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12 Days of Christmas Ultimate Gift Guide: Day 12 — Big Island Foods and Snacks

The Big Island is home to many quality, flavorful food products for your gifting needs. Here are some ideas on where to buy holiday treats and keep it local. Seasons Eatins!

Big Island Foods: Chocolate & Candy

J & R’s Lollipops & Things
681 Manono St #106, Hilo, HI 9672

J & R’s Lollipops & Things sells tasty sweet treats including their famous Bradda Pops, Hawaii’s version of an ice pop. Frozen and unfrozen Bradda Pops are available at their store in flavors such as ube with boba, li hing mui lemon, and kulolo in addition to more common fruit flavors. Fans of Trader Joe’s products such as Speculoos Cookie Butter can find some of their goodies at J & R’s store in Hilo. 

Donkey Balls
79-7411 Mamalahoa Hwy Kainaliu, HI 96750

Donkey Balls are a chocolate brand with humor, producing truffle balls and malted balls of quality chocolate. Most of the original donkey balls contain macadamia nuts, while the new Chickin Balls do not (they are produced in the same facility, so these are not allergen-free). A wide variety of flavors are available at their store or on their website .

Puna Chocolate Company
277 Keawe St, Hilo, HI 96720 or 74-5606 Pawai Place, Bay 8, Kailua Kona, HI 96740

Puna Chocolate Company produces fine chocolate products from 100% Hawaiian grown cacao. Unique chocolate products include their “coffee kicker” spice shakers, vegan hot cocoa mix, and cacao nib tea. Holiday chocolate bar flavors include peppermint dark, ginger apple milk, berry merry cranberry dark, grand marnier truffle, eggnog white, and Christmas bark. Visit their stores in Hilo or Kona or buy online. 

Ono Kona Treats

Ono Kona Treats takes the treats you love and freeze dries them into fun to eat, newly textured goodies. Holiday staples like marshmallows get a fun crunchy texture. Freeze dried rice crispy treats offer all the goodness with a longer shelf life. Their li hing mui freeze dried skittles are a must try. 

This small business doesn’t currently have a storefront or online ordering, instead you have to catch them at pop up events that are featured on their Facebook page.

Big Island Candies
585 Hinano St. Hilo, HI 96720

Big Island Candies has been producing fine chocolate and sweet treats on the Big Island since 1977. Their diagonally dipped shortbread cookies are a famous Hawaii treat. Chocolate covered mac nuts, crunch bars, brownies, biscotti, manju, cookies, coffee beans, and even dried squid are all available at their store or via their website 

Hawaiian Crown Plantation & Chocolate Factory
160 Kilauea Ave Hilo, HI 96720

Hawaiian Crown Plantation makes chocolate products from cacao grown on their Hilo plantation. Chocolate is combined with island ingredients such as Ka’u coffee, awa (kava), apple banana, and pineapple for unique and delicious chocolate bars. Hawaiian Crown Plantation is one of the few local chocolate vendors to offer sugar free Hawaiian chocolate. Those interested in the chocolate making process can take the “Tree-to-Bar” tour, available every Wednesday. 

Sugar Coast Candy
274 Kamehameha Ave, Hilo HI 96720

Sugar Coast Candy is modeled after the penny candy stores of old, offering an assortment of old fashioned candies, salt water taffy, and chocolates. Most candies are offered in bulk bins sorted by flavor, making it easy to ensure you get the exact flavor and quantity you desire for gifting – buy as little or as much as you need! Stop by their store conveniently located on the Hilo Bayfront.

Honoka’a Chocolate Co.
45-3584 Old Mamalahaoa Highway
Honoka’a, HI 96727

Honoka’a Chocolate Co. handcrafts bean-to-bar chocolate at their farm on the Hamakua Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. All of their chocolates are made from high-quality ingredients, free of gluten, emulsifiers, stabilizers, soy, and GMOs. Farm tours are available, and chocolate can be purchased on-site or via their website. They even have a chocolate subscription box! 

Big Island Foods: Crack Seed

2064 Kilauea Ave Hilo, Hawaii 96720

5-Spice crack seed shop has the largest selection of seeds, li hing mui candies and preserves on the Big Island. 5-Spice is conveniently located at the Puainako Center in Hilo. Try some of their crack seed products as toppings on their shave ice.

Doris’ Place
77-6108 Mamalahoa Hwy, Hōlualoa, HI 96725

Doris’ Place is a quaint little store tucked away in Holualoa town. It has been run by Doris herself since the 1940s. The store offers a selection of quality crack seed products with the flavors from the old days at low prices. Prune mui and li hing mui mango are must tries here. Stop by the shop or call (808) 324-4761 for more information.

Kaiko’o Seeds N’ Things
346 Kilauea Ave, Hilo, HI 96720

Kaiko’o Seeds N’ Things is a Mom and Pop crack seed shop located a few doors down from Two Ladies Kitchen in downtown Hilo. They offer a variety of seeds and li hing mui candy and are known for their high quality dried fruit. Shortbread and arare cookies are offered in bags and in bulk, and EBT is accepted at their store.

Munch N’ Joy 
111 Puainako St. Hilo, HI 96720

Munch N’ Joy is a crack seed kiosk located within Prince Kuhio Plaza. They offer candies, seeds, li hing mui gummi, and flavored popcorn. The sweet seedless Ume is a local favorite. If you have no time to visit the mall or want to avoid crowds, Munch N’ Joy has partnered with Express Waiters to offer delivery 

Big Island Foods: Jerky and Savory Snacks

Kaimana Jerky

Kaimana Jerky makes artisan quality fish jerky made with all natural wild caught fish from the Pacific Ocean. All of their jerky is made in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. Each jerky flavor is unique and seasoned with all natural ingredients, with options including a spicy sriracha, lemon salt, and honey glazed. Due to new conservation laws, their marlin jerky is only available for purchase within the state of Hawaii. Visit their website to purchase or learn more.

Big Island Beef Jerky and Snacks
21A Kalanianaole Ave. Hilo, HI 96720

Big Island Beef Jerky and Snacks has snacks for every craving, from locally raised beef to imported venison and buffalo and Japanese clam jerkies. They also carry quintessential crack seed items such as li hing mui gummi candy and rare and they have vegan jerkies and snacks. Visit their store in downtown Hilo or visit their website. EBT is accepted at their store. 

Hawaii Island Gourmet Products (Atebara Chips)

Hawaii Island Gourmet has been providing delicious snacks and treats since 1936. Their line of Atebara Chips features local flavors such as taro, ‘ulu, and sweet potato. They also make holiday cookies such as cinnamon sugar, pumpkin spice, and chocolate peppermint. Gourmet chocolates are made in-house, featuring tropical flavors like coconut and lilikoi. Gift sets are available. Purchase on their website.

Kona Chips
82-6155 Mamalahoa Highway Captain Cook, HI 96704

Kona Chips began in 1991 when they bought Kitch’n Cook’d and rebranded. Kona Chips brings you favorite local flavors such as furikake potato chips, shrimp chips, beef jerky chips, caramel Mac nut popcorn, and their popular “ugly cookies.” Visit their store or shop their site. 

Big Island Foods: Sauces, Spices and Condiments

Spicy Ninja Sauce

Spicy Ninja Sauce is produced in small batches from quality local ingredients in Kapa’au. Sauces range from the mild medium “Flaming Piña Hopocalypse” to the very hot “Advanced Tactical Weaponized Starfruit Darth Star O.G.”. They also offer spicy infused salt blends and raw infused honey. For the die-hard spice enthusiast, buy the “Molten Hot A’a Lava Shot” – a raw honey infused for six months with ghost peppers and finished with activated charcoal. Purchase online or at one of the many local businesses across the Island that carry this Big Island food product.

Da Big Island Burn

Da Big Island Burn is a women-owned company producing gourmet hot sauces on the Big Island with flavors like mango pineapple, lilikoi, and Kona coffee. Sweet & Spicy chili pepper relish and chili pepper water are staples of Hawaiian condiments. Spice lovers can now purchase select flavors in 64oz bottles! 

Da Vine Foods

Da Vine Foods creates products made from lilikoi (passionfruit) on the Big Island. Purchase lilikoi puree to use in your holiday baking; or grab cocktail mix, lilikoi coconut butter, lilikoi coconut syrup, lilikoi hot sauce, fruit jelly or pepper jelly to give as a gift. Gift packs are the best valuable if you are making multiple purchases. Visit their website to learn more or make a purchase 

Steve’s Akaka Falls Farm

Steve’s Akaka Falls Farm offers an expansive variety of fruit butters, preserves, marmalade, chocolate, honey, and hot sauce produced from high-quality local ingredients. Festive flavors include Spiced Orange Cranberry, Strawberry Dark Chocolate, and Meyer Lemon Scotch Whiskey Marmalade. Visit their Facebook for recipes and their website to purchase.  

The Spoon Shop Kona
73-4976 Kamanu Suite #105, Kailua Kona Hawaii 96740

The Spoon Shop is a locally owned specialty retail store catering to chefs and culinary enthusiasts. They carry a selection of artisan olive oils, balsamic vinegars, pure vanilla and extracts, Hamakua Coast Premium syrups, salad dressing, candy flavoring drops, and gourmet aioli. The Spoon Shop offers the best assortment of cooking-related gifts on the Big Island to pair with your flavorful gifts. 

Hawaii Balsamics

Hawaii Balsamics imports high quality balsamic vinegar from the Modena area of Italy and infuses it with flavors such as Christmas orange, spicy mango, coconut curry, chocolate raspberry, and garlic cilantro. Hawaii Balsamics sells 25 star rated vinegars, the highest possible commercial rating. Visit their website to find a retailer near you.

Big Island Foods Bakery, Desserts, and Pastry

Sandwich Isle Bread Company
65-1158 Mamalahoa Highway, Waimea, HI

Sandwich Isle Bread Company offers artisan fresh baked breads and pastries from their Waimea bakery. Cranberry Apricot Pecan, Sour Cherry Walnut, and Pain au Levain loaves lend themselves well to a Christmas menu. Mini single-serving dessert pastries and cakes are available in flavors that change day to day. Their fresh cherry syrup and Kona sea salt caramel sauce made in the house would make great gifts for a foodie. Visit their bakery in Waimea or visit their website.

Mrs. Barry’s Kona Cookies
73-5563 Maiau Street Kailua Kona, HI 96740

Mrs. Barry’s Kona Cookies bakes small batch fresh cookies at their factory in Kailua Kona. Traditional crunchy chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, white chocolate macadamia nut, and several flavors of shortbread are offered alongside macadamia nut brittle in single servings or gift boxes. They even have cookies for dogs! Visit their factory in Kona or buy online. 

Standard Bakery
79-7394 Mamalahoa Hwy Kealakekua, HI 96750

Though Standard Bakery is most known for their popular Chantilly cakes, they offer many other breads, cakes, cookies and pastries at their Kealakekua bakery. All cakes are available in 8” round, Quarter Sheet, or Half Sheet. Pick up a Chantilly roll cake in place of a Yule log, or order sheet cake to serve your family. Visit their bakery or website.

Tin Shack Bakery
15-1500 Akeakamai Loop Pahoa, HI 96778

Tin Shack Bakery is a funky, laid back bakery and cafe in Pahoa town. Breads, pastries, and cookies are baked fresh daily with island spins such as taro sourdough and pineapple carrot cake. Selection varies daily, so stop by their Pahoa cafe or visit their website to see what the latest posted special is. When you pick up your treats, be sure to grab a house made eggnog latte!

Ohana Cookies

Ohana Cookies are baked fresh in Hilo, with classic flavors such as chocolate chip and local favorites like mochi krunch and Chinese style almond cookies. Seasonal flavors rotate, with their 2020 Christmas flavors including peppermint chocolate, pumpkin spice, orange cranberry, and gingersnap. Ohana Cookies sells at Maku’u Famers Market. Visit their website for more information.

Cupcakes, Boom! 
697 Manono Street Hilo, HI 96720

Though their name focuses on cupcakes, Cupcakes, Boom! offers a wide variety of baked goods such as macarons, Chantilly brownies, pumpkin crunch, stuffed cookies, and keto cheesecake. Custom cupcakes, macarons, chocolate-covered strawberries, and dessert assortment “celebration platters” are available for preorder. Visit their store at  or order online.

808 Sweet Shack
308 Kamehameha Ave Suite 115, Hilo, HI 96720

808 SweetShack is a locally owned bakery on the Hilo Bayfront specializing in unique treats, “from childhood favs to creative new ideas”. Bring home a local favorite such as ube sweet potato pie or coconut cake. For Christmas, they have come out with cranberry crumble dessert bars and amaretto cheesecake. Stop by the bakery or visit their website.

Short N Sweet Bakery & Cafe
374 Konoole St. Hilo, HI 96720

Short N Sweet Bakery is your local one-stop shop for holiday treats, offering hot chocolate bombs, fresh marshmallows, gingerbread cookies, miniature gingerbread houses, fudge, lump of coal cookies, holiday cupcake wreaths, and Buche de Noel (Yule logs). Pre-order your Christmas desserts now to make sure you get exactly what you want! And yes, you have seen this bakery somewhere before — on TV! Read more here.

Punalu’u Bake Shop
95-5642 Mamalahoa Hwy Na‘alehu, HI 96772

Punalu’u Bake Shop is one of the Southernmost businesses in the United States, serving up Hawaiian-style Portuguese sweet bread since 1991. Their famous bread is available in plain, Macadamia nut, guava, taro, cinnamon raisin, apple cinnamon and kalakoa (taro, mango and guava together). For packaged gifts, buy their Ka’u coffee cake, shortbread cookie packs or one of their baking mixes. Visit their Visitors Center or purchase on their website. 

Big Island Delights
762 Kanoelehua Avenue Hilo, HI 96720

Big Island Delights has been creating fine cookies and confections in Hilo since 1996. Cookies, brittle, local style “Chex mix,” Maui onion chips, and chocolate-dipped sweets such as marshmallows and fortune cookies are produced locally in single units or gift sets. Due to overwhelming demand, they have temporarily paused online orders. You may still purchase at their Gift Shop in Hilo. 

Two Ladies Kitchen
288 Kilauea Ave, Hilo, HI 96720

Two Ladies Kitchen is famous throughout Hawaii for its filled mochi, with their fresh strawberry and Azuki bean filled mochi holding the title of their most popular flavor. Filling options change based on season and availability of fresh fruits. Though they do accept walk-ins at their Hilo store, calling ahead to order is highly recommended (808) 961-4766.

Donna’s Cookies
42-1019 Hawaii Belt Road, Paauilo, HI 96776

A stop at this bakery on Highway 19 is a must-do when cruising along the Hamakua Coast. You won’t find a fancy bakery, just a small kitchen full of smiling faces as they pack up tubs and bags full of Mac Nut, Coconut, Chinese Almond, and other flavors (including classics). Too hard to decide? You can grab an assortment to make sure everyone is covered! You can also find them at a variety of stores (listed on their website) including KTA and Malama Market.

Big Island Foods: Liquor and Spirits

Hilo Brewing Co.
275 E Kawili Street, Hilo Hawaii 96720

Hilo Brewing Co. offers eight brews of beer handcrafted in small batches in Hilo. Their Humpback Island Lager, Volcano Red Ale, Mauna Kea Pale Ale and Tsunami IPA are available in 12 ounce cans, 5.17 Gallon ( Barrel) Kegs, and 15.5 Gallon (½ Barrel) Kegs. Their Hilo Golden Ale and Hawaiian Crow Porter are only available in kegs. Stop by the tasting room to find your favorite.

Kona Wine Market
73-5613 Olowalu St #1, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

Kona Wine Market is Kona’s specialty beer, wine, and spirit shop, offering a wide variety of top-shelf liquors, accessories, and complimentary food items. Fresh bread from Sandwich Isle bread company is delivered on Friday afternoons. Pick up a pre-made gift basket, or create your own in store. Wine tastings are on Fridays from 3-6pm. 

Westside Wines
75-5660 Kopiko St Kona, HI 96740

Westside Wines strives to offer a selection of beer, wine, spirits, and cigars from all over the world sold at fair prices. The store is conveniently located in downtown Kona within the Kopiko Plaza. Stop in for recommendations and to pick up a pairing artisanal cheese from their fresh cheese fridge. The product of the month is featured on their Facebook page. 

Kamuela Liquor Store
64-1010 Mamalahoa Hwy Waimea, HI 96743

Kamuela Liquor Store has been supplying Kamuela town with wine, beer, and spirits for 70 years. They have a jam-packed cheese fridge filled with artisan cheeses, caviar, spreads, and charcuterie meats to pair with their liquors. Specially selected products are featured on their Facebook page. 

Ola Brew
74-5598 Luhia St Kailua-Kona, 96740

Ola Brew Co offers some of the Island’s best beers, seltzers, and ciders. They’ve expanded their reach to the mainland, but a visit to their Kona tap room lets locals indulge in Hawaiian fruits and flavors in their brews. Their retail area hosts cans of seasonal beers, along with an excellent collections of merch including coffee cups, beer bugs, shirts, hoodies, and more. Plan to hang out for lunch if you’re heading that way – their flatbreads are great eaten there or on the go.

Grapes A Wine Store
207 Kilauea Ave Hilo, HI 96720

Grapes is Hilo’s first and only dedicated wine store. The store is a cozy 600 sq feet and specializes in wines not commonly found in supermarkets. They offer a selection of wine from around the world, with many wines priced at $20 or below per bottle (though they do offer Brunello’s as well). The proprietor of Grapes is Randy Nunokawa, who personally tastes all wines prior to sale to assure you of quality and to help you with wine and food pairings. Curbside pick up is available. 

Kadota Liquor
194 Hualalai St Hilo, HI 96720

Kadota Liquor is a third-generation, family-owned store serving Hilo for over 50 years. In addition to an amazing selection of spirits, wines, and beers; they offer soda, chips, candy, cigars, and cigarettes for your convenience. Kadota Liquor is a certified sake specialist, with over 50 varieties of sake in stock. They frequently host special events for special brands that are entering the market. 

Volcano Winery
35 Piimauna Dr Volcano HI 96785

Volcano Winery offers grape and tropical fruit wines made on the Big Island. Their vineyard is located in the Volcano district, between Mauna Loa and Kilauea. Volcano Red, Volcano Blush, and Hawaiian Guava Wine are their three fruit-blended wines. Their Macadamia Nut Honey Wine and Infusion Tea Wine are naturally very sweet. Volcano Winery offers “Club Volcano,” a wine subscription program for wine connoisseurs. 

Kuleana Rum Works
69-201 Waikoloa Beach Dr
Waikoloa, HI 96738

Kuleana Rum Works makes rum from 40 varieties of sugarcane here on the Big Island. They currently offer three rums. Their Hawaiian Rum Agricole is a smooth, clear aged rum. Hui Hui® is an unaged rum blended with rum from Papua New Guinea and Martinique. Nanea® is an amber rum blended with several aged rums from around the world. Purchase at their Kuleana Rum Shack restaurant at The Queen’s Marketplace. 

Big Island Foods: Coffee and Tea

Kona Coffee and Tea
74-5588 Palani Road Kona, HI 96740

Kona Coffee and Tea is a locally owned family business growing and selling Kona Coffee in Kailua Kona. Their 100% Kona coffee is grown on the slopes of Hualalai, then milled, roasted, brewed, and served all within a 10-mile radius of their farm. They also seek out the best Hawaiian teas to serve in their Kailua-Kona café or send to you via their online shop. Kona Coffee subscriptions, coffee and snack gift sets, and ground coffee in many roasts are available in their Kona cafe or via their website. 

Hawaii Farm Stand

Hawaii Farm Stand is a passion project started by two farming sisters living in Hilo who wanted to create opportunities for their farming business. The virtual farm stand offers a platform for small family-owned farm operations to offer their high quality locally produced value-added products to the online market. Products sell out fast, so if you see something you like, buy it quickly! Gift sets are available, and the Farmer Select Box subscription offers a rotating selection of four local products sent every month. 

Buddha’s Cup Kona Coffee
78-1377 Bishop Rd, Holualoa, Hawaii 96725

Buddha’s Cup offers single-origin, estate-grown handpicked Kona Coffee roasts and locally grown teas. Buddha’s Cup has numerous accolades in the coffee world, winning awards in Paris and the Gevalia cupping contest. In addition to coffee and tea, they sell tie-dye apparel and burlap coffee tote bags. Visit the farm or shop online. 

Greenwell Farms
81-6581 Mamalahoa Highway Kealakekua, HI 96750

Greenwell Farms is one of the oldest and largest Kona Coffee farms, established in 1850 by Henry Greenwell. Greenwell Farms is one of the few farms to offer decaf and flavored 100% Kona Coffee. Farm branded apparel, burlap coffee bags, and coffee accessories are also available. The coffee club subscription offers a 10% discount and member exclusives. Visit their farm or shop online. 

Hilo Coffee Mill
17-995 Volcano Highway Mountain View, HI 96771

Hilo Coffee Mill offers Hawaiian and worldwide coffees at the best possible prices in small and large quantities. The mill cafe features espresso drinks made from a local espresso blend, smoothies, ice cream, and light snacks served overlooking 24 beautiful acres in Mountain View with a full viewing area. Take a tour and see the milling process, sample local coffee, and meet cage-free chickens and farm cats! Their website offers a huge selection of coffee, coffee accessories, and locally made gift items. 

Ka’u Coffee Mill
96-2694 Wood Valley Rd Pahala, HI 96777

Ka’u Coffee Mill is located south of the Kona Coffee district, and their rich coffee is making a name for itself in the coffee world. Buy a 2oz 3 pack coffee sample pack and try their standard roasts or flavored coffees in stocking stuffer sized packages. Ka’u Buzz Bites (chocolate covered espresso beans) are a treat for coffee lovers with a sweet tooth. Green natural, semi-washed and washed coffee beans are available for enthusiasts who want to try their hand at home roasting. 

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