Pinalum, Malekula Island, Vanuatu 70%
Silver medal winner, Academy of Chocolate 2023 International Awards
Gold Medal winner in the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards 2023
Gold winner, Producers Bean-to-Bar at Pacific Cacao & Chocolate 2022
In a remote, little pocket of forest in the northeast hills of Vanuatu’s Malekula Island, a group of dedicated farmers from Pinalum Village grow fine cacao that we use to craft deliciously soothing and mellow chocolate.
While Pinalum, Vanuatu floods the palate with comforting layers of moreish malt and silky caramel notes, it’s simply the cacao’s origin talking - plus organic cane sugar and our obsession for preserving the flavours of provenance.
And because your senses are unique, you may discover characters and aromas others may not - that’s the magic of Foundry Chocolate.
From the 2023 vintage. Please note the batch number you receive may differ from the one pictured.
Ingredients: Cacao Beans & Organic Cane Sugar. No added cacao butter, lecithin or vanilla.
Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Soy Free, Vegan and 100% Plant Based.
Located on the lush and remote Malekula Island, the small group of famers from Pinalum Village have been specialising in fine flavour cacao since 2015.
Organised by the tireless Olivier Fernadez from Gaston Cacao and managed by local villager Lily Buktan, this well run operation is challenging the traditional supply chain model that drives commodity prices down. With their work, the price that farmers individually get in hand is up to two to three times above the previous market practice.
When Olivier visits Pinalum, it’s a journey to get there. He loads his dirt bike onto the overnight ferry from Port Vila, then it’s a 30 minute ride along coral, gravel and sand roads, which get very muddy during the rainy season. Once at the village it’s incredibly lush, close to the coast, and surrounded by palm trees. After the days work it's a social time, sharing food by the fire and drinking kava.
At Pinalum the boss is Lily. She oversees the fermentation and drying station, and works with her extended family to do the fermentation, drying, packing, storage and payroll.
Since Olivier started working with the farmers in 2015, he has deconstructed the traditional industrial model, and works to pay the famers as much as possible for growing fine flavour cacao. This involved building fermentation stations, drying stations and training individual farmers. Side projects have been developed to provide basic water and electricity services.