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.
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.
Larry Burdick, founder of L.A. Burdick Chocolate, has been hand-crafting uniquely delicious bonbons and truffles for almost 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.”
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/.
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.