About Us

Roland in the vanillery
pho­to: @tetsuo76

We are blessed to live on a small 2 1/3‑acre home­stead on the East side of the island of Kauai. This land has been in Roland’s fam­i­ly since the 60’s when his grand­par­ents fell in love with Kauaʻi and bought this lit­tle plot of land in a qui­et rur­al neigh­bor­hood. Care of this land was giv­en to us when Roland’s father passed in 2003, and we came here with the vision of cre­at­ing a sus­tain­able way to live in har­mo­ny with nature that we could share with our friends and fam­i­ly.

We grow a lot of dif­fer­ent things here, using per­ma­cul­ture meth­ods to make best use of all the resources avail­able on the land. The diver­si­ty is part­ly to help us learn what grows well here, part­ly to sat­is­fy our curios­i­ty, and part­ly to ensure that there many things that we can use as food or med­i­cine. (we both have a pro­fes­sion­al culi­nary back­ground and Lisa is an herbal­ist) There is a lot of exper­i­men­ta­tion, a lot of time spent tak­ing care of the plants, a lot of time just being with the land to get a deep­er sense of what works: not just what we want, but what the land “wants,” if you will.

Lisa pol­li­nat­ing the flow­ers.
pho­to @raehuo

Vanilla came to us, like many of the plants and trees we have here, as a vol­un­teer: a plant that just showed up, seem­ing­ly at ran­dom (although I’m pret­ty sure my grand­moth­er plant­ed it). We did­n’t set out to grow it, but when we prop­a­gat­ed the vine to sev­er­al loca­tions on the prop­er­ty, it respond­ed and it became clear this was going to be part of the plant com­mu­ni­ty here. Later it became a big part of things.

We found­ed The Vanillery of Kauai when our suc­cess indi­cat­ed we were ready to move on from being hob­by­ists to grow­ing the plant at scale. Our first pro­duc­tion beans were sold in late 2017, and we’ve been work­ing ever since to main­tain and improve the qual­i­ty of our vanil­la.

We hope you enjoy our vanil­la as much as we enjoy liv­ing and work­ing with these won­der­ful plants.

Aloha, Roland and Lisa