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New local candy line continues the tastes of the Yick Lung family dynasty

li hing sour Hawaii's Choice candy
Courtesy Hawaii's Choice
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If you grew up in Hawaiʻi, you probably remember buying snacks at the local crack seed shop after school as a kid. Maybe you’ve heard stories from your parents about being faced with an endless wall of Yick Lung goodies, and trying to choose between getting the li hing mui, ika, or lemon drops.

Derek Ching is a third-generation entrepreneur who grew up working in his family’s Yick Lung warehouse on Dillingham Avenue. Started by his great-grandfather in the 1900s, it closed in the late '90s. That nostalgia for the yellow-labeled crack seed and Ching’s love for li hing mui prompted him to get back in the snack business.

plum-candy.jpg hawaii's choice
Courtesy Hawaii's Choice
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The Conversation sat down with the snack guru to reminisce about the Yick Lung dynasty and talk about his new candy line “Hawaii’s Choice.”

Click here for new candy flavors vimeo

Hawaii's Choice can be found at retailers including Don Quijote, Times, Foodland, KTA, Longs and 7-Eleven. Ching says he’s ready to add the next generation of li hing treats and entrepreneurs to the family's rich candy history. His teenage daughter is already helping with marketing at the K&K booth at next week’s Dan Akaka military show.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Aug. 9, 2022. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Lillian Tsang is the senior producer of The Conversation. She has been part of the talk show team since it first aired in 2011. Contact her at ltsang@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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