Our mission is to foster the development of an economically viable and environmentally sustainable fine / flavor grade-cacao industry, and to establish meaningful connections between farmers and chocolate makers in Hawaii and across the globe.
Diversified industry experience is combined with scientific evidence and methodology to make informed recommendations to meet the needs of farmers and chocolate producers.
The consulting process starts by listening carefully to the experiences, expectations, and goals of each client and their staff. In order to best understand the mechanics of each farm, it’s common to spend full days working in the field alongside farm workers.
To best evaluate, make informed recommendations, and conduct training, it is necessary to experience the details of normal day-to-day operations and strive to build a relationship with staff. After reflection and discussion with farm owners, practical recommendations are made with careful consideration of capital and labor resources, farming philosophy, and anticipated goals.
After four years of working with cacao growers in the Hawaiian Islands independently and as an agent of the University of Hawaii, Cacao Services, Inc. was formed in 2012.
Daniel O’Doherty is owner and President of Cacao Services, Incorporated. After completing a bachelor’s of science in psychology and a master’s of science in botany, he has worked and studied cacao extensively as a University of Hawaii researcher and as a private consultant.
Amano Artisan Chocolate
American Samoa Department of Agriculture
Crop Nutrient Solutions, Inc.
Dandelion Small Batch Chocolate
Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA)
Hawaii Agricultural Research Center (HARC)
Hawaii Cacao Foundation (HCF)
Hawaii Chocolate and Cacao Association (HCCA)
Manoa Chocolate Hawaii
Mars Global Chocolate
Maya Mountain Cacao, Ltd. – Belize
Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE), Costa Rica
University of Hawaii at Manoa, Tropical Plant and Soil Science
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA/ARS)
Alae Estate – Hawaiian Crown Hilo, Hawaii
Carouba Farm – Coto Brus, Costa Rica
HARC Maunawili – Kailua, Hawaii
J&G – Lahaina, Hawaii
Jungle Bee – Kilauea, Hawaii
Kamahi Horticulture – Kahaluu, Oahu
Kualapuu Ranch – Kualapuu, Molokai
Lonohana Estate – Haleiwa, Oahu
Moloaa Bay Coffee – Kapaa, Kauai
Ohulehule Forest Conservancy – Waikane, Oahu
Reppun Farm – Waiahole, Oahu
Lonohana Estate – Haleiwa, Oahu
Steelgrass Farms – Kapaa, Kauai
Waialua Estate – Waialua, Oahu
- "I have owned a 20-acre cacao plantation in Costa Rica and I have been making chocolate for 6 years. Dan recently came to my farm to help me refine my fermentation and drying techniques. As an added bonus he helped me develop management techniques for the plantation, including pruning, fertilizing, grafting and soil analysis. We worked out a plan for preparing and planting a new 7.5-acre site in cacao. He also knows a lot about making chocolate and offered me several helpful hints. I cannot state strongly enough how impressed I was by the breadth and depth of his knowledge. Dan knows a LOT about cacao – all the way from planting and transplanting seedlings to the care of the plantation to the harvesting, fermenting and drying. And most impressive, his experiential, hands-on knowledge is matched by a thorough understanding of the science behind every step. Dan can effectively plan and care for a new plantation with consideration of all the variables involved and at the same time is not afraid to get his hands dirty doing the actual physical work. The time we spent together was invaluable for me, like a 24/7 seminar in all things cacao. He has been in many different countries to research cacao and brings that diverse, real world experience together with his scientific training into one impressive package."James Carouba, Cacao farmer, Costa Rica
- "Dan O'Doherty presented a two-day workshop in American Samoa during October 2013 on all aspects of cacao production and processing. His visit was at the behest of the American Samoa Community College and the Department of Agriculture and funded by the USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Professional Development Program. During his week-long stay, Dan toured several small farms to gage the current state of and the potential for cocoa production. He also interviewed farm owners and agriculture professionals to get their views. Workshop attendance was overwhelming both days. Participants rated his presentation highly, citing his clear explanations and informative slideshow. Dan also conducted hands-on demonstrations on grafting and pruning trees. Most importantly, he explained the importance of post-production fermenting for the profitable marketing of quality chocolate. I have no hesitation in highly recommending Daniel O'Doherty as a knowledgeable workshop presenter who can clearly articulate his message to a widely diverse audience."Don Vargo, PhD Western SARE Coordinator, American Samoa
- "Dan is a world-class expert in numerous aspects of cacao, from starting farms to fermenting beans and everything in between. Whenever we start working with new farms that need help, we call on Dan, he has a proven track record of making solid process improvement leading to better cacao. The main lesson we've learned is bring Dan in as early as possible to make the biggest impact."Greg D'Alesandre, Chocolate maker, Dandelion Chocolate, USA