Chocolats Favoris Continues Expansion as it Looks to New Markets

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By Mario Toneguzzi

Chocolats Favoris, a Canadian artisanal chocolate shop and creamery, is continuing to expand its operation, opening its latest location in Vaughan - its fourth in Ontario.

“We’re basically a chocolate lover’s paradise,” said Dominique Brown, CEO of the company. “We have been doing this for several years now. I’m not the founder of the company but I acquired the company in 2012 and we decided to launch what would be a completely new take on a chocolate store. Really create an experience that provides a memorable experience to anyone who walks through the front doors."

“Basically what Chocolats Favoris is all about is it’s a cross between an ice cream parlour and a chocolate shop.”

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The brand is well known for its high-quality artisanal chocolate as well as its ice-cream dippings made out of pure, real chocolate. It has 12 exclusive chocolate flavours.

It also sells canned chocolate fondue.

“It’s something that we basically invented in 2013 which was an incredible success,” said Brown. “It really is a store that is unlike any other. The concept of it and the look of the store is unique.”

The company was founded in 1979 with its first location in Lévis, just outside Québec City. It was originally a company mostly making molds for Easter.

Today, the company has 32 chocolate shops in Canada with stores in Quebec (27) , Ontario (four) and British Columbia (one).

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The B.C. store is in Victoria. Ontario locations are in Orleans, just east of Ottawa, Aurora, Ajax and Vaughan.

“The real unique thing is all the different flavours of chocolate that you can taste at Chocolats Favoris,” said Brown.

Almost every single product in the store is manufactured in Quebec City where its corporate office is located in 42,000 square feet.

The Vaughan store opening is part of Chocolats Favoris’ Ontario expansion plan, which will continue with at least three more chocolate shops in Guelph, Kanata and Barrhaven in the Ottawa region. It also has major plans for international expansion eventually.

Store locations average about 2,000 square feet.

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“We’re hoping to conquer the world of chocolate, nothing less,” said Brown. “When I acquired the company in 2012, there were only three locations so we have opened almost 30 since then and we’re opening more and more stores every year. We still have several stores to open in the Quebec market but most of our development will happen in Ontario I would say for the next two years at least. There’s a huge market there for us that we want to expand in.

“And we’re also looking for Alberta and eventually of course British Columbia to continue our expansion there.”

Brown said he didn’t want to commit to a number of how many stores the company will eventually have but did say that by the end of this year he hopes to have at least 40 stores in Canada.

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Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: mdtoneguzzi@gmail.com

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