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ABOUT US

Jouvay Chocolate is made from 100% Grenadian cocoa at the Diamond Chocolate Factory in Victoria, St Mark.

The word Jouvay (also spelled “j’ouvert”) is Grenadian patois. It comes from the French “jour ouvert,” or "dawning of a new day." At Jouvay, we are introducing a new day for chocolate making, reflecting our passion for exceptional quality, environmental sustainability, and economic fairness.

Jouvay is one of a handful of chocolate producers around the world that have set up production facilities in the developing nation where our cocoa grows. But Jouvay is unique among these companies. That’s because we don’t just BUY from local cocoa farmers or WORK with local cocoa farmers, we ARE the local cocoa farmers.
 
To ensure that our unique, superior-tasting cocoa beans are transformed into unique, superior tasting chocolate, we, the farmers, reached out to renowned American chocolate maker, L.A. Burdick. Together, we formed a partnership that is committed to producing rich, delicious chocolate, while preserving Grenada's unique, diverse ecosystem.
 
As majority-owners of Jouvay, cocoa growers are able to benefit from the value-added processing, leading to greater economic security.

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BEYOND FAIR TRADE: A PARTNERSHIP

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Jouvay Chocolate is a partnership between the cocoa farmers of Grenada (represented by the Grenada Cocoa Association) and the Burdick Family of Walpole, NH. 

As majority owners of Jouvay Chocolate, Grenada’s cocoa farmers are able to reap the benefits of their hard work by benefitting from the value-added process of chocolate making. 

The fact is, unless you’re producing on a very large scale, there is only so much money you can make selling cocoa beans. Younger Grenadians, seeing little future in cocoa farming, have been leaving farms, moving to Grenada’s few cities or emigrating in search of better opportunities.

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Even some older farmers have been tempted to give up on farming and sell their land to developers, especially after Hurricane Ivan decimated Grenada’s cocoa farms in 2004. 

 

In response to this problem, members of the GCA decided to go beyond growing cocoa. 

Enter Larry and Paula Burdick, who have been in the chocolate bon bon business since 1987.

 

From their very first visit to Grenada, Larry and Paula were enchanted by the unspoiled beauty of the island and the graciousness of its people. After meeting with cocoa farmers and touring their farms, they came to share their concern about the future of cocoa farming in Grenada, which is known for having some of the world’s highest quality cocoa. They agreed that cocoa farmers deserved a larger share of the profits generated by international cocoa sales.

 

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They welcomed the opportunity to join with Grenada’s cocoa growers to Jouvay, Grenada’s first large-scale, farmer-owned chocolate company.

 

Since then, Larry and Paula have become even more passionate about revitalizing Grenada’s cocoa economy and helping to make life better for all Grenadians. 

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Cocoa Farming Future Initiative

Over the years, Paula Burdick has become even more passionate about supporting Grenada’s cocoa farmers and protecting the unique ecosystem where cocoa grows. In 2011, Paula founded the Cocoa Farming Future Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting agricultural sustainability, economic development, and the conservation of biological diversity in Grenada.

Partnering with a wide variety of local groups, including the GCA, 4H Clubs, the UN Global Environmental Facility, and local schools and community organizations, CFFI has made remarkable progress on all fronts. Together with the GCA, it has built a model organic cocoa farm with an outdoor demonstration site, where farmers can learn about current best practices in sustainable farming. It has established a successful composting operation to provide farmers with affordable, high-quality organic fertilizer. It is running a series of free seminars on topics like grafting, pruning, and composting, that are helping farmers to improve productivity and sustainability.

 
Thanks to its inspired and hard-working interns, CFFI is pursuing a number of other projects as well, from a summer camp for children to a crafts cooperative for women, many of them single mothers with young children.

To learn more about CFFI, please view its website at cffigrenada.org
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PEOPLE

 
Grenadian agronomist and cocoa farmer Andrew Hastick, American chocolate maker Larry Burdick, and sustainability champion Paula Burdick share a vision: to conserve Grenada’s unique ecosystem, support Grenada’s hard-working cocoa farmers, and share Grenada’s exceptional cocoa with the world.
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Andrew Hastick

 

Andrew Hastick is a busy man. In addition to managing his own cocoa and spice farm, Andrew is also Managing Director of the Diamond Chocolate Factory, where Jouvay is made.

 

An agronomist by training, Andrew studied agriculture at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since his college days, Andrew has dreamed of building a chocolate factory on the island of Grenada.  He approached a number of chocolate makers with this idea, but was told again and again that Grenada’s tropical climate would make it impossible. Andrew might have given up on his dream if he hadn’t met Larry Burdick, an American chocolate maker who had built his own thriving company starting in a small storefront, with just a few chocolate-making tools he had brought back from Switzerland. Larry was not afraid of a challenge. He welcomed the opportunity to work with the farmers of Grenada, who were growing some of the world’s finest cocoa.

 

With the Diamond Chocolate Factory now up and running, Andrew is optimistic about the future of Grenada’s Cocoa Industry. Jouvay provides greater economic security for its farmer-owners, and employment for many other members of the community. But more than that, says Andrew, Jouvay is opening up a whole new world of science, technology, and the business of chocolate making in Grenada.

Andrew Hastick

 

Andrew Hastick is a busy man. In addition to managing his own cocoa and spice farm, Andrew is also Managing Director of the Diamond Chocolate Factory, where Jouvay is made.

 

An agronomist by training, Andrew studied agriculture at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since his college days, Andrew has dreamed of building a chocolate factory on the island of Grenada.  He approached a number of chocolate makers with this idea, but was told again and again that Grenada’s tropical climate would make it impossible. Andrew might have given up on his dream if he hadn’t met Larry Burdick, an American chocolate maker who had built his own thriving company starting in a small storefront, with just a few chocolate-making tools he had brought back from Switzerland. Larry was not afraid of a challenge. He welcomed the opportunity to work with the farmers of Grenada, who were growing some of the world’s finest cocoa.

 

With the Diamond Chocolate Factory now up and running, Andrew is optimistic about the future of Grenada’s Cocoa Industry. Jouvay provides greater economic security for its farmer-owners, and employment for many other members of the community. But more than that, says Andrew, Jouvay is opening up a whole new world of science, technology, and the business of chocolate making in Grenada.

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Larry Burdick

 

Larry Burdick, founder of L.A. Burdick Chocolate, has been hand-crafting uniquely delicious bonbons and truffles for over thirty years. As one of the pioneers in the artisanal chocolate movement, Larry has been committed to sustainability, economic fairness, and food purity from the start. He moved his company from New York City to New Hampshire in part to be closer to the source of the fresh cream, butter, and eggs that make Burdick chocolates so rich. To Larry, it made sense to get closer to the source of his most important ingredient—cocoa—and to support the farmers who grew it.

 

On a trip to Grenada in 2001, it occurred to Larry that he could make his bonbons even better if he created his own couverture (block chocolate) using the very best cocoa beans, like the ones grown in Grenada. He also wanted to support Grenada’s cocoa farmers and help conserve the rainforest farms where Grenadian cocoa grows. After making a few inquiries, Larry was introduced to Andrew Hastick. Right away he knew he’d found a kindred spirit.

 

The Diamond Chocolate Factory, where Jouvay is made, is majority-owned by Grenada’s independent cocoa farmers. It is located in St. Mark, Grenada’s poorest parish. Larry hopes that Jouvay will have a transformative effect on the community around it. As Larry says, “When European and American chocolate makers pay farmers a fair price for their beans, that’s a step in the right direction. But when the farmers become chocolate makers themselves, that changes the whole equation.”

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Paula Burdick

 

Co-founder of L.A. Burdick Chocolate, Paula Burdick has long shared her husband’s commitment to sustainability and economic fairness. From her very first visit to Grenada, she wanted to do whatever she could to help preserve the stunning natural beauty of the Island and ensure that Grenadians get a fair share of the money that is made from turning cocoa beans into chocolate.

 

In 2011, Paula founded the Cocoa Farming Future Initiative (CFFI), a non-profit organization committed to promoting sustainable agriculture, economic development, and the conservation of biological diversity in Grenada. CFFI works closely with the Grenada Cocoa Association and organizations like the United Nations Global Environment Facility to support Grenada's independent cocoa farmers and protect Grenada's unique ecosystem. For more information on CFFI, click HERE, or visit our website at http://www.cffigrenada.org/.

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Lyndon "Indy" Harper

 

As chocolate maker and chief engineer at the Diamond Chocolate Factory, Indy Harper is responsible for the quality and flavor of Jouvay chocolate. Indy takes this responsibility seriously, overseeing every aspect of production. Having trained with some of the best chocolate makers from the US and Europe, he wants to ensure that Jouvay meets the standards of a world-class product.

 

Indy is excited about the opportunities that Jouvay is opening up for his fellow Grenadians, and he's happy to share the "taste of Grenada" with the rest of the world.

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PROCESS

 
The flavor of cocoa is affected at every step in the production process. Because we control every step—from planting and pruning the trees to harvesting and drying the beans to conching and tempering the chocolate—we can pursue our passion for perfect chocolate, and share it with you. Keeping the entire production process here on the Island also creates greater financial security for us, the hard-working farmer-owners.

1. Cultivating

 

Cocoa grows best within a narrow geographic belt that spans just 20 degrees above and below the equator. The environment must be both wet and warm, with lots of shade. The cocoa tree is an “understory” rainforest tree, requiring the “canopy” provided by taller trees.

In Grenada, the “Spice Isle,” cocoa trees grow in among a wide variety of fruit and spice trees, flowers, and bushes. Not only does this arrangement provide a healthy, sustainable ecosystem, it also produces a rich, complex-tasting cocoa, with hints of nutmeg, clove, banana, and all the other fragrant neighboring plants. 

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2. Harvesting

Harvesting cocoa is a difficult and labor-intensive job. Care must be taken to avoid damaging the trunk, flowers, and unripe fruit. On each tree, pods ripen at slightly different rates, requiring us to make multiple trips through the same dense terrain.

 

As stakeholders in Jouvay Chocolate, we farmers are motivated to ensure that each cocoa pod is picked at the point of perfect ripeness.

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3. Fermenting

 

Some people are surprised to find that freshly harvested cocoa beans are white. The characteristic brown color and rich aroma develop as the beans ferment. During the fermentation process, which takes several days, naturally occurring yeasts consume the sugars in the sweet pulp that surrounds the cocoa beans. This causes the pulp to break down, creating natural enzymatic changes in the beans.


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To achieve optimal results, the fermentation process must be carefully controlled, with regular mixing to ensure sufficient aeration. We personally oversee the fermentation of our beans, which is an art in itself. We are proud to use the traditional method, fermenting beans in wooden crates, under fragrant banana leaves.

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4. Sun-drying

 

We use the traditional drying method as well, spreading out the beans on large wooden trays, where they dry slowly, under the sun. (The trays can be rolled under a roof in case of rain.) We employ the time-honored tradition of “walking” the beans: we turn them gently by walking over them, a method introduced by the French hundreds of years ago. (At this point, the beans are still in their shells, which are later roasted and removed.) Being here on the island, with the trays right outside our windows, we know our beans are dried carefully, to just the right degree.

5. Sorting & Selecting

 

The dried beans are carefully sorted by size and quality. We use only the highest quality beans in Jouvay chocolate. Sorting the beans by size is important because it allows us to carefully adjust the roasting time for the perfect taste and texture.

For most cocoa growers around the globe, this would be the end of their involvement. After being sorted, the cocoa beans would be packed up and shipped off to Europe or the United States.

 

At Jouvay, we proudly roll our beans right into our factory to be roasted and transformed into superior-quality, pure Caribbean chocolate.

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6. Roasting

 

Although the quality of cocoa is influenced by every step in the production process, roasting is especially important for developing the flavor of chocolate.

 

At Jouvay, we roast beans carefully, in small batches, adjusting time (usually about an hour) and temperature in accordance with size and other characteristics, to allow the unique flavor of the beans to develop.

7. Winnowing

In the winnower, the beans are broken up and the shells are removed through a combination of sifting and blowing. The bits that remain are cocoa nibs , which have become a popular health food because of their rich nutritional value and bold cocoa flavor. 

 

At this point, we remove some of the nibs to be packaged and sold “as is.”

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8. Refining

 

The refiner breaks down the cocoa nibs, reducing them to small particles (the smaller the particles, the smoother the chocolate).

 

At Jouvay, we refine our cocoa twice, first by itself, and then again after it has been mixed with sugar. This second trip through the refiner further reduces the size of the cocoa and sugar particles, and blends them thoroughly into a smooth mass.

9. Conching

 

Like roasting, conching is an essential step in developing the flavor of chocolate. Conching is done with heavy rollers and rotating blades that plow back and forth through the chocolate, kneading it to smooth out its texture even further. The resulting friction and aeration eliminate unwanted acidity and provoke chemical changes that develop and round out the chocolate's flavor and aroma.

 

The amount of conching time is important for creating distinct taste profiles. Some chocolate products are conched for days, further polishing the particulates to the finest mass. However, if conching goes on for too long, some desirable flavor components may be lost. There is an art to adjusting the conching process in order to arrive at the ideal balance of flavors.

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10. Tempering & Molding

 

Tempering is a process that uses time and temperature to manipulate the chemical structure of the fat crystals in cocoa butter. It gives chocolate a glossy finish, a manageable melting point, and a satisfying "snap" when you break it.

11. Cocoa Butter

 

The process of making cocoa butter is the same as that of making chocolate--up to a point. After the beans are broken up and the shells are removed, the cocoa nibs proceed to the cocoa butter press, which does its special magic: We pour the hard, brown nibs into the machine, and out flows the rich, pale-yellow butter. The butter is molded into two-pound blocks for professional use, and smaller cakes retail sale. Purchase Cocoa Butter here.

The exceptional quality of Jouvay cocoa butter is being recognized by experts around the world. Our Italian-made cocoa butter press is one of the most sophisticated in the Caribbean. Unlike some producers, we do not deodorize our cocoa butter, because our customers appreciate the rich-but-subtle aroma and flavor of cocoa.

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