Sobeys to sell refugee chocolatier's bars and boxes nationwide
Published Tuesday, July 17, 2018 10:00PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 18, 2018 7:01AM EDT
A chocolate company founded by a Syrian refugee family in Antigonish, N.S. will soon be selling its products nationwide through Sobeys.
After the Hadhad family’s Damascus chocolate factory was destroyed in a 2012 bombing, they fled to Lebanon where they spent three years in a refugee camp.
Soon after arriving in Nova Scotia a little more than two years ago, the family patriarch began making chocolate again from a small workshop at their new home. With soaring demand, Peace by Chocolate went on to open a large, modern factory in Antigonish in Sept. 2017. They now employ more than 20 people.
"I want Canadians to feel the importance of peace, of understanding each other,” the chocolatier’s son and company spokesperson Tareq Hadhad told CTV News.
Hadhad is now a sought-after speaker and his family’s business has even been heralded by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as an example of what newcomers add to Canada.
"Because they would work very hard to prove to their host community that they came not to take but to contribute,” Hadhad explained.
Orders, meanwhile, have been coming in from across the globe. A particular favourite is the company’s signature Peace Bar, a milk chocolate treat that features packaging with the word “peace” in a multitude of languages.
"It was fascinating and it was really very heartwarming to see that our message really went globally," Hadhad said.
Sobeys, Canada’s second largest food retailer, will soon be selling Peace by Chocolate bars and chocolate boxes nationwide, including the company’s new Pride Flag Bar, which sports rainbow packaging. According to Peace by Chocolate, a dollar from each Pride-themed chocolate bar will go to Phoenix Youth Programs, a Halifax-based youth support group.
“Anytime that a group comes to us and wants to give some support back to youth because they believe that youth matter, it's perfect for us," Phoenix’s Melanie Sturk told CTV News.
With a report from CTV National News Atlantic Bureau Chief Todd Battis