Sae Design & The Chocolate Factory

Sae Design spent a weekend on Oahu a few weeks ago. After kanaking from a recent breakfast at Cinammon’s in Kailua, we ventured upstairs to Manoa Chocolate, the locally-owned bean-to-bar chocolate company. We weren’t expecting to get design inspiration along with our chocolate samples and tour.


Manoa Chocolate (named for the hawaiian word meaning “solid, vast, deep” rather than the valley), opened in 2010 and is unique in sourcing cocao from across the globe and sharing the history and process behind the chocolate making with its customers.


They recently had a design update and we couldn’t help but ask what the inspiration was behind the pattern that graced all of their packaging and was even engraved in the bars themselves. We were told that the pattern came from the cover of the Windward Artists Guild Collection of Art album. Owner Dylan Butterbaugh’s mother, Kailua artist Jill Butterbaugh, is a member of the non-profit, volunteer-based guild. Tamara, who is married to Dylan and was showing us around that morning, even had the album cover handy so we could see the pattern in person.


We can definitely appreciate the time and effort that went into the coherent and beautiful look, and the meaning and history behind it all! You have our stamp of design approval, Manoa Chocolate!