Hawaii-based chocolate company creates new opportunities for hom - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii-based chocolate company creates new opportunities for homeless

(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
Joe Chun (Image: Hawaii News Now) Joe Chun (Image: Hawaii News Now)
Image: Hawaii News Now Image: Hawaii News Now
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

You wouldn't know it by just looking at its building that there is a chocolate factory in River of Life Mission. On the third floor, taste tempting sweets roll off a production line -- chocolates and chocolate covered goodies.

"It's a really good chocolate. It's a high-end product," River of Life executive director Bob Marchant said.

He started Chocolate on a Mission to raise money for River of LIfe's operations and to help the drug addicted and homeless people the organization ministers to.

"I think part of the solution is helping people be able to get jobs so they can maintain an apartment or room once they receive it," he said.  Joe Chun helps run the factory. Before River of Life, he was living on the street.

"I went through the program and eventually found a job here, and I was placed up in the chocolate factory because they liked how I worked," he said.

The chocolate factory produces two dozen products. Foodland is a big buyer. Some items are sold in Japan under chef Roy's label. Six River of Life clients now work in the factory.

"I always tell them, 'You can say that's you. That product? You made it for yourself," supervisor Ana Sagadraca said.

Chocolate on a Mission is now trying to get its deserts into high-end stores. River of Life plans a second shift to help more people who want to help themselves.

"They could go to some other place whether it's chocolate or not and there's some job skills that are relatable," Marchant said.

"I think as long as I stay focused on today and just try to do the best I can today and try to keep a handle on my moods because I go through mood swings and things like that, I think I'll be all right," Chun said.

Copyright 2016 Hawaii News Now.  All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly