|Mott Heads up The Grenada Chocolate Company which produces single origin 'tree-to-bar' chocolate in hand made batches.|
It was through Chantal Coady of Rococo Chocolates that I was introduced to Mott Green of the Grenada Chocolate Company and I was invited, along side one of my all time favorite writers Xanthe Clay, to spend a week finding out more about The Grenada Chocolate Company, and the Tres Hombres ship that is now on it’s way back to the UK with 50,000 bars of chocolate on board. As I'm sitting here thinking back, the week was so incredible I actually don’t know where to start. I thought about writing everything up like a day-by-day journal starting at the beginning, but really I want to write about the way this trip to Grenada has affected me.
|Meeting the Farmers and Edmond Brown who grow the Cocoa and the crew who sail it back to the UK|
Since I came back from meeting Lulu Sturdy and spending time at Ndali Vanilla in Uganda I’ve been trying to find the answer to that little voice whispering to me that something more has to be possible here. Perhaps it was stepping away from my identity as a wife, mother, and daughter that meant I tuned in to the people around me, but I have come back from Grenada not only bringing back with me spices and Rum, but clarity and purpose.
Everything on Grenada was intense. The food tasted more delicious, the music sounded more soulful. It was as thought some one turned up the volume in the world. The heat, the flavors, the sounds; and now that I’m home I know that the people I met on that beautiful little island will have a played a part in changing the way I see things forever.
Grenada itself has an easy laid back appeal. People wave. People smile and people take the time to say hello and how are you. It’s a beautiful place, but more than that, it’s got really lovely people. People that make you feel welcome and having been let loose on the Island to explore ourselves I found myself stopping at the side of the road, chatting to fishermen, photographing laughing children and eating amazing food. It’s an extraordinary place.
It is on this Island, where the Caribbean see meets the Atlantic ocean, the spices and cocoa trees grown in fertile volcanic soil in the warn tropical sunshine, that there is a revolution is happening. This is where the very best fair working practices happen and the farmers and workers benefit from the chocolate being made just a few minutes away from here it is grown. It is here that the Tres Hombres and her crew moor their beautiful cargo ship, and load the chocolate into the cargo hold. It is this synergy between people, beliefs and possibility quite literally set my core on fire
Mott Green is the man behind the Grenada chocolate. He is a shrewd 46 year old year NewYorker, with intense blue eyes, clear vision of what is right, achievable and fair; with insatiable energy he has teamed up with the Tres Hombres fair transport cargo vessel. The fit is perfect; with a natural synergy between Motts cooperatively produced artisanal hand crafted chocolate bars and Captain of Arjan’s principles of fair transport on the Tres Hombres ship.
When I asked Captain Arjen van der Veen about his dream of making the world a better place through fair food and fair transport he looked straight at me and with easy humour he pointed out the obvious. “This is not how it could be. This is how it is. We are doing it right now. This is my life and it’s real.”
In that moment I felt as though I’d been handed the picture to a puzzle I’ve been trying to solve for an age. I’ve quite literally had the pieces all along but not been able to see how to put it together.
Literally as I am typing this, at this very moment in time, the chocolate I saw being made is being sailed back to Portsmouth by Captain Arjen, Mott and the crew. The chocolate is maturing and developing it’s fruity, textured rich dark sweet flavour, so it for me to step out of my conventional self, stop dreaming and do as Arjen and Mott. So now it is time for me to really trust my beliefs fully, without questioning, without hesitation.
The cocoa grows on small farms in the rainforest, protected by nutmeg, banana and mango trees.
I thought back at where I was less than three years ago, feeling domestically trapped, in a job I no longer wanted to do, with three young children demanding every ounce of my energy. I was miserable and yes I determined to follow my heart and change direction. I think meeting Mott has finally made me release that I may actually have almost achieved what I set out to.. and now there is more. Now there is the real chance to not only live the principles of an ethical and sustainable lifestyle but to incorporate those principles into my work and so I’ve decided to fully incorporate these core values into the courses I teach and to change this blog’s name to reflect what is my privilege; to spread the word about how to eat, grow, buy delicious, ethical and sustainable food and flowers, without compromise.
You can buy some of this beautiful dark organic chocolate in Waitrose or at Rococo Chocolates.
2nd June 2013 - Addendum
It is with absolute sadness and shock that I add to this post that Mott died tragically in an accident yesterday. I am absolutely heartbroken. As I write this now with tears streaming and I am, for once in my life, grateful to my propensity to blurt how I feel as I explained to Mott just two weeks ago on baord the Tres Hombres just what a profound effect that he has had on me.
Chantal Coady friend of Motts for many years and owner of Rococo Chocolates has written a beautiful tribute to Mott on her blog.
The interview I had with him is below. Rest in peace Mott, for I believe with all my heart that you have changed the world of chocolate forever.
|Captain Arjen Van der Veer of the Tres Hombres has a cargo of 50,000 hand wrapped bars of delicious dark organic chocolate destined for Portsmouth.|