New company brings best chocolate to Bowen
With Valentine’s Day approaching, thoughts of love and chocolates come to mind as each are, after all, two things from which joy abounds. Now, while finding enough of the former is an ongoing project, finding the latter is comparatively easy. And on Bowen, finding chocolates just got easier.
Islander Karen Nicholls has launched a home business called Chocolate Etcetera – email@example.com - featuring chocolate from France and Belgium from the Barry Callebaut chocolate company. Barry Callebaut was formed when Cacao Barry from France and Callebaut from Belgium joined and the result is the world’s largest chocolate company, employing some 6,000 people from 27 countries.
Nicholls sponsored a chocolate tasting session open to the public at Collins Hall last week. Twenty islanders showed up to listen to a talk from local chocolate professional Mark Pennington, and to sample, and purchase, chocolate from Nicholls.
Nicholls says that part of her motivation for creating her company was to bring the best chocolate to the island, which she considers Barry Callebaut to be. The chocolate is made in France but cocoa beans are grown in a variety of countries, including Ecuador, Tanzania, Cuba, St. Domingue, Mexico, Venezuela and Ghana.
The cocoa content in the chocolate Nicholls sells is high (which means less sugar); for example the Ecuadorian chocolate, with the highest cocoa bean content of the ten or so samples, was 76 per cent cocoa; when it came time to taste, it was among the more popular.
“Karen’s chocolate sales are perfect timing, with Valentine’s coming up,” islander Carmen Dives said after the evening. “And the talk was very informative and the chocolate was really tasty.
“Are we doing it again next week?”