The Story of Pono


The Hawaiian word “Pono” means being in perfect alignment with all things in the universe; this beautiful word captures the beauty of the Hawaiian culture and paradise.  

Like the Hawaiian word “aloha” with countless meanings, “Pono” is a Hawaiian word that is difficult to fully define. The Hawaiian state motto “Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ‘Aina I ka Pono” is literally translated as “the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.” The closest English translations in many Hawaiian dictionaries use over 80 words to define “Pono” including goodness, morality, excellence, equity, duty, proper, virtuous, righteousness, and generally associated with a state of harmony or practice.

Being “pono” means living in perfect alignment with all things in life where your every thought and action is in perfect harmony, including yourself as a spiritual being. Living pono means having a proper and respectful relationship with your parents, spouse, children, neighbors, and all others. Through forgiveness and making things “right," harmony returns. Peace, love, and aloha return.

Pono Chocolate embodies this harmonious balance where every aspect of the chocolate brings one back to pono. We also preserve pono by our responsibly sourced ingredients, the tastes of Hawaii, the Polynesian artistic designs, and the inspired wisdom in each wrapper (called "'Ōlelo"). Pono Chocolate is the perfect way to remind us that "life is ono when you live pono" (life is delicious when you live right).

Pono Chocolate's most unique is the 'Ōlelo, or words of wisdom, wrapped inside each bar. Taken from proverbs and philosophies derived from the Hawaiian islands, the note enclosed in each Pono Chocolate bar conveys an" 'ōlelo" on how to live a life more pono.

  • Here are just a few examples of the beautiful 'Ōlelo you might find nestled inside our chocolate bars:

  • Mai ho`oni i ka wai lana mâlie.
    Don’t disturb water that is tranquil.
    (Allow the peaceful to continue their peaceful existence.)
  • `A`ohe pau ka `ike i ka hâlau ho`okâhi.

    All knowledge is not taught in one school.
    (One learns from a variety of sources.)
  • `A`ohe pu`u ki`eki`e ke ho`â`o `ia e pi`i.

    No cliff is so tall that it cannot be climbed.

    (No problem is too great to be overcome.)

 Which words of wisdom will you find inside your Pono Chocolate Bar?


Our mission at Pono Chocolate is to live an authentic pono lifestyle; this includes making our sweet and savory chocolates responsibly while motivating others to learn from the infinite wisdom of the Hawaiian culture of pono.


At Pono Chocolate, we maintain and agree to uphold our responsibility to the Hawaiian community. Blessings are a sacred tradition in Hawaiian culture where a Hawaiian minister ("Kuhina") invites goodness, harmony, love, peace, and aloha into all blessed things. A Hawaiian Kahuna blesses our company and ingredients in each bar, and therefore every bar carries a true Hawaiian blessing to you. The Kuhina Alalani Astara Hill also blesses all of the 'ōleo before they are placed in the bars. She says, "When taking a bite, take a breath and reflect on how you can share some pono -- how you can pay it forward."


Consistent with our philosophy, we are committed to giving back to the Hawaiian residents a portion of our profits year after year with a local charity or cause here in Hawaii. Pono Chocolate has contributed to the local Salvation Army in response to repeated natural disasters. Including torrential rain on Kauai, devastating lava and ash from the volcano on the Big Island, and Hurricane Lane that also hit the Big Island with over three feet of rain and spread wildfires across parts of Maui. Pono also supports Toys for Tots and shares gifts with the local Keiki (children) just before the holidays.


With a portion of the profits of the sale of our "Special Edition" Ola bar going to the Pacific Cancer Foundation, Pono Chocolate was able to donate $5000 in cash and kind to this organization in 2019-2022, with more to come!

Nancy LaJoy accepts donation from Jen and Jan, Pono Chocolate Founders in Spring 2020

Nancy LaJoy, Director of the Pacific Cancer Foundation on Maui accepts donation from Jen and Jan, Founders of Pono Chocolate in Spring 2020 

We will continue to update our the site and share with you how Pono Chocolate gives back to our beautiful Hawaii.