Invested: November 2011
Heilala Vanilla was established by John Ross and his family as an aid project in 2002. After a cyclone ravaged the Kingdom of Tonga, a partnership was formed with a family in the village of Utungake to establish a vanilla plantation which would provide employment and sustainable livelihoods for the local community.
Grown in virgin soil on coconut-husk frames, Heilala Vanilla orchids are hand-cultivated, hand-pollinated and sustainably harvested followed by a traditional curing and drying process carried out under the tropical sun. The annual crop is manufactured into a range of vanilla products from the companies base in Te Puna, Tauranga, NZ. Heilala Vanilla products include extract, syrup, sugar, paste, skin care, home products, sanitiser and more!
As demand for Heilala Vanilla has grown - thanks to its consistent quality, uniquely profound flavour, ethical sourcing and organic growing practices - grower partnerships have extended throughout Tonga along with investment into plantings of vanilla in partnership with His Majesty which will extend the supply chain along with providing employment.
Awards + Accolades:
- 2020 Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards - Gold
- 2020 NZ Artisan Award - Finalist Highly Commended
- 2020 NZ Food Awards - Food Hero Finalist
- 2020 2Degrees - Shop Local Finalist
- 2020 Westpac Tauranga Business of the Year - Supreme Winner
Read more on Heilala in the press ...
- Forbes, October 2019: Why some of the country's top bakers are swooning over this vanilla
- Wall Street Journal, June 2019: Why this vanilla is loved by Michelin-starred pastry chefs
- New York Magazines' The Strategists, June 2019: The vanilla extract recommended by Chefs from Gramercy Tavern and Sqirl Alike
Keep up to date with Heilala HERE and receive a free recipe e-book when you sign up!