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December 20, 2015
Have you ever looked back on a moment in your life and wonder, "was this a sign of things to come"?
When I think of Rogers Chocolates, I ponder this question.
A bit of background, when I was in college (taking Applied Communications), we were tasked with doing a "how to video". We needed to work with a local company, preferably something in manufacturing. And well, my team chose Rogers Chocolates. So we did (I think it was) a 20-minute documentary on the making of their Victoria Cream chocolates. I don't ever remember thinking "this is an industry I would love to get in to". But now I can't help wonder if the experience was a small echo into my future endeavour.
Rogers Chocolates is an icon here in Victoria as well as within the North American confectionery industry. The business was founded in 1885 and original store front still exists. And today, they have 10 locations around BC.
Rogers is best known for the Victoria Creams. I know lots of people who don't like creamy center chocolates but for me, that hits the spot more than chocolate nuts or caramels.
I LOVE their limited seasonal Peach Victoria Cream chocolate. In fact, I will hunt around town to find them on shelves when the main store downtown is out.
In the making of that how to video, we visited Rogers factory (NOT located in their store front). What I remember of it (it was 20 years ago after all) was how many big machines there were. Conveyor belts. Huge vats full of ingredients. And yet, at the very end of every were these ladies (just like at episode on Lucille Ball but way more efficient) wrapping each chocolate individually.
When I think about what I want for my own business, I can even fathom the idea of building a business that is so big, with so many machines, with so many stores and locations. I don't think I want that. But I do admire is the legacy that Charles "Candy" Rogers built. Rogers Chocolates remains a pinnacle of the local candy industry and much of that is because he made a truly unique, great product and the company was able to expand in ways that I can only dream of.
If you are ever in Victoria, I encourage you check out their original store. It's absolutely beautiful inside. And really, your visit wouldn't be complete without visiting this part of Victoria's rich history.
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