Connections chooses refugee chocolatier for co-branding opportunity

“I was born because of a box of chocolate,” explains Tareq Hadhad, the co-founder of Peace By Chocolate, in an interview on CBC Gem. His father gave his mother a box of chocolates to ask her for marriage. You may have heard Green Party Leader Elizabeth May gave a “Peace Bar” to U.S. President Joe […]
Photo: Brahim Ait Ouzineb
“We’ve heard about their excellent quality chocolate,” says Ashish Talwar, the Connections-Campus Store manager. “There’s also a good story behind. We have sold half of our inventory, and we are reordering.”

“I was born because of a box of chocolate,” explains Tareq Hadhad, the co-founder of Peace By Chocolate, in an interview on CBC Gem. His father gave his mother a box of chocolates to ask her for marriage.

You may have heard Green Party Leader Elizabeth May gave a “Peace Bar” to U.S. President Joe Biden during his March visit to Canada. You may have watched the 2021 movie Peace By Chocolate. You may have heard this chocolate brand made a special shipment to the international space station in 2018.

Well, this chocolate is available in Connections – The Campus Store.

“We’ve heard about their excellent quality chocolate,” says Ashish Talwar, the store manager. “There’s also a good story behind. We have sold half of our inventory, and we are reordering.”

The Hadhad family settled in Antigonish, N.S. as refugees in 2016. Now their company is the major job creator in the town. Beyond Antigonish, the company is committing to hire 50 refugees in its facilities across Canada and mentor 10 startups run by refugees. Up to September 2023, it had raised over $552,000 and donated it to the Peace on Earth Society. Their website showcases all types of supportive partnerships, including those relating to wildfires and war victims.

For the Hadhad family, chocolate is food to the body and the soul. It plays a role in the well-being of refugees, just like music. Chocolate offers a sense of connection and familiarity in a place where everything is a new experience.

The success of this chocolate owes much to the faculty and staff. Students can opt for a budget-friendly gift to their friends or guest speakers, such as a mug and chocolate bar combo for under $15.

“We’ve heard about their excellent quality chocolate,” says Ashish Talwar, the Connections-Campus Store manager. “There’s also a good story behind. We have sold half of our inventory, and we are reordering.”
“We’ve heard about their excellent quality chocolate,” says Ashish Talwar, the Connections-Campus Store manager. “There’s also a good story behind. We have sold half of our inventory, and we are reordering.” Photo credit: Brahim Ait Ouzineb

“Last year, we were able to offer a discount on customer appreciation day. We will do the same thing in this year at Christmas time,” says Talwar.

The college store had the chocolate last November since the community appreciates local products. Connections sought to collaborate with Peace By Chocolate (PBC) due to the heartwarming family story and the quality standards.

“With this company, there is no high minimum in our orders,” says Talwar.

In contrast, other companies often have a minimum order and tack on extra fees for adding the logo, leaving the campus store with a slim profit margin.

PBC would package and brand the chocolate with the name of Algonquin College at no additional costs. Through a partnership with Algonquin College, PBC would increase awareness about further potential collaboration with academic institutions across Canada.

“We chose Algonquin College for its commitment to education and its support for newcomers from different backgrounds, making it an ideal partner to achieve these objectives,” says Hadhad.

For Hadhad, this partnership also aims to help refugee and immigrant students on campus feel the connection between them and PBC’s story of new beginnings and second chances.

“We are not only telling our story but also the positive narrative of a welcoming culture and the great return of offering newcomers a sense of belonging. It is about reflection and understanding that peace is the noblest value in the world,” says Hadhad.

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