Beginning in a small kitchen in SoHo in 1992, Christopher Norman Chocolates has completed an international journey to get to where they are today.
Vancouver-based business owner, John Down, gained fame as the cacao king of New York. After 9/11, John and his business partner, Joe Guiliano, felt their business would better flourish in the natural beauty of the west coast. In 2015, the partners chose B.C.’s Halfmoon Bay to establish their delicious business.
Christopher Norman Chocolates uses direct fair-trade cacao supplies to create a range of hand-made chocolates, chocolate bars, and confections. John, an artist, and Joe, a musician, both bring their creative backgrounds to their chocolates, balancing style with flavour to make edible art. The company utilizes zero waste practices in all stages of production, without compromising on quality or taste. “We do this because we care about the place we live and the good stewardship and reputation of Christopher Norman Chocolates,” says John.
An Offer They Can’t Refuse
Having established a successful business, John and Joe are now gearing-up to find a new owner for Christopher Norman Chocolates. To best position the business for sale in the next two years, they enlisted the help of Export Navigator.
Their Export Advisor, Fabrizio Alberico, offered invaluable insight and advice to help John and Joe uncover new opportunities. “We have experience in exporting all over the world from the USA, and now we are learning how to accomplish that in Canada! We are increasing sales to meet the challenge of selling the business,” says John.
Like many businesses, the past few years drastically impacted growth plans. “Our biggest challenge has been the complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” shares John.
Luckily, Fabrizio equipped them with tools to not only overcome these hurdles but to scale operations to build an even stronger business. “Our export advisor keeps us informed of the many opportunities to receive targeted funding and support through a wide variety of government programs. This has helped us increase production capacity, expand our market research, and fund our social media presence,” says John.
The Next Chapter
With Fabrizio’s advice, Christopher Norman Chocolates has increased sales, hired new staff, and expanded their e-commerce capacity to export across Canada. Export Navigator has opened doors to help make John and Joe’s business goals a reality. With the contacts Fabrizio provided, John was able to get the business evaluated, better preparing him to find new owners for Christopher Norman Chocolates, despite pandemic setbacks.
“I would definitely suggest Export Navigator to other businesses,” confirms John. “Our advisor continues to provide insight and inspiration for us to achieve our goals.”