Maui Chili Chili Oil turns up the spice! Selected for Mana Up accelerator
May 22, 2023, 9:00 AM HST
A local accelerator for Hawaiʻi based consumer brands, Mana Up, has announced 11 new companies selected for a six-month program designed to help businesses grow and scale globally.
Among those selected this year is Maui Chili Chili Oil, a small business offering small batch Szechuan-style chili oil made with garlic and locally grown Maui onion.
The business was founded by husband and wife team, Deron and Kit Furukawa who started their venture during the pandemic in Wailuku, Maui. According their account, the due had purchased and used a different brand but always complained about how the flavor and the crunchy garlic bits “just doesn’t hit the spot – so we decided to make our own.”
The condiment can be added to anything from saimin to stir fry. Suggested pairings include: dimsum, steak, steamed veggies, avocado toast, and fresh poke.
The business website and marketing material touts, “It’s so good, so good, we named it twice!”
Maui Chili Chili Oil’s unique flavor is featured in three different 6 oz jars: “Mild Kine Spicy,” “Medium Kine Spicy,” and “Spicy Kine Spicy.” All are meant to enhance the flavor of a dish and can be used in cooking, as a garnish or a dipping sauce.
The product is available at Foodland, Mana Foods, Pukalani Superette, Four Sisters Bakery, TJ’s Warehouse, Tamura’s Market, Island Grocery Depot, Hui Noʻeau Gift Shop, Marriott Ocean Club’s Lokelani Pool Bar and Beach Walk Marketplace, and Sunkissed Wahine Maui in Kīhei. Oʻahu customers can also find the product at Kokua Market Natural Foods on S. King St. and at select Foodland Farm locations.
The Maui business is one of 11 selected from a diverse pool of 149 local applicants to be part of the 8th Mana Up cohort. The applicant list was narrowed to 56 businesses who were interviewed, but less than a dozen made the final cut. Since 2018, Mana Up has helped 74 companies to graduate from its accelerator program.
The accelerator program includes weekly workshops, curated mentor introductions, access to sales channels and customized goal setting. Special perks of this year’s program include a customized brand brief articulating each company’s key narratives, a 2-minute video spotlight, and a feature in the 2023 Mana Up Showcase.
“With another year of record-breaking applications, we’re even more convinced of the continuing need and opportunity to support this industry with resources, capital and growth channels,” said Meli James, co-founder, Mana Up in a news release. “We’ve got an impressive group this year, who will join the Mana Up Alumni that generate $61 million in annual revenue in aggregate and are growing on average 33% annually. All of these companies are 100% headquartered in Hawaiʻi, adding jobs, revenue, community giveback and so much more.”
Besides Maui Chili Chili Oil, Cohort 8 also features the following companies:
- Liquid Life Hawaiʻi creates super-food products such as cold-pressed juices and nutraceuticals using locally sourced ingredients with three health cafes on the Island of Hawaiʻi. The business was founded by Ola and Puna Tripp of Hilo.
- Hobbs Tea offers organic and sustainably-grown tea from Hawaiʻi that helps protect endemic Hawaiian species and their habitats. Founded by Jamie Chambers Lyons of Kalaheo, Kauaʻi.
- Brianne & Co. is a handmade jewelry line crafted by Brianne Light of Koloa, Kauaʻi. Her simple, minimalist jewelry collection features materials from local Kauaʻi sea glass and shells to unique stones, genuine pearls and precious metals.
- Sweet Land Farm is a goat dairy and farmstead creamery born from founder Emma Bello McCaulley’s passion – combining her culinary training and family tradition of dairy farming. Founded by Emma and her father, Eric Bello from Waialua, Oʻahu.
- Kakaʻako Kasuals is a Native Hawaiian and wahine-owned footwear company that provides comfortable slippers and water shoes featuring designs that reflect the Islands. Founded by mother-daughter duo Napualani and Kiani Wong from Kakaʻako, Oʻahu.
- UBAE is a local confectionery inspired by the founders’–Adrienne-Joy and Jeremy Jataas–Filipino roots offering sweet treats made with ube from cheesecake to cookies. (Honolulu, Oʻahu).
- Averylily is an interior design studio curating offering a move-in basics collection for new homeowners. Founded by Avery Solmssen and Lily Kanter from Honolulu, Oʻahu.
- Lotus & Lime is a mother-daughter fashion brand designed by Kim and Jade-Alexis Ryusaki that perpetuates both their Native Hawaiian and Japanese cultures through unique designs. (Honolulu, Oʻahu).
- Hawaiian Rainforest Naturals, Inc creates a line of healing flower essences, body care products and spa treatments using locally grown ingredients and inspired by the healing energy of Hawaiʻi Island’s rain forests and the teachings of their Kumu. Founder Melia Goodenow from Keaʻau, uses her training in Hawaiian plant medicine, and energy healing.
- Hawaiian Soda Co crafts a healthier alternative to sodas inspired by the flavors of Hawaiʻi and made with real fruit juice, crisp fizz, and prebiotics. The fizzy beverages have no added sugar or preservatives. Founded by Caesar and Gina Ho from Honolulu, Oʻahu.
Mana Up Cohort 8 officially kicks off May 30 and culminates with its annual Mana Up Showcase event taking place on Nov. 8 and 9, 2023.