Local choc biz sells ‘‘ice to Eskimos’’
SELLING local chocolate to Belgium is the equivalent of selling ice to Eskimos or coal to Newcastle.
Belgians are known as the best in the chocolate business and only use the finest ingredients to whip up their delicious treats, so, when a far northern company cracked that market it was a sweet reward for years of hard work.
Local cocoa grower Gerard Puglisi, who is also a director of Daintree Estates, said he was thrilled the region’s cocoa was being sold and used in some of the world’s best chocolates.
“It is just like selling ice to Eskimos - it really is an achievement for our growers and our home-grown cocoa,” Mr Puglisi said.
But that is what Daintree Estates is doing selling chocolate produced from their locally grown cocoa plants which is then moulded and blended by some of the world’s best chocalatiers.
One well-known Belgian dessert shop, the Patisserie Vercruysse, which is owned and run by a working patisserie Geert Vercruysse, is located in the suburb of Kortrijk and makes some of the finest chocolates using product from Daintree Estates.
Kortrijk is both a city and municipality located in the Flemish province West Flanders. It is the capital and biggest city of the arrondissement (administration) of Kortrijk.
But more importantly for the Far north, it is now famous for producing exquisite chocolate treats made from an industry that is helping diversify farming in the Douglas region.
Meanwhile, another cocoa farmer and supplier to Daintree Estates Alan Mortimer, who has a passion for food science and technology, has made the Queen’s Birthday honours list.
The 68-year-old was appointed a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia for service to the food industry.
Mr Mortimer, who founded and is also managing director of Kilsyth food company ABC Blending and has spent his life in the industry, starting off as a food scientist at XXXX Brewery from 1967 to 1972 and is reported in his local paper to be “transitioning to retirement” and would keep himself busy by attending to his cocoa farm, complete with 1400 trees, at Mossman.
He said the farm was one of only five in Australia and supplied beans to Daintree Estates, which produces the world’s first Australian single-origin cocoa beans.
Chocoholic: The patissiere Geert Vercruysse