In honour of Bernard Celebrating 40 years of Chocolate in Calgary

In honour of Bernard Celebrating 40 years of Chocolate in Calgary

A little bit of Bernard's Story:         

    I grew up outside of a chocolate factory in Wieze, Belgium. In 1911, my Great Grandfather Charles Louis Callebaut diversified the family brewery by opening a chocolate factory. He had noticed that chocolate was gaining popularity and sent his two sons to Meunier in Paris to learn the trade. 

            My mother ultimately sold the business in the 1980s, and our family-owned original chocolate factory is the largest chocolate factory in the world today. It is now known as Barry Callebaut, when Barry Cacao took ownership to combine the two businesses creating what is known today as Barry Callebaut. 

            After completing my electro-mechanical degree in engineering in Belgium and a business management course in Switzerland – I found chocolate calling me back and took a leap of faith when I accepted an unpaid internship with one of Europe’s most renowned chocolatiers, Rene Goossens of Antwerp.

      In 1982, I had a vision: to offer North Americans the same style of superior chocolates Europe had been enjoying for years. The philosophy is simple. By using the purest ingredients, uncompromising quality, handcrafted precision, and continuous improvements – North America would truly experience “chocolate enlightenment.” 

        After travelling and falling in love with the mountains, I decided to settle on living in Calgary, Alberta and on March 25th, 1983, I opened my very first chocolate shop on 17th Avenue SW.

            I had no idea if the public would like what I was making, but I could see there was a definite need for high quality chocolate in Canada, and I wanted to be the one to provide it.  

         The support I received in the city was instantaneous – the first shop on 17th Ave SW had line ups outside around the building, even when it was -20C. It was then that I knew I was on to something. 

            The original business I founded grew more than I could have ever imagined when starting out in March of 1983. There are inevitably ups and downs in business, and unfortunately my down was dramatic in 2010 when I lost my original business.  

            Starting from scratch is a daunting task, to say the least, but I saw it as an opportunity to reinvent myself and raise the bar. When passion is in your blood, you can do anything you set your mind to. Because of our long-time loyal customers unwavering support, I still get to do what I love the most.

            2023 marks forty years in this chocolate-powered adventure and I couldn’t be more grateful. It’s because of you, our loyal customers who have followed and supported me over the past forty years, that I have and will continue to make your favourite chocolates, and that is my promise!  

            We will be marking this very special occasion at our four Master Chocolat locations in the week leading up to March 25th to celebrate 40 years in this business, and an incredible milestone. I can't wait to see you all there! 

     Chocolate Love and gratitude,

            Bernard Callebaut




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