We are very excited to launch our new blog page where we will add in exciting new content every week :) As you will be able to tell from our website, we are a company that doesn’t want to solely focus on the chocolate but also highlight all of the different parts of the supply chain that makes Islands Chocolate unique. Hopefully this will mean that we will be able to showcase all of the different parts of our company and educate all our readers on the techniques to growing cacao, processing cacao and finally, making chocolate. We are in the perfect position to share this with you as we team up with our sister company St Vincent Cocoa Company to produce exceptional chocolate from the Caribbean Island of St Vincent.
Your all probably thinking, how did this all start?! Whilst it may be fate or a stroke of luck that we ended up starting a cocoa & chocolate company, one thing for certain is that we are passionate and dedicated in making sure that the cocoa & chocolate industry in St Vincent is sustainable, that it last for generations and is able to change lives. This isn’t an industry that can be managed behind the desk or rely on one individual - it is a team effort and thankfully we have a great team that has the same goals.
We thought it only fair that on our first blog post, that we write a feature on St Vincent Cocoa Company seeing as without this amazing fine flavoured cocoa, we wouldn’t be able to produce such delicious chocolate. We will then explain how Islands Chocolate came about.
So before we begin it is important to mention that Islands Chocolate isn’t available to buy in the UK yet. The bars should be available to purchase in stores around London and online on the 1st May. But before this historic day arrives, we want to get you excited about our company and how it all started.
St Vincent Cocoa Company (SVCC) was formed in 2011 by Armajaro, a European cocoa trading company, with the aim of establishing a cocoa industry in St Vincent. But in 2014, the Company ran into financial difficulty and was bought by Ecom Agrotrade Ltd, an international commodity conglomerate, which decided that the St Vincent cocoa project did not fit in with its plans because not enough land was being planted to cocoa by farmers.
Fortunately for SVCC and the country, Harry Marriott & Andrew Hadley (both Vincentians - the former naturalised and the latter by birth) who had been involved since the start of the project - the former by introducing Armajaro to St Vincent via Sir James Mitchell (ex Prime Minister of the country) in 2010 and the latter in managing the Company since its inception - had faith in the potential of the business. Moreover they did not want to let down its farmers, the country or its Government.
The mission is to “To establish a successful business and viable cocoa industry by producing rich, fine flavoured cocoa in a responsible and sustainable manner and in doing so support local communities by offering large-scale employment in the field as well as management opportunities within the Company structure and thereby contribute to the overall economy and development of St Vincent & the Grenadines.”
Sustainability is hugely important for St Vincent Cocoa Company so to ensure that the industry lasts for many generations to come, it was important that we also opened up a chocolate factory. Not only does this provide more jobs but it creates awareness throughout the Caribbean.
The chocolate has gone down like a storm in St Vincent which has resulted in the birth of Islands Chocolate :)
So why Islands Chocolate?
Well, we were having a brainstorm and to put St Vincent Cocoa Company on a bar of a chocolate was clearly going to be problematic because it is too long and St Vincent is quite unknown around the world. We wanted to create a brand that encapsulated Island life, supplies you with transparency throughout the supply chain and of course, a chocolate that excites the taste buds. Not to mention, we also wanted to advertise the beauty of the Caribbean and St Vincent & The Grenadines in particular, so it seemed appropriate that we name it Islands Chocolate.