Heilala Vanilla began as an aid project after a cyclone. A vanilla plantation was established by a New Zealand family, in partnership with a local family from the village of Utungake in Vava’u, Kingdom of Tonga.
In 2005 the first crop was harvested and snapped up by local chefs. Since these small beginnings and a first harvest of 45kg of dried vanilla beans, Heilala has partnered with growers throughout Tonga celebrating their 10th harvest of vanilla beans in 2015. This has had a significant impact on the Tongan economy providing employment and infrastructure across a number of communities.