We are no longer people that talk about doing things. We are actually doing things. The many ideas we dreamt up all those years ago are starting to trickle down into a tangible reality. I can feel it.
Before this trip, I made an ambitious list of goals I wanted to achieve in Grenada—a pretty punchy loaded 13 targets. I completely forgot about it, then stumbled across it last week to the happy realisation that we’re actively working on most of these things.. and even more that I hadn’t even thought of.
We have to stop ourselves sometimes to remember to enjoy moments like these. Every win, no matter how small is a step in the right direction. Instead of thinking ‘we’ll only be successful when we’ve done this’ or ‘we aren’t doing enough of that’.
But life is a journey. It’s good to have a goal to work towards so you’re always growing and learning, but that’s not all it’s about.
That said, some damn exciting things have happened over the last couple of weeks. Here’s a few snippets:
you can buy our nutmegs online.
Direct through Burlap & Barrel in the US.
I reached out to Ethan at Burlap & Barrel last summer. A pretty inspiring conversation later about all things spices and learning his feats sourcing from all the four corners of the earth, we sent over some nutmeg samples. Long story short, you can see what happened next. I still pinch myself seeing the Ramdhanny family name next to ‘Grenada Gold Nutmeg’.
It may just look like nutmegs in a glass bottle, but its symbolic of knowing we're actually on to a good thing. Breaking away from the norm can be tiresome and downright scary, but it certainly pays off.
Direct, equitable trade is something we set our sights on from the start. Now that it's a reality, it's motivated us even more. Just like our grandfather, who sought out his own cocoa and nutmeg buyers back in the fifties and sixties.
Now available worldwide. Take me to those Grenada Gold nutmegs >>
a visit from some remarkable people.
The Roberts’ came for a visit. David and his father Kennedy, longtime friends of ours visited us at L'Esterre last weekend along with cousins, siblings and nieces.
It was one of those days that you don’t realise the significance of until its over. Seeing our home through new sets of eyes, eyes that value the good things in life, made us fall in love with l'Esterre all over again.
Our day was spent stumbling through mazes of pigeon peas and sorrel plants, a leisurely curry lunch (of course), and a visit to the works, where the cocoa is processed after harvest. Some time was spent in between immersed in the tropical plants at the neighbouring nursery before the ascent through the estate’s cocoa and nutmeg trail, with a few rest stops to cool off on the roots of ancient trees.
Some may recognise Kennedy from his step-by-step guide to making 'buss up shut' a.k.a. paratha roti. Check out the guide here >>
a visit to some remarkable people.
Almost one year on from when we first met Kim & Lylette of Crayfish Bay, we returned for a visit. Crayfish Bay is an organic cocoa estate and chocolate maker, who also supply cocoa to Pump Street Chocolate in the UK.
A few beers and countless sandfly bites later, our respect and admiration for them deepened even further.
Radical, open and frank, Kim, is an all-around wonderful human of the earth from British gypsy heritage. Between them, they've managed to produce high yielding organic cocoa on their 15 acre estate, built two rustic guest cabins, and a home-made chocolate factory—all whilst making it damn equitable in the process. Bulging profits don’t drive Kim & Lylette, instead they advocate fairness for all in the supply chain. Everyone gets an even slice of the cake.
We connected on a different wavelength altogether. It’s obvious they are dedicated to the cause. Both for making seriously good chocolate and for their desire to revitalise the cocoa industry in Grenada before it’s lost forever.
buzzin’ in the cocoa groves.
‘Agriculture is the backbone of our island. But bees are the backbone of agriculture’
The words of Rodney John, a young bee entrepreneur on the island. He visited us after we enquired about installing a few hives on the estate. Rodney’s business is starting you off on your bee journey—he builds the hives, provides you with the whole kit, including the bees, plus training to set you up with all the tools necessary for a thriving apiary.
Bees for us aren’t just about the honey. They’re a way of ensuring longevity of our livelihood, for fruitful cocoa harvests for years to come and for further harmonising with nature as our agroforestry model advocates. We will hopefully be introducing bees to L’Esterre soon.
a taste of countryside life.
Serious breezy, serious hills, serious views.
Residing at my aunt’s house, we are now a hop, skip and jump from L'Esterre. We live the good life here—eating fresh produce from the estate and a few friendly creatures in the shape of mammoth crickets and mischievous bats.
It also means home-cooked lunches at L'Esterre every single day. Between mutton curry and my aunts stewed guavas and custard, it’s not going to be easy re-adjusting to life back in the UK.
Seeing my aunts and uncles everyday is a refreshing change— and a chance to catch up on all things cocoa and nutmeg with daily trips down to the works. Being closer to the source, means things are moving a lot faster at frictionless speed.
Last but not least: island family time
A long weekend in Grenada for Independence Day meant that we could nip over to our favourite tiny island, Sugar Loaf, for the afternoon—joining aunts, uncles, cousins and family friends.
Gatherings at Sugar Loaf, a small ‘loaf’ of an island, just off the northern tip of Grenada, has been a long-held family tradition. Nothing beats unplugging with salty sea air & freshly-caught tuna sashimi circulating.
Family businesses mean that work and play sometimes become a fuzzy fine line. So having moments like this, away from the estate makes it extra special.
With love from the cocoa groves,