Fernie’s own Beanpod Chocolate is a world finalist in the Canadian portion of the International Chocolate Awards. The Fernie Lavender Bar has been selected to compete for the world title of ‘Best Flavoured Dark Bar’ in England this October.
“It’s a pretty special award actually, it’s kind of like the Oscars for chocolate,” remarked Beanpod owner, James Heavey. “With this as only our second year of operation, this is very much what we call the early stages of our process. So to get some form of international recognition at this stage is just quite incredible really, it’s quite humbling.”
The lavender bar is a recent creation of Heavey’s wife and business partner, Mary. “We’ve got a really, really good panel of customers that come in all the time and we use our customers, old, young, families, you name it, as taste testers,” Heavey said. “Mary created the Beanpod Fernie Lavender Bar earlier this year and used customer feedback from a number of local Elk Valley women to lock in the final recipe.”
Heavey enforced that Beanpod does its best to import the best beans they can find in the world, and to use local B.C. products, like the Salt Spring Island lavender found in the winning bar.
The Canadian National Awards took place in Vancouver just a couple of weeks ago. Nearly 100 bars were blind tasted by a judging panel of chocolate experts, food journalists, and pastry chefs. The panel looks at a number of things when deciding on a winner, including taste, technique, and quality, as well as creativity.
Heavey commented, “This competition has been set up by a number of big players in the chocolate industry to promote and standardise fine chocolate awards, and reward excellence equally across all countries.”
The lavender bar will now compete against 12 other finalists from all over the world, including chocolate produced in Switzerland, England, Ecuador, Madagascar, and Italy. The International Chocolate Awards are taking place in England from October 11 to 13, where the best chocolate makers in the world will be recognised.