Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 22nd 2015 Contents JANUARY 2015 • WEEK FOUR www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
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consumption by ordinary people. The range of
products we have, there is no one else doing it."
She explained that the Trinidad Chocolate Factory
took part in the Trade and Investment Convention
(TIC) in 2014.
"We sampled our first production run at the TIC.
There was an amazing response. We collected more
than 200 names of individuals who were interested.
Before that there were no products out on a commercial
scale. Around November, the Ministry of Planning,
Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Trade expressed
an interest in having our products as staffers gifts.
That catapulted us into action where we decided
either we go for broke or go home. We pulled together
a team and developed our final label and we got pro-
duction going. We then decided to go to market with
a gift box instead of them individually. So any events
people are having they can use the Trinidad Chocolate
Factory products as a gift box, whether it is Valentine s
Day, a thank you gift or anything else. Depending on
what is in our hamper, it can cost up to $150," she
Trotman added before that they were simply pro-
moting their products on a one-to-one basis.
"The first time we sold to the market was at Up
Market in Woodbrook and Green Market in Santa
Cruz. It would have been sold on a cottage and season
He said they are trying as best as possible to use
"There are no preservatives in our products and
any other products we plan on using like mangoes
and different things are available in the country or
region. I am not against raisins but we are not planning
to use foreign ingredients. We are not planning to be
an assembly of imported products. The bean is the
centre of what we do."
Trotman said they hope to have the products on
supermarket shelves by the second half of 2015.
"We have deliberately decided to go the co-operate
market. Through the Web site we want to have a semi
e-commerce platform where people can order. When
we have that core market established, we will have
the legs to get our products out to the supermarkets.
If we go with just chocolates then we would be against
the major players. We want our prices to be com-
The chocolate factory
Trotman, who also owns an estate in Grenada, said
right now they are using a factory in St Mark, Grenada
to make their products and all the Trinidadian inputs
"The factory we are using is a joint factory between
the Grenada Cocoa Association and Larry Burdick
from LA Burdick Chocolate from New Hampshire.
In that factory, we process 500 kilogrammes of cocoa
beans at a time, into chocolate which we need to
mould into bars. These batches are produced there
as we need to and, so far, there have been two batches
from the Grenada factory. Eventually, the whole idea
is to have our own factory here in T&T."
Joseph-Brathwaite said soon there will be a factory
in T&T where all the operations are carried out and
the cost should be about $5 million.
"We are working with InvesTT and exporTT to
raise about $5 million to get our factory here," she
Without giving details of specifically where the
factory will be in Trinidad, Trotman said they already
have some of the requirements for the running of the
"We have two locations. We have buildings, we
need equipment and other things. The rationale is
when you go to the banks they ask what are the prod-
ucts and what is the brand and where is it being sold.
We decided we would get the products into the hands
of consumers---which we are doing now---then we
would obtain financing for the factory. The acid test
is if people buy the product. We are trusting the fin-
anciers will see we have real products and real market
and finance us," he said.
Joseph-Braithwaite said the company has already
got calls from different financial institutions on financ-
ing the project.
"We have been talking to InvesTT, the Agriculture
Development Bank (ADB) and other financial insti-
tutions. So we are now at a stage where we have
proven products. We have the market so the next
thing is scaling up. Now we are presenting our case
to get financing," she said.
Trotman said once financing is in order, they could
have the factory in Trinidad up and running by next
In the not too distant future, Trotman wants to
see the chocolate bar and other products exported to
"We are looking at the UK and US markets in terms
of exports. For those markets, we must have a certain
standard and presentation. That is the what we are
doing. This is a locally-made product that will be
exported globally," he said.--
NCB Global Finance Limited
Trinidad and Tobago
MANAGER - CORPORATE
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