A Rich History In Chocolate
Ladybug Chocolates is owned and operated by The Dye Family, along with their equally passionate staff "family."
But where does it all begin? On a tropical island paradise. In fact, The Dye family is known for introducing two of Hawaii's most iconic symbols to the world.
Our story begins in 1906, when my great-grandfather, John Hiram Dye settled in Hawaii to manage the candy department for a local hotel. As demand for his product increased, he opened his own store, Ellen Dye Candies named after his daughter Ellen.
In 1927 John began experimenting combining macadamia nuts and chocolate. His new concoction became the very first chocolate dipped macadamia nut. John’s legacy was born, as was a new Hawaiian tradition. These new confections drew customers near and far including none other than President Franklin Roosevelt who discovered the store when he visited Hawaii in 1934.
In 1960, Ellen Dye Candies was sold to Mamoru Takitani, who renamed the company Hawaiian Host Chocolates.
That Was Then, This Is Now
In 2009 I began planning the launch of Waimea Chocolate Company, creating chocolates using 100% Hawaiian grown cacao and macadamia nuts. Many still remembered the original and it wasn’t long before we were gaining notoriety again, including being featured in USA Today’s “Regional Sweets” representing Hawaii.
In 2013 we added Ladybug Chocolates in Canby, Oregon to our family, setting out to create superlative chocolates and confections using the finest and freshest ingredients available. We create an exponential chocolate experience that appeals to today’s discerning palette in a style that we believe would make John Dye proud.
Two years later we won both “Best Chocolate Candy” and “Honorable Mention” at the 2015 Oregon Chocolate Festival. In 2016 Oregonian food critic Gerry Frank listed Ladybug Chocolates as one of his favorite chocolatiers in the Portland metro area for Valentines Day, stating “the hand painted truffles at Ladybug Chocolates are true works of art."
See for yourself what it looks like to create small batch, premium ingredient sweets at Ladybug Chocolates in Canby. Visit our working kitchen where our artisans craft the very best confections right before your eyes, Monday through Friday.
That other iconic creation? The Ukulele, but that is a story for another day.
Still a family business, we are teaching the next generation of passionate people about the art of chocolate.
Robert and Margaret Dye, Owners
Ladybug Chocolates and Waimea Chocolate Company
266 NW 1st Ave, Canby OR 97013