Belmont Estate is a cacao plantation that dates all the way back to the 17th century, where the cacao today still uses her familys’ ancestral traditions in its harvesting, fermentation, drying and handcrafting its chocolate.
The name of the estate having been given by the first French owners, the Bernagos. The estate sits on a gentle hillside in the scenic north of the island of Grenada, with magnificent views of the plantation, surrounding mountains, Grenadine islands and both the Caribbean sea and Atlantic ocean. The name Belmont is a hybridisation of the French words for beautiful mountain “belle mont”. Belmonst Estate has become famous both in Grenada and internationally for quality organic produce and award winning tourism offerings.
Belmont Estate harvests its cacao by sniping the colourful pods off the trees using mitten-shaped cocoa knives. Once fermented the beans are placed outside for 6 or 7 days to dry in the sun on big wooden trays or in a solar/convection drying facility built by the late Mott Green of the Grenada Chocolate Company.
Belmont Estate has been in the Nyack family for over 75 years, with Shadel Nyack Compton becoming the Managing Director in 1999. Shadel is working towards fulfilling her vision of turning the estate into the Caribbean’s finest agri-tourism experience, offering continued employment to the local community and encouraging tourism to the beautiful island of Grenada.
To introduce Belmonst Estate to our Library, we had a few questions to ask Shadel…
What’s your background? Why and how did you get into chocolate?
Belmont Estate has been growing and selling top quality cocoa beans for over 200 years. For the last ten years we worked in partnership with the Grenada Chocolate Company supplying organic cocoa beans and housing their solar dryers and Bonbon shop here at Belmont.
In 2013 the dynamic founder/owner of the Grenada Chocolate Company, Mott Green died, causing an incredible void in the cocoa – chocolate sector in Grenada and in the world at large. His innovation has been an enormous gift to Grenada, and as a result five chocolate factories have been established here in the last few years. In 2017, we started our own small factory at Belmont Estate, crafting organic chocolate with our own cocoa from tree to bar. Mott Green’s strong inspirational influence and timeless legacy continue today ensuring we produce only the very finest organic chocolate and our farmers and chocolate makers remain in sustainable employment.
What is your favourite food? Wine? Other chocolate makers?
Shadel’s favourite foods are organic fresh produce, the Grenadian national dish, Oil Down, and spicy Indian cuisine. She loves all the Grenadian chocolates, and the companies that use Grenada’s fine cocoa like Pump Street and Rococo/Grenada Chocolate Company