Chocolate lovers who regularly shop at one of the two Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut stores in Edmonton will no longer know what to find in the boxes on the shelves.
Co-owner Mike Freeland said in the fall that Calgary-based parent company Cococo Chocolatiers had stopped shipping Callebaut products to them.
Edmonton stores – one located downtown at the west end of Jasper Avenue and the other on 51st Avenue near the Southgate Center – are losing money in the busiest time of the year year in the world of chocolate.
“It certainly creates a lot of challenges and definitely threatens our existence,” Freeland said.
Freeland said the company had not given him any reason they had stopped shipping.
“Around the beginning of October, there was no communication, she had just stopped. We couldn’t order and they didn’t want to communicate and that was it.
Cococo Chocolatiers went into receivership earlier this year and now operates under a new name, Cocoa Community Confections Inc. Chairman Brian Beck said the previous company made decisions about what to ship and that it ships everything. what was possible to send.
“I’m not sure if there have been final communications on this or not,” Beck said.
There are a few stores in Calgary and British Columbia for Cocoa Community Confections supplies, and chocolates are also sold online.
This is not the first receivership the Alberta company has suffered. In 2010, Belgian chocolatier Bernard Callebaut lost his eponymous business due to a land deal that worsened with the economic downturn ten years ago, and that’s when Cococo Chocolatiers took over.
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Beck said the pandemic has had a huge impact on stores, as well as supply chain issues.
“Cococo Chocolatiers’ receivership shows that over the decade it has not been able to achieve financial success while supplying around 50% of its volume to reseller customers, who operated stores in a few locations.” Beck said.
“It was a struggle to have a product. We don’t know of outright shortages or failures, but there is a lot of recovery, we had a lot of problems with the packaging, we have to hurry to find food ingredients.
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Beck cited the supply chain and shipping logistics puzzle that began at the start of the pandemic, when consumer demand shifted from services to manufactured goods. This increase in demand has not stopped yet and is obstructing supply chains everywhere.
“These things that you read all over the world – these are the biggest challenges for us right now. “
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Beck said the focus is on Christmas.
“When it comes out of receivership in early November, the whole point is to try to make sure that the stores that exist have the best amount of product and the best product that they can have. It’s the same with web business: we haven’t really drawn attention to “where is it going now?” “”
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After 36 years, Freeland is looking to change brands, changing store names to Chocolandia sometime in 2022.
To restock the shelves, he turned to a familiar face – Master Chocolat, the new company launched by Bernard Callebaut after losing control of the original brand bearing his name.
“Not that long ago they called me and told me our supplier was stopping supplying us and we were out of chocolates for the Christmas season which of course is very scary, given that Christmas is your main source of income, ”Callebaut said.
“This is a great opportunity to promote our new business.
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“This, for us in the chocolate business, is a disaster,” Freeland said.
“All of these things are going on, and you can look at this problem and say, ‘Oh my God, I’m lost,’ or you can look at it and say, you have to look at the bright side and the opportunities. “
To help get people back in the door and try the new chocolates, the store is also running a promotion.
Freeland said it was also an opportunity to sell multiple brands of chocolates and that he would like to work with local chocolatiers.
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