Syrian refugee family's chocolate business expanding, hiring in N.S.
Published Thursday, July 20, 2017 9:22PM EDT
A chocolate business started by a Syrian refugee family in Nova Scotia has become so successful that they plan to move into a bigger production space and have begun advertising for employees.
Peace By Chocolate was started by the Hadhad family last August in a small barn beside their new home in Antigonish, N.S.
The refugees’ sweet treats were quickly embraced by the community, by tourists and even by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who sampled the goods and called the Hadhads “an extraordinary example.”
Less than a year after launching, the barn is no longer big enough to meet the demand for their products, which are shipped all over Canada and are beginning to be shipped to the United States.
Tareq Hadhad, one of the proprietors, says the family currently makes 1,000 chocolates a day, but they need 20 times as much space to meet demand. They have posted ads online seeking workers for the factory.
“We didn’t come here to take anybody’s job,” Hadhad said. “We’ve just come here to create jobs and to contribute to the community of Antigonish that really helped us since the beginning.”
Tareq’s father, Assam, ran a chocolate business in Damascus, but their factory was bombed in 2013, killing two employees and forcing the Hadhads to flee to a refugee camp in Lebanon.
Last year, Tareq – who plans to become a doctor -- said the business’s name is meant to send a strong message. "The world now needs peace,” he said, “and the world now needs chocolate."
With a report from CTV Atlantic