Lonohana Chocolate -- From Farm to Retail
Apr 06, 2023 11:50 AM
Seneca Klassen & Katie Ziemann
Lonohana Chocolate -- From Farm to Retail

Seneca Klassen is the founder, chocolate maker and cacao farmer behind the delectable Lonohana Chocolate. 

Following a lifelong passion for chocolate, in 2005 Seneca co-founded a chain of chocolate cafes located in the San Francisco Bay Area. He eventually crafted a bean-to-bar experimentation and began buying beans from various countries, bringing them to California, and making chocolate as fast as he could learn.

He eventually made his way to Hawaii where he launched Lonohana in 2009, Seneca continues to lecture throughout the U.S. on both what it takes to start a estate-grown chocolate company and why it’s so important to change the centuries-old business model; he leads trips throughout the world to cacao growing regions to further his and many other’s passion for chocolate; has earned multiple awards for his chocolate; and perhaps most importantly continues to play a leading role in helping to establish Hawaii as a world-class origin for cacao and the young chocolate industry that has blossomed since his dream began a reality.

Katie Ziemann is Vice President of Sales & Marketing. She is in charge of wholesale partnerships as well as overseeing retail locations at SALT@Kaka’ako and factory. Her ability to blur the lines between farming in Hawaii and promoting Lonohana with guests and partners alike, makes her a terrific part of the team.

She has a lifelong passion for education and sustainable management of natural, historical, and cultural resources. She lives off-grid on the North Shore where she and her partner help manage Counter Culture Organic Farm.