A celebration was held at the Newfoundland Chocolate Company this morning, as the company was awarded Co-op’s Eat Atlantic Food Product of the Year award.Owners Christina Dove and Brent Smith were on hand at their Duckworth Street location to accept the award — determined by an online vote, in support of Co-Op’s Eat Atlantic promotions.
In accepting the award, the Newfoundland Chocolate Company owners also took the opportunity to reveal their newest truffle.As all company truffles are given street names reflecting their place of origin, it was decided the latest creation will be named “Atlantic Avenue,” in honour of the Eat Atlantic award.
“This is a big deal,” Smith said, calling the award itself a “massive honour.”
In the four years since its start, the company has been assisted in start-up and outreach by the provincial government to the tune of $70,000 in workforce training, trade missions and marketing through various funding programs.
In four years, the company has grown from a two-person hobby business to employ 20 people.
Provincial Minister of Innovation, Business and Rural Development, Keith Hutchings, attended the event and congratulated the owners and staff, while expressing the province’s continued support for entrepreneurial enterprises.
While the owners made a point of thanking the province, they also thanked the city — expressing pride in their downtown St. John’s store location. City of St. John’s Mayor Dennis O’Keefe — who chomped through a chocolate ribbon to help launch the store two years ago — was on hand for today’s event and also offered his congratulations to the company, its owners and staff.
Before closing out the speeches, Dove and Smith acknowledged all of the companies voted into the top 10 as worthy of support from Canadians at their checkout counters.
“We were again overwhelmed by the response to our competition,” said Paul-Émile Légère, chief executive officer of Co-op Atlantic.
At least 6,000 online votes were cast for the different finalists this year.
“This shows how passionate Atlantic Canadians are about the world-class products that are produced here in Atlantic Canada. Clearly when it comes to food, nothing beats the taste of home. That’s good for our economy, our environment and our future."
The other nine finalists in the running for the award were: Covered Bridge Potato Chips, New Brunswick; King Cole Tea, New Brunswick; Oxford Frozen Foods Blueberries, Nova Scotia; Amalgamated Dairies Limited (ADL) Cheese, Prince Edward Island; Culinary Wines Liquid Seasonings, New Brunswick; Crosby’s Molasses, New Brunswick; Terra Beata Farms Dried Cranberries, Nova Scotia; Scotsburn Dairy Group Hoof Prints Ice Cream, Nova Scotia and Ganong Bros. Chicken Bones, New Brunswick.“We should all be very proud as Atlantic Canadians, as well as Newfoundlanders, of the tremendous products and services that are being offered in this region,” Smith said.
More information on the contest is available at eatatlantic.ca.