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Sunday
Aug142011

First visit to Grenada : December 2009

One of my dearest inspirational friends, Mott Green, started The Grenada Chocolate Company and it is surely one of the most unique companies in the world. I am completely in love with the vibes of Grenada and the simple artisanry in the production of these bars. Grenada Chocolate is harvested, fermented, dried, ground, poured, and packaged here in Grenada - a "Farm to Bar" process that allows for Mott's values to permeate each and every single aspect of the product.

That's no joke - because Mott's values include a kind of integrity and respect for the land and people like none other... completely unpretentious and almost ridiculously idealistic. But you know what, it works. And it gives us reason tho wonder why we think idealism is unrealistic. The beans are some of the best I've ever had in flavor, the farms are 100% certified organic, all processing is done within minutes of where the beans are harvested, the "cottage factory" is solar-powered, the chocolate makers all live within minutes and make a product they are beautifully proud of, and the company is owned by the co-operative of farmers who nurture the theobroma cacao trees and the soil that mothers them and directly reap the true benefits of their hard work to maintain quality and organic certification.

In December '09, I visited my friend Mott Green in Grenada as part of my Raw Integrity Project. The purpose of my visit was to experience first hand the entire process of bringing you chocolate - starting at the farm. I worked side-by-side with the farmhands as we picked cacao pods from the trees, removed the fresh beans from the pods, carted them up and down hills, and dried and fermented the beans. It's at that point that the beans are ready to be processed into bars.

Since Mott's GCC is a model of transparency and integrity, I also had the opportunity to learn about the struggles and triumphs of organic farming; operating a company as a cooperative of farmers that ensures social responsible treatment; and running a chocolate factory on solar energy. We repeated the same process of low heat dehydrating with Mott's beans and machines and I personally measured the temperature of the beans the whole time they were in the roaster to ensure that raw temperature standards were maintained.

Grenada Chocolate Company Ltd. was founded in 1999 with the idea of creating an Organic Cocoa Farmers' and Chocolate-Makers' Cooperative. We produce high quality Organic dark chocolate in Grenada with our world famous cocoa beans. Our factory is nestled in lush cocoa groves in Grenada's pristine rainforest.

Our award-winning organic dark chocolate has the wonderful complex flavor of Grenada's fine-flavored organic cocoa beans, processed carefully in small batches. Producing chocolate right where the cocoa grows allows us to do our own fermenting which gives us a real advantage in creating the finest, most complex taste from the beans.  We use our own extracted cocoa butter in our chocolate also from Grenada's fine-flavored cocoa. This brings in a luxurious extra richness and chocolaty flavor.  Our chocolate has a truly deep and rich flavor.

We now have over 150 acres of organic cocoa farms in our cooperative and operate our own cocoa fermentry, located one mile from our little factory. This assures that we perform every activity involved in the production of our chocolate, from the planting and growing of the cocoa trees to the fermenting of the fresh cocoa beans to the processing of our fine dark chocolate. We grow our cocoa totally naturally without the use of any chemical pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers and have been Certified Organic.

Our sugar is a fine organic raw sugar produced and milled by an organic growers' cooperative in Paraguy.

Whole organic vanilla beans grown biodynamically in Costa Rica provide our "dash" of vanilla.

Organic soy lecithin is used as emulsifier in extremely small amounts.

We are one of the only small-scale chocolate-makers producing fine chocolate where the cocoa grows.   Because small batch chocolate-making is very rare, we had to create our own processing methods, desigining our own machines and refurbishing antique equipment to meet the requirements of our unique situation. Most of our machines are based in design on those of the early 1900's, a time when quality had precedence over quantity in chocolate-making. Because we care about our environment, we use solar-electric energy to power our machines.

The original impetus and principle of our cooperative company is to revolutionize the cocoa-chocolate system that typically keeps cocoa production separate from chocolate-making and therefore takes advantage of cocoa farmers.We believe that the cocoa farmers should benefit as much as the chocolate-makers. 

 

(Click here photos, videos, & updates).

 

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