There is no denying that one of the tastiest things life has to offer is chocolate, whether nutty, fruity, bitter, or milky.
Some of us, here in the Caribbean, might even remember having chocolate tea or hot cocoa as a child when grandma or mommy used rich, wholesome cocoa beans to whip up the most flavourful cup of creamy, molten goodness imaginable. More than a sweet memory, cocoa beans represent a history throughout the Caribbean that started on plantations operated by Spanish, then British settlers. Chocolate’s history, especially the history of Caribbean chocolate, is as rich and savoury as the many unique flavours we get to enjoy today.
In Jamaica, notably, the island has the esteemed honour of being the originator of chocolate milk. Who knew! According to www.smithsonianmag.com, the historian, James Delbourgo, stated that the inhabitants of the island prepared “a hot beverage brewed from shavings of freshly harvested cacao, boiled with milk and cinnamon.” This mixture was then introduced in Europe by an Irish botanist, Sir Hans Sloane, who promoted it widely as a healthy drink option. So are the origins of one of the first Caribbean-made products produced from our premium cocoa beans.
Throughout the Caribbean, cocoa beans, particularly the ‘fine and flavoured’ variety, are a celebrated treasure for the quality and unique varied flavours they provide for the many premium Caribbean-made products and other world-renown chocolate brands they help to create. There are only eight (8) exclusive manufacturers of the “fine and flavour” cocoa beans, and seven (7) are located in the Caribbean. They are:
- St. Lucia
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
These countries make the Caribbean a stand-out in the global premium chocolate market. Cocoa bean flavours from Grenada, Jamaica and Trinidad, for example, are described as vastly different. A “fruity, floral and earthy” flavour is attributed to Grenada’s cocoa, while Jamaica’s is described as ‘fruity’, and Trinidad’s as ‘nutty and winey’. Can’t you just taste all the delicious goodness the Caribbean marketplace has to offer?
CARIBBEAN CHOCOLATIERS TO THE WORLD
In recent years, Caribbean chocolatiers are savouring sweet success throughout the Caribbean region and globally. While still not dominating a large segment of the chocolate industry, several of the Caribbean artisans are reaping favourable results with their premium chocolate products. Similar to music, dance, food and sports, Caribbean cocoa beans and the chocolate brands they impact, are making their mark one bean at a time.
At www.caribshopper.com, your homegrown Caribbean marketplace for first-class Caribbean-made products, you can purchase from several of the Caribbean chocolatiers dominating the artisan chocolate niche at the moment. The top chocolate brands currently featured on our online platform include:
- Cafe Blue: Offers quality and authentic artisan products from farm to table.
- Cafe Trinité: Captures the unique flavors of the Caribbean while infusing international flair.
- Mount Pleasant Farm Chocolatiers: The first company in Jamaica to produce artisan single-origin organically grown cocoa products alongside traditional cocoa products.
- Pure Chocolate: With over 20 years of experience, Pure chocolate works with local Jamaican farmers to ensure premium quality chocolate bars.
Blue Mountain Coffee Dark Chocolate 57%
70% Dark Chocolate with Jerk Seasoning
60% Dark Chocolate Bar
The growth of Caribbean chocolatiers in recent years is notable, as this movement points to the efforts underway to limit the exportation of the fine cocoa beans and instead locally produce high-quality Caribbean chocolates and other associated products for local, regional and international consumption. A taste of the Caribbean has been creatively incorporated in varied premium chocolate-infused treats such as nibs, truffles, and bonbons.
Several Caribbean chocolatiers’ products can be found in stores internationally across Belgium, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States of America. A vibrant world market for quality chocolate continues to grow, and the Caribbean’s top artisans are rearing to leave their mark despite the challenges faced.
At www.caribshopper.com, where “We deliver the products you love from the Caribbean right to your door”, we are constantly sourcing new merchants to add to our online Caribbean marketplace. Caribshopper pledges to make the many premium Caribbean-made products available to you with just one click, no matter where you are. We are currently adding more Caribbean chocolate brands to ensure we continue to serve you best when you crave a taste of the Caribbean, especially its artisan chocolates. Check out our site now to discover your new favourite chocolate brands and grab some sweet treats! Your support helps us to transport our Caribbean chocolatiers to the world, while empowering local businesses, cocoa farmers and their communities.
SWEET POTENTIAL FOR THE FUTURE
Despite capital and ongoing environmental challenges, such as crop diseases and climate change obstacles that negatively impact cocoa beans, there is great potential for the future of Caribbean chocolatiers. They have the ability to continue to capitalize on access to the finest high-end cocoa beans, as well as the unique flavours available through spices, liquor and herbs that are infused in Caribbean-made chocolate products.
Besides the many artisan chocolate products produced, Caribbean chocolate brands are sourcing and creating opportunities for increased visibility within the marketplace. From bean to bar, to farm tours, and chocolate festivals, Caribbean chocolatiers are showcasing that they are not just about making chocolate bars and other sweet treats. In fact, many expanded their businesses to represent the Caribbean artisan chocolate niche as a wholesome, integrated process that reflects their love, passion and commitment to satisfying your sweetest desires.
Chocolate lovers are provided access to experiences that showcase the harvesting of cocoa beans, the production process, and even engage in creating premium chocolate products themselves. Festivals are also great opportunities for Caribbean chocolatiers. As any foodie knows, festivals provide a non-restrictive environment for exposure to new, creative, and unique products that may otherwise go unnoticed. Particularly for our Caribbean artisans that are typically smaller companies, the access allowed to showcase products at a festival can be invaluable.
Chocolate is also renowned for its many medicinal features. The health benefits of chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, has been celebrated for years. It boasts powerful antioxidants and is said to improve blood pressure and heart disease risks, as well as enhance brain function. So, if you are not eating chocolate yet, do it for your health! Beyond health reasons, research is also conducted to ensure the sustainable production of cocoa and the development of new varieties that can facilitate lower production and distribution costs.
The Cocoa Research Centre, in Trinidad and Tobago, has been contributing to the global cocoa industry since 1930. As the oldest cocoa research institute globally, and a producer of its own high-quality artisan chocolate, the Centre conducts a variety of research. It is the leading centre of cocoa germplasm research, with over 2,000 varieties of cocoa in its collection, and also oversees the largest public collection of cocoa varieties globally.
CARIBSHOPPER IS YOUR CARIBBEAN MARKETPLACE
Caribshopper is the gateway to experiencing a taste of the Caribbean for those living abroad, as well as past and future visitors to popular destinations in the region. This situates our platform as an ideal resource for the growing Caribbean artisan chocolate brands. Caribshopper offers the ideal online Caribbean marketplace where small brands of Caribbean-made products can get global exposure and access to potential customers they may not otherwise be able to reach.
Boasting the best of the Caribbean in one convenient location, Caribshopper makes connecting to home and the many available Caribbean-made products easily accessible throughout the region and internationally at affordable costs. Merchants enjoy the direct-to-consumer model we facilitate across the United States. Customers enjoy amazing Caribbean-made products so they can feel at home wherever they are.
Caribbean owned, with consciously curated products that are only a click away, Caribshopper’s online marketplace is bringing convenience and community closer than you ever imagined. We understand the potential of the Caribbean marketplace for artisan chocolate brands and so much more.
We invite merchants and consumers to join us as we strive to enrich the Caribbean marketplace by increasing visibility and access for Caribbean-made products, while contributing to the development of communities, businesses and overall economic growth in the region.
Caribshopper is the first major tech-driven online shopping destination to solely focus on economic growth in the Caribbean region.