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From Breadfruit to Vodka: Chef Todd Manley’s Mission to Change the World

Discover How Chef Todd Manley Is Transforming Breadfruit Into a Tool for Environmental and Social Impact With Mutiny Island Vodka

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Devin: what is your superpower?

Chef Todd: You're going to love this. It's pretty simple. I have amazing parents, amazing grandparents. My superpower is that I care. I have a big heart, and I care.

In today’s episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with Chef Todd Manley, the founder and CEO of Mutiny Island Vodka. Chef Todd’s journey from culinary innovator to environmental advocate is a testament to the transformative power of creativity and passion. His unique venture is not just about producing vodka; it’s about leveraging the underutilized superfood, breadfruit, to drive significant social and environmental change.

Breadfruit, a fruit native to Oceania and Polynesia, has been criminally underutilized despite its vast potential. Chef Todd discovered its benefits while searching for an ingredient to create the world’s first island vodka. This journey began in 2007, shelved temporarily, but later resurrected in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria, which left the Virgin Islands without power for months. Chef Todd and his business partner experimented with breadfruit, leading to the creation of a unique breadfruit ethanol. This innovation laid the foundation for Mutiny Island Vodka.

What makes breadfruit remarkable is its ability to sequester carbon dioxide and provide food security. As Chef Todd explained, “By using breadfruit products, we incentivize the planting of breadfruit trees, which sequester hundreds of tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and produce abundant food.” This aligns perfectly with the mission of Mutiny Island Vodka: to create jobs, feed people, and better the environment.

Beyond vodka, breadfruit’s versatility extends to various food products, such as flour, hummus, and even gluten-free cheesecake. Chef Todd’s vision goes beyond just making vodka; he aims to make breadfruit a staple in combating global hunger and environmental degradation. “One breadfruit tree will feed a family of four for life if they have nothing else to eat,” Chef Todd highlighted, emphasizing its potential to address food security.

Today, Chef Todd is raising capital on Start Engine through regulated investment crowdfunding. You can invest.

Chef Todd’s story is a compelling blend of innovation, resilience, and a commitment to making a difference. His work with breadfruit is not just a business venture but a movement towards a sustainable and equitable future. Through Mutiny Island Vodka, Chef Todd is indeed leveraging the power of breadfruit to change the world, one tree at a time.


1. Introduction to Chef Todd Manley and Breadfruit Vodka: Chef Todd Manley, involved with Mutiny Island Vodka, introduces the project, which aims to create dramatic social and environmental impacts by using an underutilized fruit called breadfruit to make island vodka.

2. Discovery and Development of Breadfruit Vodka: Chef Todd shares how he came across breadfruit, initially considering it for his restaurant menu. The idea evolved after hurricanes hit his region, leading him and his business partner to experiment with breadfruit, eventually creating vodka from it.

3. Breadfruit's Versatility and Environmental Benefits: Breadfruit not only provides food security due to its superfood qualities but also sequesters significant amounts of CO2. It's being used for various products, including hummus, flour, and Goya brand tostones, endorsed for its numerous health and environmental benefits.

4. Caring as a Superpower: Chef Todd highlights his superpower of caring, emphasizing the importance of recognizing and addressing community needs. He shares a personal story about mentoring an employee, pushing her to realize her potential, which later resulted in significant career success for her.

5. Community Investment and Future Potential of Breadfruit Products: Chef Todd explains the benefits of using Regulation Crowdfunding to raise awareness and capital. He invites the community to learn more about their project on StartEngine and connect via Instagram, aiming to turn everyone into breadfruit advocates and boost sustainable agricultural practices.

How to Develop Caring As a Superpower

Chef Todd Manley’s superpower is his profound capacity to care deeply about people, the environment, and innovative solutions to problems. His empathy and compassion drive his actions and decisions, allowing him to connect diverse ideas and achieve meaningful, win-win outcomes for the community and the world.

One story that illustrates Chef Todd's superpower is his exploration of using breadfruit as a sustainable agricultural product. After two hurricanes devastated the Virgin Islands, he and his business partner experimented with breadfruit to create the world’s first island vodka. This initiative not only provided a unique product but also promoted environmental sustainability and food security by incentivizing the planting of breadfruit trees. As Chef Todd explained, "By using breadfruit products, we incentivize the planting of breadfruit trees, which sequester hundreds of tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and produce abundant food."

To develop and strengthen your own caring superpower, Chef Todd suggests a few actionable steps:

1. Pay Attention: Be mindful of your surroundings and the people around you. Notice problems, big or small, and think about how you can help.

2. Be Creative: Use your creativity to connect diverse ideas and find innovative solutions to problems.

3. Empower Others: Recognize the talents in others and help them harness those talents, even if they don’t realize their potential initially.

4. Embrace Learning: Keep learning from various fields and experiences. The more you know, the better you can connect the dots and make a positive impact.

5. Take Action: When you see an opportunity to help, take it. Even small actions can lead to significant changes over time.

By following Chef Todd Manley’s example and advice, you can make caring a skill. With practice and effort, you could make it a superpower that enables you to do more good in the world.

Remember, however, that research into success suggests that building on your own superpowers is more important than creating new ones or overcoming weaknesses. You do you!

Guest Profile

Chef Todd Manley (he/him):

Founder / CEO, Mutiny Island Vodka

About Mutiny Island Vodka: Mutiny Island Vodka is the world's first award-winning Island Vodka handcrafted from the superfood breadfruit. By using breadfruit as our substrate, we incentivize the planting of breadfruit trees to create food security, economy and benefit the environment by producing a world-class spirit. We get our name from the historic Mutiny on the Bounty. The corporation that owns Mutiny Island Vodka is Twin City Island Spirits, located in the USVI. The 20,000 sq. ft. distillery gets its electricity via solar and has a commitment to zero waste production.


Company Facebook Page:

Other URL:

Biographical Information: Todd Allen Manley • CEO & Board Member
Before moving to his new home of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Todd ran multiple restaurants with average revenues of $1.4M per year per each restaurant. He has been honored to receive numerous awards, from "Chef of the Year" to multiple recognitions of his restaurants as the "best" in several categories, and nominated for an Elby Award in 2012 as a restaurant visionary. He has largely been self-employed his entire life, loving the challenge of taking ideas out of thin air and turning them into tangible, profitable realizations. He is a graduate and former graduate school student of Virginia Commonwealth University.
Since making the USVI his home, he has opened 5 successful businesses in a short four years, continually reinvesting in Christiansted and the USVI, effectively pulling up the town by reinvigorating interest in Christiansted during an economically gloomy period of time. In 2015, the community honored him through the Chamber of Commerce, awarding him "Business Man of the Year.” The same year he received the U.S. Congressional Award for contributions to community and betterment of society for his achievements and helping the community of St. Croix.

His commitment to bettering the global community through his work with breadfruit and the breadfruit community resulted in him being honored at the Global Breadfruit Summit in Hawaii in 2018 and 2022 for contributions to the community and innovation. Mutiny Island Vodka also received an endorsement from a charity, Trees That Feed Foundation, for using breadfruit as a substrate, incentivizing the planting of breadfruit trees. Mutiny Island Vodka was also featured in an article in Forbes.

When he has free time, he can be found with his wife from Dominica, playing a guitar, scuba diving, or on a beach!

Personal Facebook Profile:


Instagram Handle: @mutinyislandvodka

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Superpowers for Good
Superpowers for Good: Empowering Changemakers for Social Impact via Regulated Investment Crowdfunding from the SuperCrowd.
We host changemakers who are using regulated investment crowdfunding for social impact--impact crowdfunding--as impact investors or social entrepreneurs, catalyzing change with leadership skills we call superpowers.