The Hawaiian Vanilla Co.

The Hawaiian Vanilla Co. – Come See Vanilla Bean Production at Its Finest in Paauilo
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Do you want to see just what it takes to bring luscious vanilla beans to life? If so, you need to take The Hawaiian Vanilla Co. tour. You’ll get to explore their Paauilo vineyard, and then savor a vanilla-inspired luncheon to remember. After that, swing by their gift shop to load up on all your favorite products.

- The Local Expert Team

If you’ve always wondered what goes into growing amazingly flavorful vanilla beans, go on The Hawaiian Vanilla Co. tour, for sure. On that adventure, you’ll go on an in-depth exploration of their Paauilo vineyard before sitting down for lunch. Their vanilla-inspired luncheon lets you taste the magic for yourself, readying you to shop for your favorite products. After that, you can end your journey by visiting their shop for whole vanilla beans, baking mixes, and everything in between.

You’re welcome to stop by at your convenience to shop around and even eat at the café without reservations. But their booking a spot on their tour is the way to go if you want a glimpse behind the scenes. During that experience, you’ll get to hear all about how their vineyard got its start in 1998. Then, learn about the challenges they overcame over the years to bring their vanilla to the world.

After that, you’ll go on a deep dive into what it takes to grow the vines, hand pollinate the blooms, and harvest fresh vanilla on the regular. Right before you go over to the café, you’ll even learn how to make your own vanilla using their whole beans.

To prepare for the tour and luncheon, you just have to dress for the weather and bring a big appetite. Comfortable walking shoes are a must year-round, while a light jacket or sweater is a good idea during the fall and winter months. If you want the full lunch and tour experience, then plan to be onsite for about two hours total. Prefer to just go on the tour? You’ll need about an hour. Visiting the shop can take up a big chunk of your day, however, as it’s easy to get lost in all the extracts, infusions, and other scrumptious items.

If you stay for lunch, expect vanilla in every course. You’ll need to keep an open mind while going into the meal. Otherwise, their unique use of vanilla might throw you off. Ever have potatoes coated in a vanilla rub? What about shrimp sauteed in vanilla butter? If not, then you’re in for a real treat, but only if you can wrap your mind around the possibilities.

Depending on when you come in, their lunch spread may include:

Start out your lunch experience with a vanilla-y drink all their own. To keep it simple, you can go with either their Vanilla Iced Tea or Vanilla Lemonade. But if you want to kick it up a notch, get a combination of the two, lovingly dubbed the Jimmy Boy.

Their entrees are meant to go big on the vanilla – and their Vanilla Bourbon Marinated Chicken Breast does not deviate from that formula. This dish begins with chicken breast marinated in vanilla bourbon and grilled to perfection. Then, they put it on a vanilla sweet bread bun before adding the caramelized onions. Vanilla mango chutney aioli and vanilla BBQ sauce land alongside to bring it all together.

For dessert, they tend to keep it simple to let the fresh vanilla flavors dance across your tastebuds. So, it’s usually just a bowl of their homemade Hawaiian vanilla bean ice cream. Alongside, you get a cup of local coffee to help brighten up the vanilla flavors even more.

If you’re craving their vanilla deliciousness upon returning home, go to their website to shop your heart out. They have all their top product available for purchase online. Just load up your cart, check out, and then eagerly await your selections arriving on your doorstep in no time flat. You can repeat your orders whenever you run out of your favorites, ensuring you always have rich Hawaiian vanilla flavors on hand.

Insider Tip:
They only offer their tour and lunch experience on the weekdays from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm. So, be sure to reserve your spot at least a month in advance to avoid missing out.