Big Island Candies

Our Volcano Explorer Tour is a great tour for those who want to focus on the Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park and departs from either Kona or Waikoloa.  The tour that departs from Waikoloa finishes off with a stop at Big Island Candies which is the ultimate in candy shops located in Hilo.  Big Island Candies tells their story in their first blog post below.

Meet and Treat: Get to Know a Bit About Big Island Candies

Delicious Vision

We’re so excited to launch our first post on our blog! If you’re familiar with us here at Big Island Candies, Aloha! And if you’re new to the Big Island Candies brand, Welcome! As with just about anything, a good place to start is at the beginning. We’ll kick things off with a question: Did you know that Big Island Candies started out with just a chocolate melter and a shrink-wrap machine? Actually, to take a step back, our company started out as just a dream, shared by Allan Ikawa and his wife, Irma, who were both born on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. They decided to invest everything they had in 1977 to pursue their vision/version of the American Dream: to start a business that would craft Hawaiʻi’s finest confections, using only the freshest, highest quality ingredients.

A Shortbread Is Born

Initially, Big Island Candies was a wholesaler/manufacturer of chocolate-covered macadamia nut candy (thus the reference to Candies in our name). Allan put in 16-hour days at a small warehouse on Maka`ala Street in Hilo’s industrial area, making the dream a reality. But the dream, at times, was anything but. Together, Allan and Irma overcame some devastating setbacks in their steadfast pursuit of their passion. It took pride and perseverance to keep moving forward, a commitment to staying true to the values instilled in both of them by their families. It took something else too—innovation. And that’s when one of our signature products was born: the original, incomparable Macadamia Nut Shortbread, diagonally dipped in creamy milk chocolate, and for that extra-special touch, each cookie would be individually wrapped (still is!). From there, many other deliciously decadent confections would follow, and when something is that good, you just have to share it.

Love In Store

In 1989, our first flagship store/factory opened at 500 Kalaniana`ole Avenue. Hawaiʻi residents and visitors alike descended upon the location to purchase a variety of goodies for friends and family (and rightly so, some treats for themselves no doubt). Although the act of gift-giving is practiced all over the world, nowhere is it as deeply ingrained in the culture as it is in Hawaiʻi. More specifically, the Japanese concept of “omiyage” has been widely embraced for generations. As an expression of love toward the recipient, omiyage lies at the heart of everything we do at Big Island Candies. Whatever we produce must look good, taste good, and bring happiness to others.

By the late ‘90s, we launched our first mail-order catalog, and opened our current flagship store/factory at 585 Hinano Street, complete with factory viewing through large windows around the store so people could see how some of our creations are made (an attraction we first introduced at the Kalaniana`ole location, and even now, it’s the cutest thing when little kids are at those windows, looking at ALL… THAT… CHOCOLATE). We were also welcomed by this thing called the internet (you may have heard of it), which found us an online home at This new type of store was always open—and it still is. Whether people live in Hawaiʻi, had visited once or often, or hadn’t been yet, the gift—and taste—of Hawaiʻi can always be shared with others.

The New Millenni-yum

From premium chocolates and signature Hawaiʻian shortbread cookies to mouthwatering baked treats and many other favorites, the 2000s saw our product lines of goodies growing. In addition, our specialty assortments continued to be popular with customers. Featuring an enticing array of delectable items, these gifts are presented in packaging designs that reflect the natural beauty of Hawaiʻi, the joy of the seasons, and the happiness of the holidays. Gift baskets of best sellers also continue to bring the cheer—any time of year.

In 2013, we opened our store at Ala Moana Center on Oahu, another opportunity for customers to purchase gifts of gratitude, or something special for that special-occasion celebration: a birthday, a holiday, perhaps an anniversary or a graduation, to name just a few. For visitors especially, our retail locations have become must-stop shops for purchasing scrumptious souvenirs, tasty takeaways from their time in Hawaiʻi. The spirit of omiyage lives on to this very day—safely in person in our stores, any time online, or simply placing an order by phone.

Dream Team

Another thing that lives on is the shared dream Allan and Irma had back in 1977. For over 40 years, we have kept that vision close in our hearts, clear in our minds, and present in our actions. Now more than ever, pride and perseverance continue to resonate deeply with our team of employees, as we look ahead to a flavorful future, one that has us reuniting with people from all over the world, one that has us continuing to embrace the new, while retaining what’s tried and true—it doesn’t get better than that.

We hope that you enjoyed getting to know us a bit better. We want to know more about you: What was your favorite fact from the above? If you’ve tried our confections before, do you have a go-to-goodie? If you haven’t yet, will our Milk Chocolate Dipped Macadamia Nut Shortbread be your introduction, or is one of our other treats calling your taste buds?


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At Kailani Tours, our top priority is delivering unforgettable Big Island experiences. We’re confident that you’ll find our tours enriching and well worth your time. If for any reason you feel otherwise, please tell us. We’ll make it right, whether that means inviting you on another tour, issuing a refund, or providing a voucher for a future visit. Your time is precious, and we’re honored that you choose to spend it exploring the Big Island with us.

Here’s what we cannot guarantee:

You will see active lava flows

Mother Nature has her own schedule, and while we wish we could promise a spectacular lava show, it’s truly up to the forces of the earth.

You’ll have full access to every part of the parks.

Volcano National Park areas are subject to closures based on safety assessments by park officials. As always, safety is our top priority and we can easily adapt our itinerary to make sure you get the best experience possible.

You’ll experience perfect weather

The Big Island’s weather can be as unpredictable as it is beautiful. We can’t guarantee sunshine and clear skies every day, but the dynamic weather is part of the island’s charm.

We value your decision to discover the Big Island with us, and we’re committed to making your tour a highlight of your Hawaii visit.


With Trip Protection (Highly Recommended)

For a small fee (15%), Trip Protection allows you to cancel or reschedule your tour at any time – for any reason – up to 1 hour prior to trip departure. You will be reimbursed for the FULL amount of each ticket, less the cost of trip protection and processing fees. 

You may opt in or opt out of Trip Protection at the time of booking, either online or over the phone.

Without Trip Protection

You may cancel or reschedule your tour up to 48 hours before your tour’s scheduled departure to avoid fees or penalties. 

Refunds are not possible within 48 hours of your tour’s departure time, however, we will make every effort to accommodate rescheduling your booking to another date, if you so desire.

Please Note: Our tours operate rain or shine, though itineraries may be adjusted in response to severe weather conditions. Access to certain parts of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, including during events like active lava flows or eruptions, may be restricted or closed by park officials without notice. In such cases, Kailani Tours does not offer partial refunds for any part of the tour affected by these restrictions.

With our vast experience navigating these occasional closures, you can trust that we will make the absolute most of your day with us, no matter the conditions.

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We guarantee the absolute lowest price on all experiences we sell. If you find the same product cheaper within three days of booking or while you’re in your destination, we’ll refund the difference.

It’s Easy To Do: 

Gather your information

Assemble your Kailani Tours receipt and the proof of the lower price you found.

Send it to us

Email [email protected] with the documents, your name, and your home address. 

We’ll review 

We’ll examine your materials and get in touch as soon as we can. 

Receive your refund 

If everything checks out, we’ll refund you the difference between the two prices.