Cassandra Goad's latest collaboration with Islands Chocolate led to the design of the stunning Cocoa Pod pendant, the sale of which will help support the education and wellbeing of the plantation which galvanised its creation.
The age-old question of how to make a woman happy (or at least remarkably less irate, depending on the context of the situation in which one finds oneself) has an age-old answer that has stood the test of time remarkably well: jewellery and chocolate.
Superficial as it may seem, there are few among the fairer sex who would be disappointed by the offering up of either and even less who would turn down the opportunity to accept both – provided they are offered by the correct person, of course.
However, one thing that has changed in the many millennia since the Aztecs called chocolate a gift from Quetzalcoatl (unsurprisingly their God of wisdom), is the attention we pay to how and from where our sweet treats, and shiny gifts, for that matter, are sourced. Chocolate is expected to be sustainably and ethically produced; diamonds are even more strictly policed.
It is this, the customer’s keen eye for sustainability, which has prompted companies to go the extra mile to ensure their products are sustainably sourced and support the environments which inspire them – a process which has created what may just be the perfect gift this Easter.
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Cassandra’s Cocoa Pod ‘Easter Egg’ pendants are remarkably well-timed, taking their distinctive shape from the banded and gnarled pods of the cocoa tree. A worked lattice inside holds smokey quartz, citrine or diamond and sapphire ‘cocoa beans’ and lies empty on the other side ‘because I have eaten all the beans’, jokes Cassandra.
This design is no accident – Cassandra collaborated with artisanal chocolate maker Islands Chocolate (a family-run plantation on the Caribbean island of St Vincent) to create the uniquely design charm. Comparing their chocolate to a fine wine – another excellent gift, if I do say so myself – Islands Chocolate recognise that their product tastes best when the land it comes from is cared for diligently and sustainably. They remain one of the only chocolate producers to use home-grown cocoa beans.
And here-in lies the crux that seals Cassandra’s product as truly excellent; to mark the collaboration of these two companies, a percentage of the sale of each Cocoa pod pendant will be donated to the St Vincent Cocoa Company’s workers to aid education and wellbeing, ensuring that the industry will last for at least as many generations as have come before it and many more besides.
‘The women who wear my Cocoa Pod necklace are, like me, total chocoholics.’ Says Cassandra. ‘This collaboration allows them to wholeheartedly embrace and support the origins of their favourite treat.’
In five different sizes and two different precious metals (gold and silver), there’s something there for every woman and chocolate lover among us. For those still in need of convincing, a bar of Islands Chocolate will be added to the sale to sweeten the deal.
So whether you’ve done something which Quetzalcoatl wouldn’t recommend, she’s done something amazing (think: promotion, birthday, or just Easter signifying another year of having a wonderful human being in your life) or you just love chocolate as much as Cassandra does, there’s a new gift on the block begging to be worn by the cocoa enthusiasts in our number. I know I’m among them.
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