THE HOPALE'A GINGER STORY
Our story begins in the early 2000s, when Master Navigator Nainoa Thompson first visited Uncle Clay’s neighborhood mom-and-pop candy shop in East Honolulu to pick up candied ginger for his crew. The two connected instantly, and over the years they realized that each in their own way, they were working toward the same vision, driven by the same desire to care for our One World 'Ohana and Island Earth. In 2011, Uncle Clay reincarnated his shop into what is now one of the most popular shave ice shops in Hawai'i, "Uncle Clay's House of Pure Aloha", also known by the acronym "HOPA". This set the stage for a powerful collaboration.
In 2013, as Hokule’a prepared for her unprecedented Mālama Honua voyage around the world, Nainoa would visit HOPA each time sharing inspiration with Uncle Clay, until finally the perfect opportunity arose and HOPAle'a Ginger was born. With the help of a culinary developer, food technologist, and many others along the way, we created a unique voyaging snack made with Kauai organic ginger and Big Island honey.
We gifted this special snack to the Hōkūle'a crew in the final days before they set sail from Oahu. Everyone was so happy, so grateful, and we felt so fortunate to be part of something this historic.
“It’s about more than ginger. It’s about navigating towards the big vision the world is yearning for in this 21st century: to bring humanity together in Pure Aloha and answering the call to take care of our shared home of Island Earth, Mālama Honua. It’s about putting our values into action. It’s about using entrepreneurship for good and promoting an evolved paradigm of business founded in generosity, sustainability, and community. The time is now, and the next generation is counting on us.” -Bronson Chang - CEO, HOPAle'a Ginger
As more people started to take note of our project, we realized the opportunity to contribute to the voyage was even bigger than we had imagined. So, we decided to take the next step of launching a line of food products--inspired by the gift of ginger--that would allow anyone to share the story of the voyage.
Through a series of fortunate events, we were introduced to Master Chocolatier Virginia Douglas. Virginia created HOPAle'a Ginger Chocolates to be the perfect balance of island flavors. She carefully selected each ingredient, experimenting with 10 different variations of coconut and 8 variations of ginger, creating batch after batch, until everything was just right.
Each piece is handmade and always brings a smile to the face of anyone we share them with.
We are proud to be the first business built to support the voyage, and will be gifting all after-tax profits from the sale of these products to the Polynesian Voyaging Society. We hope to set an example of how entrepreneurship can be used for good.