DEXIA

Success Stories

Linvor Ambo of Allorzee

Makers of Choco Dominique

They say necessity is the mother of invention. Necessity was truly the case for Linvor Ambo who wanted a faster way to enjoy traditional Dominican cocoa tea.
“ I wanted to make the tea in two steps or less. The traditional way was just to tedious or me.” 

And so through effort after effort, he found the winning formula and created his instant cocoa powder product, Choco Dominique. The 100 % natural product has no preservatives and is flavoured with cinnamon, nutmeg and bay leaf.  

Making it is as easy as opening up the sachet, pouring it into a mug and adding hot milk or water and stirring.   

DEXIA has been offering support to Linvor from the start of the business.   The Agency actively engaged Linvor in the promotion of his products, primarily at various trade expositions to include the local NDFD Creole in the Streets, the government’s annual Diaspora Conference and DEXIA’s Strictly Local Christmas Village, which occurs every Christmas Season. Regionally, his products have been sent to CARIFESTA the Caribbean Festival of Arts and in June 2020 Linvor joined four other local entrepreneurs on a trade mission to the French West Indies islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. Internationally, he through DEXIA took part in Expo Dubai, held in the UAE from October 2021 to March 2022. 

After the passage of Hurricane Maria when cocoa was in short supply, the  Agency played a key role in helping him source this key ingredient for his product. 

“That helped in so many ways, he says reflectively. “For one, the supply was a lot more  consistent so I didn’t have those three-month, four-month downtimes I used to have when I just started and it allowed the business to grow a lot within that short space of time.  Also, they helped with promotion and give advice with any challenges I may have had. So it’s fair to say DEXIA is the reason Choco Dominique is still operating today. Thank you for the beans.”  

He has weathered hurricanes and adapted and now with the reality of COVID-19, Linvor is transforming and expanding his operations with the introduction of chocolate bars. 

“Normally we sell our cocoa butter to a chocolate producer on island but during COVID they closed down operations temporarily so we took it upon ourselves to find another customer or use it ourselves and so we decided to make chocolate, so we got the equipment and started testing it out and its now out in a few stores. 

You can find Choco Dominique chocolate bars in Fresh Market, Witchurch and Jollys.  

To follow the company’s progress, visit them on Faceboook at  www.facebook.com/ChocoDominique. Their phone number is 767-276-1504

 

Natasha Green of Tilou Kanawa

Innovating Kalinago Traditions through Food

Natasha Green is proud of her Kalinago heritage and wanted to make a contribution to the economic development of her community through heritage tourism. 
She started Tilou Kanawa during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and launched her restaurant and souvenir shop in her community of Salibya in late 2020. 

Tilou Kanawa (which means ‘little canoe’ in the Kalinago language) is a platform for Natasha to offer an additional experience for visitors to the home of Dominica’s first peoples.  

Normally, the community is highlighted as one of the must-stops, must-sees, it’s an indigenous community, a cultural hub, it continues to pursue and promote indigenous and community-based tourism and as an indigenous people we are highlighted on almost every magazine, every brochure, every website that Discover Dominica Authority promotes, and sadly when they do come to the community, there’s not much to see, there’s not much to experience and not much to eat.  Outside the Kalinago Barana Aute, our cultural heritage site, there is not much else. 

She set out to create an experience that is fully Kalinago, yet modern and appealing to a new generation of locals and visitors alike. Her main ingredient is cassava (manioc) which is traditionally a staple in Kalinago cuisine. She has transformed this simple tuber in to delectable meals including tacos, pizza, hamburgers, sandwiches and more.  

After having their fill of delicious fare, customers can also take away branded tees and key rings, canoes as well as other items produced by local artisans from the territory. Not only are they getting exposure, but they are earning revenue from the sale borne out of their partnership with Natasha. She also hopes to expand her services to include tours around the Territory. 

DEXIA has been working with Natasha to enhance her product offerings.  

“In 2021, DEXIA started working with me in terms of having my new products tested at the [Dominica] Bureau of Standards, so I am now getting into packaging and labeling of cassava products which customers can make and enjoy at home. They include pizza base, burger base and pure cassava mash, which can be added to flour or other ingredients. 

She’s located on the Salibya Main Road, across from the Police Station. Follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tiloukanawa or call 767-295-4375.