We are a small family owned cocoa roaster that specialise in the manufacture and supply of Koko Samoa (cacao paste). Our values are based on the strong Pacific foundations of respect and humility with age old traditions deeply embedded into our practice.
Aunty Tommy’s was named after one of the matriarchs of the Macdonald family from Vaiala, Saui'a Flora Constance (Tommy) Burr. Affectionately known in Samoa as Aunty Tommy, she was a fierce advocate for not only Samoan arts, but also Samoan culture including its cuisine.
Cousins Alec & Marlon were born and raised in Samoa later moving to New Zealand for schooling. Being part of a bigger Pacific family and recognising the central role food plays in our culture is important to us. It’s not just about physical nourishment, but more about the social and familial bonds that sharing means to our people.
A brief history of cocoa in Samoa
The first documented appearance of cocoa in Samoa occurred in 1883, when German planters initially introduced the Criollo subspecies, sourced from what were then Ceylon and Java. In 1898, Forastero subspecies plants from Java were also introduced. These Forastero plants were planted in amongst the original Criollo plantations, to replace the significant number of Criollo plants that had failed to survive.
The Forastero plants in question were of the Amelonado variety. Theobroma Cacao L. (the Latin name for the cacao species within the cocoa taxonomic hierarchy) hybridises very easily, and over a short period of time. The offspring of those original Criollo and Amelonado plants produced a quality of bean that was known in the cocoa trade as “Samoan Trinitario”, locally referred to as “Koko Samoa”.
It is that cocoa which has the fine flavour and characteristics that was responsible for Samoan cocoa achieving a premium price over bulk cocoa.
Samoa Koko Industry Association. (n.d.). About us. https://www.skia.ws/about-us/