Sponsored by Hawaii State Department of Agriculture
Ka’u coffee, macadamia nuts, and shortbread cookies… These are all things you want to send friends and family who may be missing the islands right now! On this Seal of Quality Saturday, HI Now host Kainoa Carlson spoke with Scott Buske to learn more about the tasty treats at Hawaii’s Local Buzz on Hawaii Island.
“All the folks who run Hawaii’s Local Buzz had other careers before purchasing our farm on the Big Island in 2004,” Buske begins. “None of us were farmers, but we were entrepreneurs and marketers who were excited about the opportunity to create a business built around products we could really be proud of. We started with honey when we found bee hives on the farm and decided to learn how to be beekeepers. From there, we expanded into 100% Hawaiian Ka’u Coffee, 100% Hawaiian dehydrated Macadamia Nuts, chocolate-covered mac nuts and coffee beans, and Tropical Shortbread Cookies.
Macadamia nuts are one product that sets Hawaii’s Local Buzz apart from the rest.
“All of the big mac nut companies you’ve heard of roast their macadamia nuts. We thought we could produce a better tasting, better crunching macadamia nut by dehydrating them,” Buske explains.
Roasting changes the character of the delicate oils in macadamia nuts and leaves the finished nuts softer than the dehydration process. In order to produce dehydrated macadamia nuts in the quantity and with the quality we needed, Buske had to create dehydrators that would carefully control the temperature and the airflow through the nuts.
“Dehydration takes much longer than roasting, and we have to be much pickier about the quality of the nuts we’re using since dehydration preserves the flavor of the nuts,” Buske says. ” So our nuts are a little more expensive than our competitors, but we think they’re worth it.”
At Hawaii’s Local Buzz, you’ll find macadamia nuts in unique flavors like garlic parmesan, Sweet & Smoky made with brown sugar and smoked sea salt, and even Cinnamon Bun Crunch!
If you’re looking to buy any products from Hawaii’s Local Buzz, you can find a selection at local markets throughout the state, including Foodland/R. Field, Foodland Farms. On the Big Island, visit Island Naturals in Pahoa and Hilo and Choice Mart in Captain Cook. You can also visit the farm in South Point on the Big Island where you can even grab some samples! The farm is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week.
Many products are not carried in stores, so you can order them directly from online at hawaiislocalbuzz.com. Shipping to addresses in Hawaii is free for orders over $50, and shipping to anywhere else in the U.S. is free for orders over $100. Special for HI Now viewers, get 10 percent off your next online order when you use the code “HINow10.”
To learn more about how you can get the Hawaii Seal of Quality on your products, get more information here: sealofquality.hawaii.gov.