Please allow me space in your paper to give your readers a brief report on the facts and a report on an activity that took place on Thursday, March 20th 2014 that can change the face of Agriculture in Grenada FOR EVER – the official opening of the Grenada Chocolate plant in Diamond, St. Mark’s.
AFTER FOURTEEN (14) YEARS OF GESTATION, I may point out it takes Nine (9) Months of Gestation To Give Birth To A Human Baby. Yet our “Baby” is Born After 14 Years. (smile)
I shall now give you all the true facts ,a brief history of my experiences with this new Grenada Chocolate Plant now called “ The Diamond Chocolate Plant” or “Factory”; Note Well these are the True Facts:
My first encounter with this Diamond Chocolate Factory started on a Thursday in 1999, when a “white man” with a short pants, his wife (Paula) and two small children were brought to me at the Pharmacy in Grenville by Mr.Adrian Bhola, an employee of the (GCA) Grenada Cocoa Association.
Mr. Bhola stated that Mr. Larry Burdick wanted to buy one hundred (100) Bags of Dry Cocoa beans, and so started the saga of a relationship up to today.
Since then I introduced Mr. Larry Burdick & Family to Mr. Andrew Hastick, the General Manager of the GCA and later we had a Luncheon meeting at the late Mrs. Betty Mascoll’s place at St. Patrick and our relationship grew from strength to strength.
Later on, my wife and I visited New Hampshire, USA and I worked in Larry’s Plant for a few days and I was now convinced that L A Burdick Chocolate was one of the best chocolate in the world and was a good joint venture partner for manufacturing Grenada Chocolate” in Grenada and one day my promise to Mr.William Demas , President of the Caribbean Development Bank and my dream will come true.
We next discussed setting up the Chocolate Plant at The Carlton Cocoa Station in St.Andrew and even got a construction quotation from Mike Quinn & Company for retrofitting the building.
We also got a quotation from Ms. Jeanette McEwen to plan a “Sensation Tourism Project there …the tourist would have a complete experience of using all their senses when they toured the plant.
Later, the location of the chocolate plant was changed to Diamond Estate in the parish of St. Mark and Larry convinced me of this new location. I saw this location dating back to 1779 A.D. to be the ideal location for the Chocolate Plant, a Chocolate Restaurant & Factory Outlet, and a Spice Garden showing ALL the Spices we in Grenada use in Chocolate and “ Cocoa Tea”.
Since then, we activated our Quality Producers Ltd company (QPL) , Mr. Dexter Tyson did a business plan, and we began to source Machinery and Equipment for the Diamond Chocolate Project as we retrofitted the Building with the latest technology assisted by JIM the Engineer and Schepp the chocolateur of Switzerland.
We are thankful for Mrs. Larry Burdick who assisted in developing funding projects for the project, the U.S. Government for consenting to fund several of the M & E and the Government of Grenada,etc.
I must therefore compliment the New Cocoa Board headed by Mr. Ramsey Rush for continuing my effort and dream in Value addition. Unfortunately, they have not demonstrated a true knowledge of the potential of the project and what they are sitting on.
This Chocolate Factory and plant at Diamond in St.Mark’s is a MASSIVE project that can inject up to $100,000,000.00 into Grenada and can change the face of Agriculture and Agribusiness in Grenada.
So although most members of the Grenada Cocoa Board do not appreciate the potential of the PROJECT and therefore have made a decision to not use my expertise to date, I still offer my help for Grenada’s sake and for the poor struggle cocoa farmers that “Red Ants” bite on their necks from time to time. For I DO NOT WANT THE PROJECT TO FAIL because of IGNORANCE.
As I close, I am reminded of a section in The Holy Bible : Proverbs 29: 18 “ …Where there is no vision the people perish” and I do not want us to perish nor the project to perish.
Grenada needs it. We are sitting on an “uncut Diamond” waiting to glisten in the sunlight. I am available to expand on any area of the foregoing.