I’ve written about the Grenada Chocolate Company before, This latest piece, about their trans-Atlantic wind-powered delivery of chocolate to Europe, was published last month in the print edition of the sailing magazine Cruising World:
Imagine Willy Wonka with a life-long love of sailing, green radical roots, and an anarchist bent and you will begin to get an inkling of what drives Mott Green, one of the founders of the Grenada Chocolate Company. He and two friends started their small ambitious company in 1998 and have since determinedly stuck to their utopian ideals while creating award-winning organic dark chocolate that has received multiple Academy of Chocolate awards.
First the trio perfected their recipe, carefully crafted from bean-to-bar all on the small West Indian island of Grenada. They refurbished a house into a pastel-hued factory and installed solar panels to power it. To ensure a steady supply of organic cacao, they helped create a cooperative for local farmers, bringing them into the company’s egalitarian folds.
This spring, they realized one more dream that Green had been harboring for years: wind-powered delivery of this “food of the gods.” For the past couple years, he’s been transporting chocolate in a small waterproof box loaded onto his 13-foot catamaran and sailing 18 miles of open, rough seas to nearby Carriacou, but it was time to go the distance.
“By the grace of chocolate,” Green said, “my dream of sailing chocolate bars across the Atlantic Ocean with wind-power only—the first sustainable delivery of chocolate bars across the ocean—came true with no scary moments.”
Indeed, it was smooth sailing for the 32-meter brigantine Tres Hombres, an engine-free sailing ship that is part of a Dutch-owned freight service. In May, the Grenada Chocolate Company loaded 26,000 chocolate bars into the hull of the Tres Hombres and set off for a two-month voyage to London and then Amsterdam. The sail is part of an emerging slow-cargo movement, a seemingly natural next step for fair-trade companies that want to bring their products to distant markets, but care about the ecological impact of transport.
Most of the bars were destined for the UK, but 3000 bars went to the Dutch distributer, who organized a bicycle caravan to carry the chocolate bars the final 60 miles of the journey, from Amsterdam’s Maritime Museum where the ship was docked to the Dutch storage warehouse.
Here’s a pdf of the piece: CruisingWorld_OrgChocMakesTransit