As she welcomes more than 30,000 visitors a year to her family’s Belmont Estate on Grenada, owner Shadel Nyack Compton takes great joy in seeing them retrace her childhood wanderings through the verdant grounds of the 17th-century plantation. “My grandparents allowed us to explore every nook and cranny of the estate,” she says. “I loved strolling through the acres of cocoa and nutmeg trees.”
During the past 12 years, Nyack Compton has transformed what was a struggling agricultural concern into an agritourism destination, earning recognition as one of the Caribbean’s top entrepreneurs in the process. The estate indulges the senses with lush gardens, organic chocolates made on-site (a tree-to-bar tour explains the process) and Creole specialties such as callaloo soup served in the farm-to-table restaurant.
“We try to give visitors an authentic experience that embodies Grenadian history, culture, heritage and agriculture all packaged beautifully together,” she says.
- What drove you to transform Belmont Estate? My grandparents had defied the norm by being the first Indo-Grenadians to own a plantation. Belmont Estate was so rich in heritage and history that I couldn’t simply allow it to decay. Reviving it was the best way to honor my grandparents and contribute to the local economy.
- What does Belmont’s motto, “History in the Making,” mean to you? The estate evolved out of the institution of slavery, but we have made it into something positive, wholesome and educational, and we are continuing to make history here.
- What is your favorite flavor of chocolate made at Belmont? The Pure Grenada is a delicate blend of cinnamon, ginger, mace and nutmeg in a 60 percent chocolate bar, so it’s very dark with just a bit of sweetness and milk. It embodies Grenada’s history as the Spice Island.
Shadel’s Must-Do List on Grenada
- Grand Etang National Park and Forest Preserve (St. Andrew): With its densely forested mountains, imposing lake and mischievous mona monkeys, it is a surreal and majestic experience.
- Sails Restaurant and Bar (St. George’s): It has spectacular panoramic views and extraordinary Caribbean-fusion fare. The Indian tali is yummy.
- Yolo Sushi and Wine Bar (St. George’s): It has great service and food, with delicious vegan options. It’s in Port Louis, one of the most beautiful spots in St. George’s.