Bachelor's Hall Estate - St. Thomas Parish, Jamaica
Cacao is not one of the first things that comes to mind when thinking of the beautiful Caribbean Island of Jamaica. Even though cacao was initially brought to Jamaica in the 1800s from Trinidad, Jamaica has never gained widespread popularity as a main producing origin. This was due to the fact that very little of the cacao grown there was considered “fine” or “flavor grade”. However, in 2016, chocolate made with Jamaican cacao began winning awards all over the world. We had a chance to taste many of these bars and they left a lasting impression. Not only was the cacao good, it was some of the best chocolate we had ever tasted! We were instantly intrigued and wanted to try our hand at making chocolate with something so special.
We searched for the right connections for four years until our dream of working with Jamaican cacao became a reality. This exceptional bean is the craftsmanship of Desmond Jadusingh, owner of Bachelor's Hall Estate, in the St. Thomas Parrish. Desmond took over the ownership of the 300 acre defunct cocoa farm from his grandfather in 2002 where he was able to quickly grow production to a healthy 30 metric tonnes annually. He was selling the cacao wet, and not making very much money doing it. In 2004, the farm was devastated by a hurricane. Desmond was having a hard time recovering from the impact, and was still getting low prices from the Cocoa Board in Jamaica. He sought many ways to improve his quality and the price he was getting for his cocoa beans. Eventually, with help from USAID, Desmond was able to start fermenting and drying the cocoa beans himself. This system proved to make all the difference.
As it turns out, Desmond is a true artist! His cacao is expertly fermented and dried to bring out the amazing flavor potential in this genetically unique Carribean cacao. We have always felt that our job as chocolate makers is to build on the foundation laid by the cacao farmers. Our goal is to best express the work and artistry they put into producing world class cacao. It is an honor to finally work with something so highly prized as this Jamaican cacao.