We’re excited to announce that we’re now selling the first ever Crayfish Bay organic dark chocolate bars in the UK! A true single estate ‘tree to bar‘ chocolate bar, handmade and charcoal roasted at Crayfish Bay Grenada by Kim and Lylette Russel.
We were fortunate enough to stay with Kim & Lylette on their organic cocoa plantation last summer and were able to help them in a small way with their plans to produce their own chocolate, at source in Grenada. So we’re delighted that one year on we’re now able to exclusively offer their wonderful 75% organic dark chocolate bars to both retail and wholesale customers in the UK.
Who better to tell you more about their journey than Kim and Lylette in the video below…
The great news is that since the video was made Crayfish bay have raised enough to get a decent sized commercial grinder and a small commercial tempering machine and will be able to process more beans as demand increases.
Crayfish Bay is a family owned organic farm which runs on a cooperative fairtrade basis. Controls of the lands have been given over to the local people and in return for looking after the lands they receive 90% of the highest current price available for all the wet cocoa and green nutmeg they pick. They may plant as many other crops as they choose on the understanding that they follow organic practices and that these crops do not interfere with the cocoa trees. These other crops belong entirely to them and gives them a steady income during periods when no cocoa is being harvested. Traditionally farm workers are laid off during these periods, not at Crayfish Bay.
Crayfish Bay has designed its own unique roaster which uses charcoal. We believe it to be the only commercial roaster of this type in the world. Charcoal is purchased locally which supports the village economy. All the wood used for making charcoal is the result of storm damage or land clearance. No trees are cut down specifically for the making of charcoal and this system of roasting gives our chocolate its own unique flavour.
Our chocolate is truly a ‘tree to bar’ product which never leaves the farm until completion, which means that the beans are as fresh as possible. This increases the variety of flavours as it melts in your mouth.
Many chocolate makers want to make a product that is absolutely consistent in taste. This is not the case at Crayfish Bay. Throughout the season the beans vary in terms of moisture content and acidity levels. They are processed as separate pick batches which result in slight but noticeable flavour variations in each batch made. The texture remains ultra smooth and the flavours full.
But haven’t I seen Crayfish Bay bars before?
Kim has a long standing relationship with Pump Street bakery in the UK and supplies them beans for their Crayfish Bay bars. Following a successful crowd funding campaign Kim & Lylette have now produced their own charcoal roasted bars at source on the Crayfish Bay organic plantation Grenada – truly single estate Tree to Bar! The support from Pump Street bakery has been an intrinsic part of the Crayfish Bay story and they will continue to supply them beans, it’s in their ethos to support those who have helped them!
So why Lick the Spoon?
We’ve always supported the production of chocolate where the beans are grown. This has come under various names – Raisetrade in Madagscar, Equitrade in Venezuela and more recently ‘Tree to Bar’. We believe it’s the fairest model keeping more of the money in the country of origin and contributing to the local economies. Traditionally beans are exported from the country of origin to large European processing plants. The farmers receive very little money in this model and few higher skills are added – the poor countries remain poor.
We struck up a friendship with Kim & Lylette and were able to help them on their journey with our experience of tempering chocolate, labeling and selling in the UK.
Kim is one of the most talented craftsman we’ve ever met. His approach to designing equipment from recycled materials in an open source way, that could be used by other cocoa farmers to produce their own chocolate, is inspirational to all who meet him.
We’ve made the bars available to both Retail buyers and Wholesale buyers on our website. We believe that they will offer the independent retailers we supply a truly unique chocolate product, a real point of difference from mass retailers, and what a story to tell.
So please help us spread this good news story and try out a unique taste of Grenada for yourself!
(Wholesale customers will need to login to your account to order wholesale)