St. Lucia’s once-thriving cocoa industry is undergoing a slow revival, said Eurice Henning, who grew up on a farm with cocoa trees in the northeast of the island and started the bean-to-bar chocolate company, Amazona Cocoa, a few years ago.
“There are a few companies that popped up in St. Lucia making their own chocolate bars,” Henning said. “Now, people are starting to see the value in coming up with different chocolate creations.”
Some St. Lucia properties such as Boucan, a boutique hotel on a cocoa plantation owned by the British chocolate manufacturer Hotel Chocolat, offer cocoa-related activities regularly.
But this summer and fall, several cocoa farms and hotels are offering new packages and deals that coincide with the island’s first Chocolate Heritage Month in August.
The Jade Mountain resort, producers of Emerald Estate Chocolate, grows more than 2,000 cocoa trees on its estate and organic farm in the Soufriére hills. The Chocolate Alchemy package, which runs through Oct. 15, includes a fourth night free during a four-night stay (from $5,248 per couple) or two nights free during a seven-night stay (from $8,320 per couple) in a Jacuzzi suite. The package includes a cocoa estate tour, bean-to-bar chocolate tasting and lesson in basic chocolate-making techniques at the resort’s Chocolate Lab, along with airport transfers, daily breakfast and dinner and one chocolate-infused spa treatment per person.
Its sister property, Anse Chastanet, is offering a Dan Dous (sweet tooth in Creole patois) package during the same time period with similar activities and amenities included, from $2,398 per couple for a four-night stay (fourth night free) or $3,730 per couple for a seven-night stay (two nights free).
Sugar Beach, part of the Viceroy Resort group, has a new chocolate-sculpting room where guests can learn how to prepare chocolate truffles from local, organic cocoa beans, as well as traditional St. Lucian cocoa tea. The 90-minute class ($110) is available year round on request.