After a 2002 cyclone devastated Tonga, an archipelago in the South Pacific, some New Zealanders started a vanilla farm there to help the get the country back on its feet. Despite a setback from a vanilla bean shortage this year, it has grown into a thriving enterprise, mostly run by women. The Heilala Vanilla Foundation, established in 2013, is also working with other South Pacific island countries to create viable vanilla plantations. Heilala’s high-quality Bourbon vanilla products include fermented beans, paste, extract, sugar and syrup. Breakfast Vanilla, a morning sweetener, can be used for coffee, yogurt, cereal or even toast. Vanilla production has improved the living conditions in the villages that participate in the company.
Heilala Vanilla products, $12.97 to $239.08, heilalavanilla.com.