For discerning shoppers and lovers of delectable chocolate, the arrival of Chocolatier Constance Popp to St. Boniface should be a sweet deal.
For the past six years, the business, owned by Constance Menzies, was previously located on Portage Avenue in St. James. But last week, it opened the doors of its new location at 180 Provencher Blvd.
Menzies, who lives in St. Boniface, said the move was a natural one, as the new location offers a bigger space and will allow the business to grow and be sustainable. She said the new building — which is sandwiched between Le Garage Café and Café Postal — is almost double the size of the previous location. New features include a coffee bar for visitors and a bigger packing area at the back of the store for Menzies’ Internet sales.
"We got a letter from the premier’s office, which phrased it correctly when it said we are a natural fit for the area," Menzies said. "There’s a vibrant community here in St. Boniface, both in terms of the business community and residential community, and it’s a cultural hub all year round.
"One of the goals of the move is to create more of a retail presence, and now having people in-house is a whole other thing for us. We can now start to make things all year round and it’s great to be so close to downtown and The Forks," Menzies added, noting her client list includes the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.
"There are lots of great community things happening for us throughout the year and it’s great to be involved with things like Festival du Voyageur and the Winnipeg Folk Festival," she added.
And if the attendance at her recent grand opening event is anything to go by, the public’s appetite for the tasty treats offered by Chocolatier Constance Popp is a healthy one.
"The event was packed with dignitaries from the organizations we’re associated with. We do have a successful history of making things that are representative of Manitoba. So our move is great for St. Boniface, but also for the city and the province, too," Menzies said.
While Menzies’ product list is too lengthy to detail, she hopes the community will soon stop by her new location to sample her delicious delights.
In terms of her established customer base, she said it is "generally people who like chocolate and people who are really into things made in Manitoba. We try to be strategic in our pricing, as we don’t want to be elite and out-price everybody."
"Many of our customers tend to be a bit more discerning and they appreciate that the ingredients we use are more expensive. For example, we make our own marshmallows and caramels and we squeeze our own lemons and use real cherries," Menzies said, noting the store now produces chocolate-covered chips. "We use Old Dutch, as they are made in Manitoba. The ripple ones work best."
Menzies said her work ethic and passion for the business are driven, in part, by being part of the "special things in people’s lives."
"I like the positive feedback I get every day. I am energetic and there is a lot to be done, both physically and mentally. I like the challenge of keeping the business going."
For more information, visit www.artisanchocolates.ca