The “chocolate world”, as I refer to the people who work in and around fine chocolate, is quite close-knit. Not, I hope, in a cliquey way, but in the everyone-knows-everyone way and that many people, including me, have made firm friends within the group.
When news arrived last weekend that one of the founding members of this loose but very supportive group of fine chocolate advocates had died I am sure that they were all as shellshocked as me. If there was anyone who was the embodiment of living true to your core beliefs and from kindness it was David Friedman, known to all of us as Mott Green. He came so alive when he spoke about chocolate and Grenada, it was like he was lit from within. How could someone so full of life and so “on purpose” be gone?
I can’t actually remember the first time I met Mott, almost all of the times we met it was at a chocolate event. I do remember being in awe of what he was doing with the Grenada Chocolate Company and asking him more questions every time we met.
I am so grateful that I went to Grenada in 2010 to visit Mott and his factory. He was so generous with his time, showing me and my now-fiancé around. It was obvious just how much hard work had gone into the company. Not just physical hard work – though there was plenty of that in the Grenadian heat – but the complexities of fighting to have the cocoa beans kept in Grenada to make chocolate, of championing higher prices to the farmers, finding overseas buyers and dealing with the aftermath of devastating hurricanes.
Mott was truly inspirational. It makes my heart so heavy to know that he isn’t here anymore, especially for his family, colleagues and all of those people who counted him as a friend. I can imagine that friends didn’t come better than Mott.
He has certainly left a legacy. He has inspired a generation of small batch chocolate makers and encouraged chocolate makers and consumers to consider more closely the value of the chocolate bar that returns to the growers. I’ve no doubt that his hard work will continue.
Cat Black interviewed Mott in April this year and has just published his unedited words. It paints a perfect picture of his life, his work and his passion.
Starting in 2011, a documentary, Nothing like Chocolate, starring Mott and narrated by Susan Sarandon was filmed. It previewed during Chocolate Week last October. The trailer can be seen here: http://vimeo.com/38528342
Mott was loved by many. Tributes to him are occurring across the world. Some of them can be found here:
My deepest sympathies are with his family, the Grenada Chocolate Company cooperative and his friends. His legacy will continue.