The Caribbean island of Grenada, known for its abundant spice production, is gearing up to host its much-awaited 10th annual Grenada Chocolate Festival from May 16 – 21, 2023. The festival, which was first launched in 2014, celebrates the rich history and culture of chocolate production on the island, home to six chocolate companies, including the well-known Grenada Chocolate Company, which is credited with pioneering the tree-to-bar chocolate movement.
This year’s festival, themed the Rum Edition, is set to provide visitors with a unique opportunity to explore the history of rum and chocolate production. Attendees can enjoy things like rum tastings and tours at local distilleries, a masterclass with Renegade and Tri Island, and mixologist competitions at Mount Cinnamon. The event will also have cocoa field trips to sustainable chocolate factories, tours of the ethical tree-to-bar chocolate making process, chocolate-focused arts and crafts, and even chocolate yoga meditation.
According to Petra Roach, CEO of Grenada Tourism Authority, “The Grenada Chocolate Festival is an annual event that attracts chocolate lovers and budding chocolatiers from all over the world. The festival offers a variety of fun and delicious experiences, from cocoa farm tours to premium high-quality chocolate tastings, to wellness experiences centered around chocolate. Visitors get to explore our beautiful island and celebrate this significant element of Grenadian culture with the locals.”
Grenada’s volcanic soil, ideal weather, and verdant rainforests make it an ideal climate for growing fine cocoa. Magdalena Fielden, Founder of the Grenada Chocolate Festival, says, “The Grenada Chocolate Festival is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the local farmers and chocolatiers who have made Grenada a world-renowned destination for chocolate lovers, in addition to the power of community and the importance of sustainable and ethical practices in a small island.”
Here’s an overview of the events:
The Grenada Chocolate Fest commences on Tuesday, May 16 with a morning visit to the House of Chocolate and rum tastings at Tri Island, followed by relaxation in the afternoon. The festival’s opening celebration is held in the evening at Westerhall Estate, featuring music, chocolate, rum, and local food vendors.
On Wednesday, May 17, the festivities continue with a cocoa celebration at Belmont Estate, including a farmer’s lunch. In the evening, attendees can participate in a Cocktail Master Class at True Blue Rum Shop and attend the “Chocolate Rum Street Food Extravaganza” at Dodgy Dock, featuring dinner, live music, and cocktails under the stars.
Thursday, May 18 is dedicated to Grenada’s chocolate and rum culture. Afternoon activities include a visit to Annandale Waterfalls and creating a spiced rum bottle at Wild Orchid. In the evening, guests can choose between two rum and chocolate masterclasses at Silversands or a sunset chocolate night dive with Aquanauts Grenada and a pint of chocolate beer at the West Indies Brewery.
Friday, May 19 features a tree-to-bar sustainable chocolate flavoring experience at Crayfish Bay, followed by a farm-to-table lunch and swim at Mount Edgecombe. The evening concludes with a rum and chocolate cocktail competition at Mount Cinnamon and a beach bonfire by Savvy’s.
On Saturday, May 20, families can participate in fun chocolate activities and crafts bazaar throughout the day while enjoying distillery tours at Renegade Rum and Rivers Rum. In the evening, attendees can relax with yoga sound healing and a chocolate culinary dinner at Dodgy Dock.
The festival concludes on Sunday, May 21 with a morning yoga session and creating cocoa butter and chocolate potions at True Blue Bay Resort. Guests can also experience flavors and aromas at the Tower before attending the closing party hosted by Le Phare Bleu, featuring tastings, toasts, and live music.