Purdys Shares the Chocolate Story: From Pop-Up to Canada’s Chocolate of Choice

Purdys Chocolatier grew from a single pop-up shop in Vancouver, BC in 1907 to 72 shops across the country. The family-owned Canadian brand continues to expand its chocolate and confections lineup, unveiling unique flavours every season—new for Fall 2015 are the Quinoa & Hemp Heart Bar and Apple Crisp Caramel. Creating the ultimate holiday sweets collection, Purdys adds seasonal flavours to its year-round bestsellers, including advent calendars filled with whimsical slide-out drawers of chocolates, gingerbread confections and signature Sweet Georgia Browns (lightly salted pecans topped with golden caramel and chocolate).

“At Purdys, we believe that every chocolate has a story,” says Kriston Dean, Vice President Chocolate Merchandising & Marketing, Purdys Chocolatier. “That’s why our products are infused with the highest level of passion and family values. And it’s why we have a dedicated team of Chocolate Connoisseurs ready to transport our customers to an extraordinary, personal chocolate experience that can’t be had anywhere else.

The Official Chocolate of the Holiday Season

From gift baskets to seasonal flavours, the Purdys collection has the perfect treat for everyone. This holiday season, Purdys features playful bell-shaped chocolate minis, traditional peppermint bark, gingerbread delights and the classic December tradition: advent calendars. The holiday collection is available starting November 12 in BC, Alberta and Ontario shops, and across Canada through the Purdys online shop. Bestsellers include:

  • Advent Calendars: Available in classic style or as a keepsake, Purdys advent calendars feature delicious chocolates inside and beautiful original illustrations on the outside.
  • Gingerbread: Purdys’ newest holiday treat is a festive combination of molasses, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and pastry flake enrobed in creamy milk chocolate and topped with a charming gingerbread man cocoa butter design.
  • Mini Favourites: A carefully selected collection of some of Purdys’ bestselling chocolates.
  • Himalayan Pink Salt Caramels: Introduced in 2009, Richard Purdy’s original caramel recipe from 1907 forms the base of this year-round bestseller; caramels are enrobed in creamy milk chocolate or decadent dark chocolate, and sprinkled with Himalayan pink salt.
  • Hedgehogs: A delicious milk chocolate Hedgehog exterior with a creamy hazelnut gianduja filling. Available in original, mini and mini no sugar added sizes.
  • Sweet Georgia Browns: A signature Purdys treat, the base is comprised of roasted, lightly salted jumbo Georgia pecans with a generous layer of handmade golden caramel on top and crowned with creamy milk or decadent dark chocolate. Available in original, mini and mini no sugar added sizes.
  • English Toffee: This handcrafted toffee treat is a flavourful mix of rich butter and sugar caramelized into the perfect crunch. Each toffee piece is then dipped in milk chocolate and hand rolled in finely chopped, roasted California almonds. Fun fact: this delicious treat was first created at the request of American tourists who visited the early Purdys shops in BC.

Top 10 Purdys Facts: Brand Background

Since 1907—when founder Richard Carmon Purdy opened the first shop in Vancouver, BC— Purdys has become famous for its signature collections of fresh, quality chocolates and confections. Get to know the ins and outs of this beloved Canadian brand and the way it has grown with these top 10 facts about Purdys:

  1. Purdys’ President Peter Higgins is also a Chocolate Scientist, officially sampling up to ten items per day alongside Purdys’ Head Chocolatier Gary Mitchell. Travelling across the globe to places such as Côte d’Ivoire, Higgins has developed relationships with local and international farmers while gathering the best of ingredients and fostering a sustainable ethos at Purdys.
  2. The first Purdys shop opened in 1907 in downtown Vancouver, BC on Robson Street. Prior to then, Purdys’ founder Richard Carmon Purdy had been crafting confections (including creams, caramels and roasted nuts) in his home kitchen and selling his chocolates to passersby on the street.
  3. Purdys Kitchen Team creates around 150 new recipes every year. One popular bestseller is the Himalayan Pink Salt Caramel, which is based on Purdy’s original vanilla caramel recipe but with a twist: a pink salt topping. To date, Purdys releases approximately eight new chocolate creations each year.
  4. Chocolates are made daily at Purdys’ factory kitchen in Vancouver, using only the freshest ingredients possible. Products are available exclusively at Purdys locations to ensure the high quality ingredients and rich flavours are always at their absolute best—in fact, Purdys recommends that chocolates be enjoyed within three weeks of purchase as no preservatives are added.
  5. Purdys uses only the best ingredients from across the globe. Cashews from India, ginger from Australia and cinnamon from Indonesia are imported regularly to Purdys’ factory kitchen (and that’s only a small peek at the amazing list of ingredients that go into making Purdys chocolates and confections!).
  6. Purdys has been dedicated to going green for over 50 years and has been an industry leader since the 1960s. Purdys purchases cocoa only from sustainable farms in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Peru and Ecuador. Purdys’ most recent green initiatives include cutting its waste to landfill in half over the last four years, eliminating toxic chemicals used in cleaning/maintenance and installing environmentally friendly lighting, windows, heating systems and roofing materials.
  7. Purdys delicately handles the production of all chocolates with exquisite care, continuing to use traditional processes such as hand-stirring ingredients into copper kettles, and marking and packing chocolates by hand. To make this possible, Purdys has over 168 employees in the factory kitchen and warehouse, 515 employees in shops and 78 at head office.
  8. Purdys has 72 shops across British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. The 23 shops in the Ontario market include the GTA, at TD Centre, Yorkdale and Vaughan Mills. In the last five years, Purdys has added five new shops in Mississauga, Guelph and Hamilton and another two shops in Ottawa.
  9. A positive corporate culture is vital at Purdys and it shows: the company was voted by their employees as one of Canada’s 50 Best Employers for the sixth time this year. Fun fact: Chris, on Purdys’ administrative team, has been with the company for 46 years!
  10. Purdys embraces Canada’s multicultural landscape, celebrating all holidays from Eid, Vaisakhi, Persian New Year, Hanukkah, to the Mid-Autumn Festival, Pride, Easter and Christmas. Head Chocolatier Gary Mitchell creates special products for each occasion, including the Hazelnut Mooncake for the Mid-Autumn Festival, Coconut Mango Cream for Diwali and Peppermint Bark for Christmas.

About Purdys Chocolatier

Purdys Chocolatier was founded in 1907 in Vancouver by Richard Carmon Purdy. With 72 shops across the country, Purdys is Canada’s go-to destination for chocolate and confections. Purdys chocolates are made daily at the Vancouver factory, using only the freshest, best ingredients sourced from around the world. Purdys is committed to tradition and quality, celebrating its original recipes as well as developing over 150 new recipes and launching eight new chocolate creations each year. Bestsellers include the Himalayan Pink Salt Caramel, Hedgehogs and Sweet Georgia Browns. More at purdys.com.

Media Contact:

Melissa Augimeri, Account Coordinator
The Knot Group