[caption id="attachment_560760" align="alignright" width="300"] Steve Wallace[/caption]
Tema, Ghana-based Niche Cocoa Industry Ltd. has partnered with Mequon-based Omanhene Cocoa Bean Co. to open a 44,000-square-foot cocoa powder processing facility in Franklin. Steve Wallace founded Omanhene in 1991, and the company went on to pioneer the production of single-origin, fair-trade chocolate, manufactured bean-to-bar in Ghana – one of the world’s largest exporters of cocoa. Wallace, who now also serves as North American project manager for the nearly complete Niche Cocoa facility, first traveled to Ghana in 1978 and has returned numerous times since.
“Delta and United Airlines offer non-stop daily flights to Accra’s brand-new Kotoka International Airport from JFK and Dulles airports in New York and Virginia. Getting around Accra (the capital of Ghana) is easy. Taxis and Ubers are plentiful and affordable, but don’t expect an air-conditioned ride. Ghanaians are unfailingly polite and regard seniority and age with great respect. Honor that by deferring to elders in both conversation and while waiting in lines.”
“There are many international hotels in Accra, including the Movenpick, Marriott and Kempinski. For a taste of old Gold Coast luxury, I recommend the historic Labadi Beach Hotel, featuring a marvelous veranda – perfect for meetups. That said, I am fiercely loyal to the endearing, modest Alisa North Ridge Hotel. It is owned by a Ghanaian and has an inviting pool.”
There’s no finer way to pass a warm, languorous evening in Accra than sitting outside enjoying a platter of prawns, lobster, squid and grouper, fresh from the harbor. Slake your thirst with an ice-cold, locally brewed Star beer and all the world falls into repose. I love to go to the markets to shop for fresh food and take in the sights, sounds and scents. Not only does Ghana have traditional fare, such as goat and fish stews, Jollof rice and groundnut soup, but there is also a thriving Lebanese sub-culture in Accra.”
“Accra comes alive at night, perhaps because it is the coolest part of the day. If you are lucky, the evening may include Highlife music, a fusion of African meter and western jazz melodies. My favorite outdoor jazz club is +233, but The Jamestown Café – nestled in one of the oldest quarters in Accra – is home to Ghana’s most progressive and bohemian artistic scene.”