Solomons Gold is one of the most ethically sourced chocolate you will find on this planet. They are bean-to-bar. Solomons Gold manage the entire journey from the cacao tree to the finished chocolate bar, ready to be consumed.
Solomons Gold is a labour of love for founder Clive Carroll.
He first visited the Solomon Islands in 2004 to look at how he could be involved in the growing and processing of cacao.
Clive already loved his dark chocolate and wanted to see if he could make a truly ethical bar of chocolate.
The Solomon Islands have naturally fertile soils and idyllic growing conditions for cacao.
On his first reconnaissance Clive came across a group of run-down cocoa plantations.
Wanting to help local landowners produce one of the world’s purest forms of quality cacao, Clive first saw to bring the plantations’ infrastructure back to life.
Clive grew up on his father’s avocado orchards, so agriculture in his DNA. He knew that getting it back up to scratch was going to be a long process.
At the same he was fixing up the plantations he also set up a cacao buying, process and export business.
He made sure he prepped farmers with financial support and the right technical advice to help them to improve the quality of their cacao.
A bar is born
In 2012, Glenn Yeatman, General Manager created the very first Solomons Golds chocolate bar.
He took some dry cocoa beans home and roasted them in his oven. He crushed them the cool beans by hand to bring out the cacao nibs and husk.
Removing the husk, he liquidised the cacao nibs, added a natural sweetener, creating the first bar of “Solomons Gold Chocolate”.
Quality is king
Solomons Gold knew early on that their plantations were producing cacao beans of superior quality and taste.
One goal Clive is always striving towards is showing the world the quality of Solomon Islands’ cacao.
He decided to build a bespoke chocolate factory in Mount Maunganui.
Between the Solomon Islands and Aotearoa New Zealand, all production and handling remains completely within the Blue Pacific.
One year after Glen had created the first bar of Solomons Gold work started construction on the chocolate factory.
Eye over quality
Solomons Gold is proud to be one of the few chocolate companies in the world who control every step of the chocolate making process themselves.
They harvest the cocoa pods, hand grade the beans and handcraft the chocolate.
Solomons Gold Sales & Marketing Guru Sally Hickson says their ingredients from picking to production are the best chosen.
“Our bean-to-bar approach and high-quality control ensures we consistently produce a unique, 100% natural, single origin chocolate.
“For us, producing a healthy bar of chocolate doesn’t stop with the benefits of being rich in superfood antioxidants. We believe that to create a truly memorable chocolate, it starts with the bean. We source the best wild harvested cacao from the remotest parts on the Solomon Islands in the Blue Pacific region.
Support is important
Sally says Solomons Gold is very thankful for the support they’ve received from PTI NZ.
“They’re there to support us with all round advice include with our marketing and business development.
“We were also able to further promote our brand thanks to funding we received from PTI NZ which enabled us to attend food shows across New Zealand and Australia.”
Clive and the Solomons Gold team work across Solomon Islands plantations and the factory in Mt Maunganui. They operate as a family owned social enterprise with the goal to assist local landowners and village cacao growers.
Why is the cacao better?
The Solomon Islands’ close location to the equator means their cacao flourish in perfect natural conditions.
The natural growing methods and pristine ecosystem speaks for itself in terms of the flavour and quality of their beans.
High grade cacao beans are hand selected from the plantations, taken to their grading facility in Honiara, Guadalcanal and dried.
They use traditional artisan techniques to roast, crack, winnow, conch and temper the cacao, and it is all small batch.
Solomons Gold chocolate – it is what isn’t in their chocolate that makes it amazing.
Solomons Gold holds the “Free From” label. This means their bars don’t have dairy, gluten, nuts, soy, cane sugar, wheat, or other allergens. It is perfect for chocolate lovers, and consumers with food allergies and intolerances.
Their growers, and their communities, remain at the very heart of our passion for chocolate. From the start their focus has been ensuring 100% sustainability to benefit future generations of the Solomon Islands people.
Solomons Gold chocolate is vegan, keto-friendly, paleo, kosher certified and their factory is HACCP certified.
They only use a maximum of three different (and natural) ingredients in their chocolate.
It’s chocolate you can enjoy with a clear conscience.