Saturday, 17 June 2017

Grenada Chocolate Festival 2017 :: Making Chocolate at Crayfish Bay Organic Cocoa Estate and Turning Passion into Profit

Here is something I have noticed many people find trouble getting on board with; the idea that you should expect your passion to pay you some day, that it should sustain you and pour into you as you pour into it.

I am a writer. I write as a profession and I write for fun. My hard work comes with a price tag, I don't give it away for free and I'm okay with that being the case. The world scrunches their nose up often at that fact. If I do it for pleasure then why should I do it for profit, they ask.

Profit and passion make the best partners. They grow together and multiply happiness. What a reward it is to be able to live physically off of the thing that sustains your soul. This world says we're not supposed to say that openly, it says it makes us vain and greedy. I say it makes us honest and fulfilled.

For the Grenada Chocolate Festival Day 5 'Chocolate on a Shoestring', I went up to the Crayfish Bay Organic Cocoa Estate where married couple Kim and Lylette grow healthy, organic cocoa and then turn that into ethical, delicious dark chocolate and dark chocolate products.
Pictured: Lylette holding Crayfish Bay's organic, Grenadian grown, and ethically made chocolate bar.

They have allowed their passion for cocoa and sustainable living, for no bank loans and environmental care through recycling, to grow their dream into something that puts food on the table as well as satisfaction in their hearts.

We visited and listened in as Kim and Lylette shared with us their humble start, their innovation of thought that led to recycled materials being used to create good chocolate and their drive to keep it debt free.

From stories of friends who put their money where their mouth is via soft small loans, to crowd funding, to waking up long before the Caribbean sun to catch the perfect chilled temperature for hand churning proper, professional quality chocolate.

Pictured: drying cocoa for roasting. 

One of my favourite Grenadian maxims (no surprise that it has to do with cocoa) Is 'All who have cocoa  drying must look out for rain.' What it means is if you have tentative matters/your business,  that you don't want causing you ruin/exposed, then best keep your eyes looking towards the future/mind your own business. Anyway seemed like a fun time to share since cocoa drying in the picture.
 preparing cocoa for roasting

From buckets to microwaves to hand squeeze pancake maker, these entrepreneurs thought passion was worth investing time, effort, money and a future in.

I love Grenada's cocoa, it's always had a special place in my heart but as I stood there watching this couple talk with gumption and passion about the cocoa they grew in their back yard and literally roasted, shelled, whipped, moulded and settled into shape....

Pictured: Myself and Kim

Their product is grown, made and packaged, ethically, economically and environmentally packaged and handled with care. I can truly say I appreciated my Grenadian grown and island made chocolate so much more. 

  Pictured: my might have had too much chocolate tasting face.

My heart is full of appreciation and wonder for our farmers who keep doing this with little recognition. They care our lands and birth delectable treats that we can appreciate locally, regionally and internationally. 

So many of these same farmers are past retirement age but continue to supply our needs in the shadow of praise. I am mindful not just of the taste but of every boot that still rises before the dawn when I sip my favourite tea now.

I remember the crisis of not enough farmers this generation and Kim's appeal to take up the mantel. I remember the smile of his wife as she remembers waking before the sun to whip chocolate, her determination to get it right. The humility of a family that built profit on the back of passion and sustainable loving with the urging of a dream made persistent.

Their farm is beautiful and their chocolate successfully made. This entrepreneurial success is one that now contributes to their tables and the fortitude of my country, through the continuance of cultivating a high in demand natural resource. 

Just imagine, if when people said a passion could not pay you...imagine if they had listened. I'm so glad they didn't and you know what, I hope you don't either. If you have a chance to pursue a dream that can lawfully pay you reach for it with planning, passion and both hands.

Peace. Love. Let your passion and profit be partners.
All photos by Arthur Daniel for Grenada Chocolate Festival

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