Halifax chocolatier sees demand jump ahead of Easter season
NS chocolatier says wholesale cocoa prices are up 20% in the last 8 months
Rousseau Chocolatier's hand-made chocolate eggs are a big seller this time of year. The shop started creating Easter products early this year, to keep up with demand.
"Until Easter arrives on the 27th, it's non-stop," said co-owner Julien Rousseau-Dumarcet.
The shop is aiming to produce 2,000 chocolate Easter bunnies, lambs, and eggs before the holiday.
"Last year, we were putting it on the shelf and it was already being taken out of our hands," said co-owner Nathalie Morin.
The couple opened the Hollis Street shop in May 2014 and say more and more Nova Scotians are opting for local, high-quality chocolate.
"They just are willing to go that extra mile to get that really great piece of chocolate," Morin said. "Less quantity, but more quality."
One of the shop's biggest challenges is the soaring price of cocoa.
"Everything has gone up," said Morin.
She's noticed over the last 8 months, the price of cocoa has increased between 10 and 20 per cent.
Morin said the steady price increase is due to a number of factors, including increased demand in Asia and poor weather impacting crops.
"One cocoa tree in one year will only produce enough chocolate for about 15 chocolate bars," said Morin. "If there's a bad crop then you lose significantly a lot of chocolate."
At Rousseau Chocolatier, the cost for consumers remains the same, $6.00 for a chocolate bar. Rousseau-Dumarcet said he wants to keep prices reasonable for consumers.
This time of year, it's difficult for the solo chocolatier to keep up with demand. The chocolate shop is looking at hiring another chocolatier in the near future.