‘One More Cocoa’ makes Oprah’s ‘Favorite Things’ gifts list

By Lincoln DePradine

Entrepreneur Kenesha Lewis admits that it was one of the biggest moments in the period since she started “One More Cocoa’’, a Canadian company that produces a line of products from cocoa grown in Jamaica.

Kenesha Lewis

Oprah Winfrey

It was “pure excitement’’, Lewis told The Caribbean Camera, on learning that Oprah Winfrey – the well-known influential African-American talkshow host, author and billionaire media proprietor – had recommended products of “One More Cocoa’’ as Christmas shopping items.

“It’s one of those moments that you’ll always remember. I remember the day, perfectly, down to the time,’’ Lewis said in an interview.

“One More Cocoa’’, said Jamaican-born Lewis, was started about two-and-half years ago “with just an idea’’.

The thought of becoming a businesswoman wasn’t always on Lewis’s mind; she arrived here with her father when she was approaching her seventh birthday and attended elementary school in Toronto.

“I went to Nelson Mandela Park Public School. I was there when Nelson Mandela came,’’ recalled Lewis, who studied to become a counsellor of abused women and children.

For most of the time, after establishing “One More Cocoa’’, the Whitby-based company was run with the help of family members and friends.

However, about two months ago, Lewis plunged fulltime into the management and operations of the business, whose Line of products includes chocolate bars, a six-piece box of delicious gourmet chocolate bonbons, and chocolate coca tea – including a powdered version.

The company, Lewis explained, was launched because of her love of “sugar and spice and everything nice. I wanted to offer unique, creative and delicious products, while incorporating my Jamaican heritage’’.

She added that in Jamaica, “chocolate cocoa tea was a very important part of our family get-togethers, especially when I was a kid with my grandfather. So, I really wanted to create something that was going to be representative of his memory; and, that’s why I started ‘One More Cocoa’’’.

Lewis said she was informed, via email, that her “Hot Chocolate Box Set’’ is featured in the winter issue of the Winfrey-owned “O Quarterly’’ and on OprahDaily.com.

The Hot Chocolate Box Set is included on Winfrey’s 2023 “Favorite Things’’ holiday gifts list.

The list of “Favorite Things’’ has been described as a “must-have holiday shopping guide that features the most ingenious gadgets, fashionable sustainable goods, decadent desserts and the finest finds in home, fashion, and beauty, with 48 gifts under $50’’.

It’s reported that most gifts for 2023 “have been selected from inspiring small businesses, including women-owned, Black-owned and other minority-owned businesses across the United States and beyond’’, including “One More Cocoa’’ of Canada.

“It’s an honour to be the only Canadian brand recognized as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things 2023,” said Lewis.

“The One More Cocoa Hot Chocolate Box Set is a delightful combination of decadent flavors that are crafted with premium ingredients and real chocolate for an exceptional rich and creamy taste. Perfect for gifting, the set is beautifully packaged in a sleek bamboo keepsake box, complemented with gold stirring and measuring spoons.’’

The Hot Chocolate Box Set is available for purchase at onemorecocoa.com, and in Winfrey’s “Favorite Things’’ gift guide, exclusively in Amazon’s store at amazon.com/oprah, as well as via the Amazon shopping app.

Lewis is confident that the endorsement of her company’s products by “O Quarterly’’ and on OprahDaily.com would allow for greater exposure and sales.

Canadian availability of the products are at the company’s outlet in Whitby and through its website,https://www.onemorecocoa.com/, as well at a Black-owned store in Oshawa and at another in Toronto.

Although her products now are flavoured with Jamaican cocoa, Lewis said in the future, she intends to use cocoa from other Caribbean countries such as Grenada and St Vincent.

“I’m making my way through the islands,’’ she said.