Trinidadian soca star Machel Montano, who owns the Montanos line of chocolate, is adamant about reviving the Caribbean chocolate industry in order to significantly boost the socioeconomic power of small farmers and manufacturers.
Caribbean cocoa is typically organic, fair trade, and among the highest quality in the world. Trinitario, the cocoa Montano uses in his brand, is the world’s most exclusive cocoa hybrid, and was conceived in Trinidad in the 18th century.
In August, the new, recycled paper packaging of Montano’s 60 percent dark chocolate was released by the star and his mother-slash-business partner, Elizabeth.
With aspirations to expand the entire chocolate industry in the Caribbean, over the past five years the musician’s Machel Montano Foundation for Greatness has provided training, materials and equipment for ten rural communities across the country to produce their own chocolates. With the organization’s help, the community of Siparia in Trinidad has launched its own brand of 60% and 70% dark chocolates, called Daisy Dahlin.
This commitment to conscious entrepreneurship meshes well with the musician’s relatively new, thoughtful persona.
In recent years Montano has become deeply spiritual, frequently sharing his beliefs and practices. As far as maintaining a sense of joy and balance, Montano says, “I tend to turn a lot to meditation and proper eating. I think keeping healthy as much as possible is tantamount to having a healthy spirit and a happy soul.”
His signature chocolate surely fits under the proper eating umbrella – it’s all-natural, vegan, and made with three simple ingredients – brown sugar, sun dried cacao nibs and cocoa butter. It’s also free from preservatives, mold inhibitors, emulsifiers and additives.