Meet the award winner: PURE Chocolate Jamaica
Speciality & Fine Food Fair speaks to Wouter Tjeertes, Co-Founder of PURE Chocolate, following the company winning Best New Product - International at the 2023 Speciality & Fine Food Fair Awards for its delicious jerk-seasoned dark chocolate.
How did it feel when PURE Chocolate Jamaica won New Product of the Year – International at Speciality & Fine Food Fair?
It is great to see your efforts recognised during a prestigious event as this. The bottle of champagne did not make it home!
Tell us a bit about the winning product
Our 70% dark chocolate with Jerk Seasoning is a conversation starter for sure. This savory chocolate has many flavor layers that develop whilst you eat it, making it a great pairing with a glass of red wine and a charcuterie selection. Jamaica is famous for its Jerk chicken and pork, we took that seasoning blend and infused our chocolate with it.
What's the story of PURE Chocolate?
The PURE way of making chocolate is simple and honest; we purchase cocoa beans from local farmers and create 100% Jamaican hand-made chocolate. Direct trade is a core value we hold close to our heart. By paying our farmers above market price for their crop they can take better care of their farm and we get the best beans possible.
At PURE we ferment, dry and roast our cocoa beans the old-fashioned way to safeguard our high standards and by doing so create employment opportunities for Jamaica’s inner-city communities.
PURE chocolate products provide a canvas for young professional Jamaican artists to promote their art to the world. We help by promoting their work to our fans and hope they will become theirs too.
With every decision we take we keep one thing in mind; is what we do honest, sustainable and PURE?
What are some other products in your range?
Our range has grown to a selection of 14 bars, including dark bars with cinnamon, lemongrass, coffee to name a few, and milk chocolate bars infused with rum, speculoos and scotch bonnet pepper. We even have vegan options like coconut and banana/plantain.
What inspired your branding?
Whilst creating the brand we always had Jamaica’s benefit in mind, graduates from the prestigious art school in Kingston are invited to collaborate and help us make an even bigger impact on the shelve. In return each artist gets their bio printed inside the packaging and receives a commission on every bar sold. A win-win-win!