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Machel’s other sweet bars

Regional 27 Apr, 2023 Follow News

Marcel Montana with his chocolate

Micoud Chocolate Company and some Micoud Cluster products

The Caribbean is quickly becoming a magnet for fine chocolate lovers as many islands ramp up their production to appreciative international consumers.

Trinidad and Tobago soca star Machel Montano is at the forefront of his country’s steady comeback after a century of progressive decline in cocoa production. It went from 30,000 tons annually to less than 500 tons and the iconic performer is deeply invested in taking the industry back to its original glory.

Montano’s tenacity as a regional pioneer in sustainability lead to the 2014 launch of his own brand of organic 60% dark chocolate made of Trinitario, an exclusive variety of cocoa that was conceived in Trinidad during the 18th century.

Criollo and Trinitario, the two finest and rarest cocoa varieties, only grow in 23 countries, eight of which are in the Caribbean. One hundred percent of cocoa exports from Grenada, St Lucia, Trinidad and Dominica consist of either Criollo or Trinitario while 95% of Jamaica’s cocoa exports consist of these fine cocoa varieties.

“What we have here is the equivalent of champagne grapes,” said Nick Davis, the owner of One One Cacao, an award-winning bean to bar company based in Kingston, Jamaica. “There are very few areas in which the Caribbean has a natural advantage in products, and this is one. The soil in the Caribbean is ideal for fine flavour cacao.”

In recent years, regional cocoa merchants have been reviving the niche industry - and nowhere are there more opportunities for a potential explosion. The expansion of premium chocolate products has resulted in artisan chocolate becoming the fastest-growing segment in the global market. According to the Fine Cacao and Chocolate Institute, there are fewer than 500 fine chocolate makers and manufacturers in the world and 100 of these are based in Latin America and the Caribbean.

One of them is the St Lucia based Micoud Chocolate Company, located at the agro-processing facility in Anse Ger, Desruisseaux. 

The Micoud Chocolate Company is part of the Micoud Cluster and is a registered business under the St Lucia Network of Rural Women Producers. The chocolate factory consists of six members with assigned roles and duties.

“The chocolate company is thriving. The future looks quite promising. We have persons interested in exporting our products,” Avellina Augustin-Martyr, the president of the Micoud Cluster, said, proud that their products have reached globally, including the tiny European island of Malta.

Micoud chocolate offers various dark chocolates that do not contain preservatives. The cocoa in the chocolate is sourced from local farmers. Micoud chocolate is sold all over the island, including at all Massy Supermarket branches and Export St Lucia’s newly opened shop ‘Best of St Lucia’ where visitors buy gleefully in bulk.

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