From Bean to Bar

‘From Bean to Bar’ was the title of the workshop hosted by Diversity House in collaboration with Ideas Test in Sittingbourne on 31st March 2018. The aim was to raise awareness about entrepreneurship using the example of the Asentewa hand-crafted and premier chocolate company based in Sittingbourne.

The workshop was in the format of a drop-in “meet the maker” session with artisan chocolate maker Ralph Eric whose family have grown cacao beans in Ghana since 1892. He now makes and sells premier products from his atelier in Swale.

Asantewaa Chocolat is one of the few vertically integrated chocolate makers in the UK today with direct control over the entire chain from Africa to UK – thereby increasing the product’s value and end price as opposed to being paid the bare minimum for the raw material. The latter has been the case for centuries of cocoa growers in Africa. Ralph Eric is taking back control and might be the only native African cocoa grower making his own chocolate in the UK.

Along with the talk on the importance of supporting growers from his homeland in Ghana and other countries of Africa, Ralph gave a demonstration on how to make authentic, premier chocolate, which is made with love and care from his atelier.

Participants tasted samples of dark chocolate infused with spicy ginger, raisins or orange flavours. Other Asentewaa products included homemade cocoa beer and the popular cocoa skin care range.  Moreover, participants were even given a connoisseur lesson on how to taste the chocolate and really savour the flavours!

The workshop was a success. About 50 participants attended and delighted in learning about the possibilities of starting a chocolate making business of their own, not to mention tasting the sumptuous chocolate.