In the early 1990s, partly because of population shifts to the cities, Tahiti’s vanilla bean production was all but abandoned. Ironically, this ultimately resulted in Manu and his brother, Sacha, creating new vanilla businesses under the Tahitian Gold brand.
Initially, Sacha traveled to learn everything he could from the islands’ elders. As he did, he realized the importance of controlling the quality of his vanilla beans. To satisfy market demands, he knew he had to master the art of sun-curing and eventually growing vanilla himself.
To cure his vanilla beans, Sacha chose one of the family’s pollution-free private islands. Eventually, Sacha started his own Tahitian vanilla greenhouse plantations that are today the largest in French Polynesia.
Manu had moved to the United States to attend high school and college where he studied photography and film-making. This resulted in his ongoing passion for visual arts and music.
In 1994, at Sacha’s request, Manu agreed to help some Tahitian farmers import their vanilla products into the United States. In making this decision, Manu was determined to set the bar high. He decided he’d import only the highest quality vanilla beans from Tahiti and around the world. He’d demand that his new company focus on delivering quality, service, and value. He envisioned that his company would someday create amazing innovative specialty products that would celebrate and promote vanilla’s magic. And, with this, he launched his company, Tahitian Gold Co, Inc.
Soon, in its state-of-the-art facility in Los Angeles, Tahitian Gold created a remarkably innovative process for grinding its beans. This process captures, retains and enhances the finer qualities of fresh gourmet vanilla beans. These highly fragrant and intensely flavored ground vanilla bean products have earned the reputation of being a “best kept secret” amongst elite chefs and purists around the world.