Entry: Bill Guyton
Greetings from Port of Spain, Trinidad. I am here today attending a conference. Tomorrow I plan to visit the Cocoa Research Unit (CRU) to see some of the research supported by the World Cocoa Foundation on breeding trees resistent to fungal diseases (more details to follow).
At the conference today, I had the opportunity to meet Ms. Isabel Brash, a young entrepreneur who is producing Cocobel single origin chocolates. Her story is an interesting one. Isabel began exploring bean to bar through www.chocolatealchemy.com and did the chocolate manufacturing/marketing professional chocolatier course through www.ecolechocolat.com.
Her brother owns a 45 acre cocoa and coffee farm, formally part of Queensland Estate, which is now called Rancho Quemado. The family farm, along with Isabel's marketing talents, provided the opportunity to produce "bean to bar" chocolate and have already planted 3000 trees on the estate early this year.
Cocobel was officially formed last week. A local roaster and grinder in Trinidad helped process the cocoa from the family farm so that Isabel could test different recipes in her own kitchen. I sampled the chocolate she had which had an excellent taste.
The goal of the company is to plant more than 5,000 new cocoa seedlings on the farm in 2009, while exploring the export market for single origin bars from Trinidad.
We wish Isabel, her family and colleagues all the best on this new venture and hope she will keep us updated on Cocobel's progress. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org. A website is being developed.