Skip to content

Semihmoo chocolatiers are sweet on the holidays

It’s hard to go wrong when giving the gift of gourmet chocolate

If there’s one thing that has long been a staple of the holiday season – for baking, giving or simply indulging – it’s chocolate.

Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate; every year, the three mainstays – and even the elusive fourth category, ruby chocolate – adorn shelves in all manner of shape, quantity, size and flavour, not to mention budget.

There is literally something for just about everyone, even those with dietary limitations or preferences.

For those looking to sleigh the holidays with a gift – whether for an employee, family member, friend or neighbour – that is extra decadent, there’s a handful of places on the Semiahmoo Peninsula, or just a short jaunt away, focused on raising the (chocolate) bar.

At Chez Christophe – located in uptown White Rock, at 1558 Johnston Rd. – the festive offerings include green, sparkly red and gold chocolate in packaging reminiscent of a Christmas tree; gourmet advent calendars (including a plant-based option); and a signature-chocolate-infused honey created in partnership with BC Bee to mark the tenth anniversary of their first location’s opening in Burnaby.

“That’s definitely something different that we are having for the holiday season,” owner Christophe Bonzon said of the sweet spread.

Finding unique, naturally sweetened and handmade confections is one of the benefits of buying from local artisans, Bonzon noted. Products are made in small batches, with ingredients sourced from around the world, resulting in flavour that is “definitely… totally different” than what is typically found in larger chain stores, where sugar is often the main component in chocolate.

“When you buy chocolate from an artisan… we can create some possibilities.”

And, it’s rarely a mistake to gift chocolate.

“There is a saying that nine out of 10 people like chocolate, and the 10th person is lying,” Bonzon laughed. “There’s a really small portion of your friends and families who, if you bring a box of chocolate, they’re going to not like it.”

Jessa de Wolf, manager of Mink Chocolates, agreed.

“Everyone loves chocolate,” she said.

Mink’s holiday offerings hit the shelves in mid-November.

Hand-poured and painted, the Belgian goodies – especially the specialty nine-piece bonbon set, sold with different flavours of ganache – are a huge draw over the holidays at The Shops at Morgan Crossing café.

“We have lineups out the door, just around chocolate,” said de Wolf.

“This is my second Christmas working here and (last year) I was floored.”

Mink goodies come in a buffet of tempting flavours; mulled wine, apple caramel, candy cane, aged port and grapefruit – to name a few.

If dietary restrictions are guiding your holiday purchases, Purdy’s Chocolatier – located in Semiahmoo Shopping Centre – also includes a variety of plant-based options in its holiday lineup. These range from their advent calendar and ‘Mlyk’ chocolate Sweet Georgia Browns, to Hawaiian black salt caramels. There’s also sugar-free treats available.

Another place to keep in mind when on the hunt for everything sweet is Potter’s Christmas Store, located at 19158 48 Ave., which has been known to also stock options for those with a hankering to present something that’s a combination of both sweet and cheeky.

Simply put, there’s a bounty of quality chocolate on the Semiahmoo Peninsula just waiting to be admired, presented and devoured over the holidays.

Tracy Holmes

About the Author: Tracy Holmes

Tracy Holmes has been a reporter with Peace Arch News since 1997.
Read more