Chocolate is arguably one of the greatest gifts given to us by Mother Earth. It’s scientific name Theobroma cacao translates literally to “food of the Gods”. It is no surprise then that this delicacy is widely sought after.
Bootleg Chocolates, Grand Bahama’s premier artisanal chocolate boutique and factory, is not illegal in the 700 islands of The Bahamas; although it tastes like it should be! Though its name has a unique reference to the hey day of Grand Bahama’s bootleg industry, this family-founded chocolate business started in 2010 and has now blossomed into a factory outlet and quaint retail shop, located in the Port Lucaya Marketplace in Grand Bahama.
The name ‘Bootleg’ is a nod to the adventurous history of West End, Grand Bahama during the time of Prohibition which was also the family’s matriarchal home during that Era. The chocolate company is owned and operated by a mother/daughter team Daphne Ormerod-Cates and Amanda Ormerod-Mullen, whose Bahamian roots can be traced back to the 1600s. The company is fast becoming the premier provider of sought after artisanal chocolates for high-end boutique hotels, premier events, and one-of-a-kind retailers on the islands of Abaco, Eleuthera, Exuma, Grand Bahama and New Providence. The Bootleg brand is quickly becoming the go-to name in artisanal chocolates.
At a time when the market for artisan chocolates did not exist in The Bahamas, Daphne began to self-study the art of chocolate to meet the requests made by customers when she was a wedding consultant. Her studies eventually led her to the prestigious Callebaut’s Chocolate Academy in Montreal. Upon returning home, she began selling one-of-a-kind products to local coffee shops, at special events and food festivals.
“We’ve seen the success of our chocolate products at some of the most exclusive hotel properties around the country and that I think is due largely in part to the unique Bahamian flair of our chocolate as well as the professional packaging” says Amanda.
“Our product line currently includes ganaches with familiar Bahamian flavors like Guava Duff & Gully Wash (Sky Juice) and caramels such as Bahamian Sea Salt + Hibiscus, or Goat Pepper + Balsamic. We also carry traditional chocolate bars but with our unique Bahamian take on the bar; these are always a hit with the tourists who love them as gifts to take home.”
This November, and just in time for Christmas, the Ormerod ladies have created a new line, Bootleg Smuggler Rum Bites. These chocolates boast a generous helping of your favorite Rums and will be produced in four distinct flavors: Gold, Spicy, Floral and Fruity.
“Christmas is a great time for us and for these Smuggler Rum Bites to come out just in time for the Christmas Gift season” says Amanda. “We started getting asked to do Christmas gifts sets a few years ago, and now we take orders via email and over the phone daily. We ship to Nassau on a weekly basis and have an associate who helps with deliveries.”