The Chocolatier Series 2 is SPAGnVOLA. So I had an 'EUREKA' moment concerning cocoa and chocolate which lead me to research on cocoa and chocolate industry in Nigeria. I bumped into Single-Estate Premium Chocolate bars from Ondo State, Nigeria made by SPAGnVOLA which was 'inspired by the traditions of ancient cultures, made by the most experienced cocoa growers, utilizing their most exquisite and aromatic cocoa beans from Oda Cocoa Estate established since 1954' (Culled from SPAGnVOLA)
Single-Estate Premium Chocolate bars from Ondo State, Nigeria
Nigerian Cocoa falls under forastero, which most Chocolatiers usually dare to touch for chocolate making, except for chocolate spread. The word 'Forastero' means 'stranger' or 'outsider' in Spanish. The most preferred species by Chocolatiers are Criollo and Trinitario found mostly in South America and West Indies. So I was so happy to see that our cocoa could be used to make chocolate! Another thing that makes me like SPAGnVOLA is the way they empower their cocoa farmers.
Eric & Crisoire Reid of SPAGnVOLA
Eric, CEO/Founder and his wife, Crisoire Reid, an award winning Chocolatier and co-owner of SPAGnVOLA have been running the company since 2009. They derived the name SPAGnVOLA (pronounced as spang—vola) from a 16th century voyage map of the island of Hispaniola, known today as the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
SPAGnVOLA harvest their cocoa beans from their farm on the mountain slopes of the eastern part of the Dominican Republic. They cultivate and process their cocoa beans the traditional way, hand picking perfectly ripened pods, fermenting, drying and grading the beans to ensure the best make its way to their factory where they roast, winnow and refine the cocoa into chocolates that are carefully handcrafted into premium bars, bonbons, and truffles.
Watch one of SPAGnVOLA Chocolatier Documentary