Local choc biz sells ‘‘ice to Eski­mos’’

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS -

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

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