It should come as no surprise that the Caribbean produces some of the best Chocolates in the world. With a climate ripe for harvesting this precious commodity, the Caribbean cocoa beans are viewed as the cream of the crop among chocolatiers in the region as well as throughout the globe. What’s even more appealing are the flavors that these young entrepreneurs choose to infuse into their confections- from sorrel, to mango, papaya, chilli powder and basil. So who do you look for when taking a Chocolate tour of the Caribbean? See my list below.
Cocobel Chocolates- Trinidad and Tobago
Cocobel Chocolates are artisanal creations of Isabel Brash, who says that she fell into chocolate like Alice falling down the rabbit hole of endless wonder and enchantment. Using exclusively the beans from the Rancho Quemado Estate in south Trinidad, Isabel transforms cocoa beans into chocolate and creates all her flavours in the chocolate kitchen at the house which she designed and built in genteel Woodbrook, Port of Spain. Isabel is a trained architect turned chocolatier and her chocolates reflect the balance of form and function: just as delightful to look at as they are to eat! Her vision is for Trinidad’s fine flavor cocoa to be enjoyed in every form right here on the island.- Cocobel.com
The Grenada Chocolate Company– Grenada
The Grenada Chocolate Company was founded in 1999 by Mott Green (born David Friedman), Doug Browne and Edmond Brown who had the idea of creating an Organic Cocoa Farmers’ and Chocolate-Makers’ Cooperative.
This radical new business model created the first “Tree to Bar” chocolate this century, adding all the value to the local economy in the village of Hermitage, St Patricks. Mott Green often said “It takes a whole village to make a bar of our chocolate”; the factory produces high quality organic dark chocolate in Grenada using the world famous Trinitario cocoa beans that grow right on their own doorstep. The chocolate factory is nestled in lush cocoa groves in Grenada’s pristine rainforest.
Agapey Choclate Factory– Barbados
Agapey Chocolate Factory was founded to offer world class luxury chocolate made in the Caribbean where most of the best cocoa beans in the world are grown. Unknown to many chocolate lovers, the best flavoring beans are found in the Caribbean and Latin American countries while bulk and filler beans are of African origin. The majority of these cocoa beans are shipped to western nations and processed into chocolate. There are probably less than 50 companies worldwide using traditional chocolate methods and machinery. We are one of those companies.
Type of cocoa beans: criollo, trinitario, nacional
Strategically located in Barbados, one of the main business centres of the CARICOM member states, Agapey Chocolate Factory is located in the hub of the Caribbean. This allows Agapey to intimately source beans from the best cocoa growing regions in the Caribbean. We also use world renown, locally grown Barbadian gold cane sugar which adds a delightful special flavour to our products.
The St. Vincent Cocoa Company– St. Vincent and the Grenadines
St Vincent Cocoa Company was established in 2011 to re-establish the cocoa industry using sustainable agricultural methods in St Vincent & the Grenadines. We train farmers in sustainable agricultural methods to grow cocoa, short cycle crops including peppers and timber species in an agroforestal model. Farmers are taught Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Good Environmental Practices (GEP) and business management. SVCC also encourages youth to become involved in sustainable agriculture through the production of hot peppers and employment opportunities in our nurseries and Farm Services group. SVCC works closely with Source Trust (www.sourcetrust.org) and local NGOs to promote sustainable farming practices.
Chocolate Dreams– Jamaica
Chocolate Dreams was established as a home based cottage industry. In April 2004, Chocolate Dreams expanded its line as a young company producing everything in chocolate for every occasion. We create handmade chocolates especially for our clients- individuals and companies. We think Chocolate!
The Green Monkey Chocolatier- Barbados
The Green Monkey Chocolatier, Wendy Abed, is a graduate of Ecole Chocolat of Vancouver, Canada and the Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy studying under world-renowned master Belgium chocolatier, Philippe Vancayseele. In 2014, Wendy qualified as a Master Chocolatier at Valrhona’s Ecole du Grand Chocolat in Tain l’Hermitage, France. She also qualified as a Master Chocolatier at ICAM, Lecco, Italy in 2015. She has been trained in chocolate showpieces by master Jerome Landrieu in Chicago and French Macarons in New York City and Paris.
A lifetime chocolate addict, Wendy’s interest in chocolate was developed during her 20 year career in relocation and banking, traveling regularly to France and Italy where she became intrigued with the colourful chocolate shops and magical boxes of fine luxury chocolates.
The Green Monkey Chocolatier’s creations are designed for chocolate lovers with discriminating tastes, using only the finest ingredients. Each chocolate is handmade in the traditional artisan method in small batches without preservatives. The Green Monkey uses organic, Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance certified chocolate, along with the freshest ingredients from vanilla beans, passion fruit and mango. All of the ingredients are natural – no oils or extracts – just pure, true flavors unlike many other chocolates or truffles. The cream is fresh and heavy with an extremely high butter fat content that provides a smooth velvety texture. The sum of all those parts creates something that’s really indescribable.
Sun Eaters Organics– Trinidad and Tobago
Sun Eaters Organics processes cacao beans into a single origin/single estate, single bean (Trinitario) gourmet chocolate bar with a rare and precious taste for a unique sensorial experience. By controlling the chocolate-making process from the farm to the bar, as a bean-to-bar chocolate entrepreneur, we can create better chocolate — chocolate that preserves the beans’ distinctive flavors. Our farm-to-bar pipeline makes for more ethical, sustainable production in an industry with a long history of exploitation. We pay at least a 60% higher than market price for our organic cacao beans to encourage organic farming. Fighting for the future of food, Sun Eaters’ understanding of the linkages of climate change with food security, agricultural development and rural development makes us unique activists dealing with the contemporary struggle and social movement in agro-business and sustainable product development. In attempting to change the cultural climate of acceptability, foisting a different cost-benefit calculus onto the industry, environmental standards are integral to our corporate ‘fair trade’ criteria.