Chocolatier Glenn Yeatman is delighted at the response his Solomons Gold range of chocolates received at the Chocolate & Coffee Show in Auckland last weekend.
“I didn’t quite expect so many people to say Solomons Gold was the best chocolate at the show,” he told Pacific Periscope at the end of the show. “Most people wondered how we get the creaminess we do despite our chocolates being dairy free and without any additives.”
The Solomons Gold range is also cane sugar-free, GMO-free and free of nuts and gluten. “So, it’s also guilt free,” Mr Yeatman says.
Made from certified-organic cacao beans from the Solomon Islands, Solomons Gold is produced in a factory in Tauranga. This year has been a big one for the brand, having come up trumps at the ninth edition of the Academy of Chocolate Awards in London in the ‘Bean to Bar’ category beating 600 contestants worldwide in July.
Solomons Gold is available at the upmarket Farro Fresh chain of grocery stores in Auckland and is close to entering other mainstream supermarkets “in a couple of months,” according to Mr Yeatman.
Saying there are no shortcuts in producing a good chocolate, Mr Yeatman told Pacific Periscope that the entire manufacturing process from bean to bar takes a gruelling 100 hours, 55 of them crunching continuously.
“The amount of time spent on the passion and dedication comes through in the taste,” Mr Yeatman said.
Taste though important is only part of the story, Mr Yeatman said. The Kiwi consumer like consumers around the world are increasingly aware of other attributes of the products they buy.
“The Solomon Islands story is very important. The fact that our cacao is organically grown by local communities who receive a fair price for the produce and is fairly traded along the supply chain is well appreciated,” he said. “Customers are more interested and value these facts now than ever before.”
The Solomon Islands cacao growing and harvesting operation is managed by the Sydney headquartered C Corp, owned by Clive Carroll, who has put in place systems for traceability of the beans. “Not only does C Corp pay a premium but also supports community initiatives and people’s partnerships,” Mr Yeatman said.
Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) NZ has worked with Mr Yeatman and Solomons Gold for several years offering marketing and communications support. PTI also assisted the company with the purchase of a conching machine at its Tauranga factory in its early days.
Though Mr Yeatman had exhibited at the show in previous years, he was pleased with the exposure and the design of the Pacific Hub stand. A big thank you for the stand, signage, shelving space and design, the overall friendliness and helpfulness of staff and the superb media coverage. Connection to the Pacific.