Despite his humble beginnings, Duane Dove, founder and owner of Tobago Cocoa Estate, has created a tremendous foundation for a legacy in cocoa and the production of chocolate in Trinidad and Tobago.
Duane Dove grew up on a farm in Tobago, learning the origins of the trade through simply being a helping hand. He went on to study culinary arts in Canada and then wine and beverages in Europe, before finding his passion in matching artisan chocolates with fine wine and aged spirits.
Years later, at the age of 50, Dove can look with some satisfaction on a well-established luxury chocolate brand and business, which has won several awards. Most recently, he gained a silver award in the plain/origin milk chocolate bar category at the European Bean-to-Bar International Chocolate Awards. This was a massive achievement for Dove, who told Newsday that this competition was “The Big Fish”. That success qualifies Dove’s product for the World Final of the International Chocolate Awards to be held later this year.
After a difficult year that saw the Covid-19 pandemic heavily disrupt the supply chain – though happily it also increased demand for chocolate products – the competition success has lifted the spirits of Dove and his team.
Concerned with the longevity of his product and business, his company will be applying for CERES certification to ensure that the product continues to be of its highest quality. In the future Dove plans to pass on his legacy by teaching his children about the industry. He says, “That is how we have to get this thing to live on.”
More information about the company can be found at www.tobagococoa.com