From Door To Door Tahiti To Celebrity Treasure, Tahitian Gold Vanilla Celebrates 30 Years

by: Tahitian Gold Co., | March 3, 2024
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Family-Owned Vanilla Company Continues To Innovate, Delight Pastry Chefs

From selling beans grown in his native Tahiti door to door to pastry chefs in Los Angeles to manufacturing vanilla pastes, ground vanilla beans and extracts for accounts around the world, Manuata Martin, founder and CEO of Tahitian Gold has turned his lifelong passion for vanilla into a successful company.

At early age, Martin was captivated by the magic of vanilla, with its 450+ flavor compounds and enticing aroma. In 1994 he turned his love for vanilla into a business and started selling premium vanilla beans from Tahiti out of his one-bedroom apartment in Marina del Rey, Calif.

“I’ve always wanted to introduce quality vanilla to people who may not have had the chance to appreciate how it can elevate almost any pastry and even savory creations,” Martin says.

Tahitian man laying vanilla out to dry.

Credit: Tahitian Gold

In its first year, Tahitian Gold struck pastry gold by selling beans to Sherry Yard, famed for her work as the pastry chef for Wolfgang Puck, the celebrity chef behind the iconic Los Angeles restaurants Spago and Chinois on Main. From there Tahitian Gold blossomed. “At the beginning it was me, myself, and I,” Martin recalls. “Then I hired a bookkeeper, and it grew from there.”

Today, Tahitian Gold produces a full range of vanilla products at its state-of-the-art, SQF-certified facility in Signal Hill, Calif., complete with custom-built rooms for manufacturing vanilla extracts and the company’s signature ground vanilla beans, made with a proprietary method Martin perfected in 2005. The company’s bestseller is 3-Bean Blend Whole Vanilla Bean Paste, with an alcohol-free version coming soon.

Tahitian Gold is a family-owned business with Martin’s two sons in key roles. Martin sources vanilla beans from his brother in Tahiti, plus long-time suppliers in Papua New Guinea and Madagascar, while actively developing several new products to further enhance the company’s offerings.

Prized customers include Artélice Patisserie in Los Angeles, whose vanilla-infused pastries were served at the 2024 Grammy Awards, noted French pastry chefs Stéphane Tréand and Gregory Doyen, 71Above Restaurant/SkyLounge in Los Angeles, Edgewood Resort in Lake Tahoe, and the historic Casino de Paris and La Mère Catherine bistro in Paris.

World Pastry Champion Chef Stéphane Tréand M.O.F. prepares a classic French Entremet using Tahitian Gold Specialty Vanilla Products.

As the company has grown, so has Martin’s commitment to fostering the next generation of pastry chefs. Tahitian Gold is a proud supporter of the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College’s culinary program, and a supporter of the New York and San Francisco chapters of the culinary group Les Dames d’Escoffier, a not-for-profit that fosters careers in the food and beverage industries.

About Tahitian Gold Co.

Tahitian Gold Co. Logo

Tahitian Gold Co. does vanilla differently. Founded in 1994, the family-owned company based in Signal Hill, Calif., manufactures top-quality specialty vanilla products for pastry chefs, bakers, manufacturers and now home bakers. Ground vanilla beans are at the heart of its collection. They’re made using a proprietary process that grinds the entire bean at its most potent point capturing its more than 450+ flavor compounds. The company, led by Tahitian native Manuata Martin, produces premium vanilla extracts, ground vanilla beans, whole vanilla bean pastes, vanilla sugar and vanilla fleur de sel crafted from beans cultivated in Tahiti, Papua New Guinea and Madagascar.  Products are available at and on Amazon.