wonderful cocktails is how this friendship is continuing on, along with Da Vine Foods, of course.

Mahalo for your aloha and support

1 thought on “How Da Vine Foods Got its Start

  1. Thanks so much Meira. It is always interesting to hear how people got their start in their craft. I enjoyed our visit as well and yes, it was a fantastic market for everyone! The monthly Kokua Kailua is always a great way to meet new clients from all over the world and to catch up with our local ones as well.
    Hope you have a great month this month.

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