Happy 110th Birthday to Purdys Chocolatier

I owe Purdys Chocolatier an apology. Back in 2013 when I was writing the first volume of Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate, I included Purdys in the A-Z Guide for Chocolate Lovers in the back of the book and said I felt that Purdys chocolate was too sweet for my liking. That remark was based on the consumption of one box of Purdys Chocolate that I did find too sweet. But there are many other products in Purdys extensive lineup that I have since had the opportunity to taste–and love.

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The Purdys shop at St. Vital Shopping Centre in Winnipeg has been busy since it opened in August, 2017.

So in celebration of Purdys 110th anniversary, and the opening of its Winnipeg store in St. Vital Shopping Centre, I felt it was time to share my updated thoughts about Purdys Chocolatier in the event that you have the opportunity to try it.

purdys-chocolate

The White Spruce Truffle was designed especially for the opening of the Purdys store in Winnipeg.

Purdys was founded in 1907 by Richard Carmon Purdy in downtown Vancouver. The company is Canada’s largest independent chocolate company, and has since expanded more than halfway across Canada, with 35 shops throughout British Columbia, 17 shops in Alberta, a shop in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, one shop in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and 23 shops in Ontario.

It was truly exciting when Purdys opened their Winnipeg store in August, 2017, as their Chief Chocolatier is originally from the town of Stonewall, Manitoba, (located just 30 minutes northwest of Winnipeg.) Rachel McKinley has a degree in science and one in the arts, so she can truly appreciate both the chemistry in making good chocolate, and the artistry in creating chocolate masterpieces. She ran her own chocolate shop in Vancouver before coming onboard with Purdys in July of 2015.

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Rachel McKinley is the Chief Chocolatier for Purdys Chocolatier based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Rachel created a special chocolate for the launch of the Winnipeg store called the White Spruce truffle. “I wanted to create a truly Manitoba experience for this chocolate,” says Rachel. “So I searched my memory banks for a uniquely Manitoba experience and recalled walking in the woods west of Lake Winnipeg in the winter time.” An infusion of Spruce oil flavouring made from distilled Spruce helped Rachel create the exact flavour she was looking for to pay tribute to her home province.

My favourite Purdys chocolate is the Goat Cheese with Chardonnay truffle. It features goat cheese from Ontario and Quails’ Gate Chardonnay from B.C. for an incredibly Canadian burst of fresh flavour. The Raspberry with Modena Balsamic is another winner that is part of the Kitchen Collection.

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Purdys Chocolate makes an exquisite selection of chocolate creations. My favourite is the Goat Cheese & Chardonnay Truffle.

I am thrilled to see such creativity and quality coming out of this iconic Canadian chocolate company, and equally thrilled to welcome them to Manitoba. If you’re looking for a great single origin chocolate bar, my favourite is the 45% dark milk chocolate bar made of beans from the Ashanti region of Ghana, Africa. The natural caramel notes that come from this cocoa are amazing, and no doubt partly thanks to the master roasting techniques of Brad Kintzer, Chief Chocolatier at TCHO Chocolate of Berkeley, California, who supply Purdys with the couverture to make their single origin bars.

Plus, it is important to mention that 100% of the cocoa used by Purdys to make their chocolate is sustainable. That means that both the farmers and environment are treated as being equally important. Purdys ensures that cacao farming families make a fair living from the sale of their cocoa, and that the environment is never comprised throughout the supply chain.

If you haven’t already, I hope you get to try Purdys chocolate soon. And if you have, please share some of your favourites with us here. That’s what I love about the world of chocolate. It’s all about sharing and caring.

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

53 Responses

  1. Donna Janke
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    says:

    I’ve visited Purdy’s in British Columbia and would often buy treats to bring to people back home. I haven’t yet made it to their Winnipeg store. Since I don’t live very far from it, I’ll have to get there soon and try some of the chocolates you recommend.

    • I hope you do, Donna! Yes, while we were spending a month in the Okanagan, we visited the Penticton store, and that’s where I got re-introduced to Purdys and realized how much their product line included. I didn’t even touch on all those delicious confections that make up the bulk of the chocolate space between truffles and bars. Thx for stopping by. 🙂

  2. Catarina says:

    Purdys chocolate looks delicious. No wonder they have been in business for 110 years.

  3. Bruce Smith says:

    We lived in Vancouver 30+ years ago and became fans of Purdys Chocolate. When visiting Vancouver, we never leave without stopping by a store. I was really pleased to hear about the new store in Winnipeg. We had to go into Winnipeg for another reason this morning but stopped by Purdys on the way back. Thanks for the tip Doreen. Now if we can just get to a few more of the other chocolate places you have recommended!

  4. Janet May-Hewson says:

    Hi Doreen. I have tried the white spruce ganache. It was excellent and refreshing taste. Would definitely recommend.

  5. Susan Gill says:

    I am very glad that Purdy’s is now in Winnipeg.I also have had the 45% dark milk chocolate from Ghana and it is truly my favorite Dark Chocolate . I also will admit a weakness for any of their caramel.

    • Hi Susan and welcome to Chocolatour! Be aware that the 45% Ghana bar is actually a dark MILK chocolate. Dark chocolate doesn’t contain any dairy. Dark milk chocolate is dark chocolate with milk added. It is definitely one of my fav forms of chocolate, and Purdys does it very well with their Ghana bar. And, YES! I, too, love their caramel products. The Nutty Mac White with macadamia nuts, and Sweet Georgia Browns in Dark Chocolate featuring pecans and caramel are 2 of my fav Purdys caramel creations.
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…Happy 110th Birthday to Purdys ChocolatierMy Profile

  6. It’s always rather fun to have something you used to think change for the better. Glad that Purdy’s (a new name to me) is celebrating 110 years and also that you discovered a new dark chocolate to love.

  7. Phoenicia
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    says:

    I have never tried Purdy’s chocolates. You mention eating goat cheese with chardonnay truffle – what a combination. It is interesting that we may taste something once and make up our mind that we simply do not like it. I have done this many a time, very rarely with sweets/chocolates though!

    Very noble of you to openly promote a product you once felt did not hit the right spot for you.

    • Hi Phoenicia. I felt it was necessary to clarify that it was one particular product I’d had of the Purdys lineup five years ago that rang sweet for me. I’m glad that I had exposure to their full lineup back in 2015, and now have had the pleasure of experiencing their newest offerings in 2017. A good company is always changing and evolving to meet and exceed the needs and wants of their customers and I feel that Purdys is doing g a great job at that.
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…Happy 110th Birthday to Purdys ChocolatierMy Profile

  8. I always enjoy your reviews Doreen, but I had to laugh when I came to where you shared that you like the Goat Cheese with Chardonnay truffle because I recently discovered a place in southern Oregon that makes specialty chocolates and the one that made my mouth water was the Goat Cheese with Chardonnay truffle! In fact, I’d planned a weekend trip down there just for that but then had to cancel because of the fires. Now I’m going to be thinking about that all day. Time to give it another try. 🙂

  9. Jeri
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    says:

    This is the first time I’ve heard of Purdy’s Chocolate. I must admit the Goat Cheese with Chardonnay truffle sounds absolutely delightful. Truffles are a weakness for me 🙂

  10. Nancy
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    says:

    LOVE Purdy’s Sweet Georgia Browns, and their salted caramel! As A business, we’ve discovered they’ll put together great packages for customer gifts, and they give a discount for purchases of more than $300, too!

  11. Pat says:

    I was gifted a large Purdy’s assorted chocolates earlier this year by an employee. YUMYUM. Quite a challenge in our home to not devour them all in a couple of evenings. Had their chocolate in the past but found this current selection kept us very happy . Will have to stop by one of their stores to try some of your recommendations Doreen.

  12. If I ever make it to Winnipeg Purdy’s is on my list of go-to places. Sounds wonderful and that White Spruce sounds inspired.

  13. Yum! These chocolates seem definitely mouth-watering. Too bad they don’t have a store in Europe, Doreen!

  14. Cindy
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    says:

    I had no idea that Purdys has been around that long. I love their hedgehogs, but I’m going to have to try that goat cheese and chardonnay truffle!

  15. Nancy
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    says:

    Thanks to this blog, when I walked past the Purdys store on Cambie Street in Vancouver yesterday, I had to pop in and buy some salted caramel chocolates!

  16. Helen
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    says:

    First of all, I had no idea Purdys was Canadian! And what’s even better is that their cocoa is sustainably sourced. Love the creativity with the ingredients too.

  17. I’ve never had Purdys chocolate, but they look beautiful! And I like the idea of goat’s cheese and Chardonnay…

  18. Purdy’s has such a long history and looks delicious. I hope to try it soon.

  19. Well, I would definitely like to try Purdys chocolate Goat Cheese with Chardonnay truffle! I’ll be looking for that one. BTW, TCHO is in my home town, Berkeley, California, but I’ve never visited. Will be looking for that, too.

    • Carole, I don’t think TCHO does tours at Berkeley. I really enjoyed the TCHO tour I took at their San Fran location. I suggest checking what the options are at this point in time. Their chocolate is fabulous! And then check out Purdys the next time you’re in Canada. Very different product lines.

  20. Claudia
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    says:

    I’ve eaten an awful lot of tasty Purdy’s chocolate in my day! We’re pretty lucky to live out in BC where access is easy. They do a really great fundraising program for schools too, a very community-minded company.

  21. Carol Colborn
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    says:

    I have never heard of Purdys. I hope they have very dark chocolate 85% and up. Do you have any to recommend?

  22. Goat cheese, Chardonnay, and chocolate? Three of my favorite things all in one? I’m intrigued! Thanks for this great post, Doreen. I love how the chocolatetier has a degree both in science and art! Sounds like a winning combo in this line of work.

  23. Billie
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    says:

    I’m not familiar with Purdys Chocolatier, but 110 years is impressive! Glad they source sustainably! But I’m with Carole- I love really dark chocolate.

  24. Sue Reddel
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    says:

    I have to tell you that I learn something new every time I read a post on your blog. I wasn’t familiar with Purdy’s chocolate and now I’ve got to try it. Thanks!

  25. There is a Purdy’s shop in the Upper Canada Mall in Newmarket, so whenever I go to visit my stepmom, we make it a point to stop at Purdy’s if we go the mall. I recently discovered a Purdy’s at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto, so I’ll be making that part of my regular shopping whenever I’m there. I love Purdy’s chocolate and it’s always hard to limit myself.

  26. Hey, Christine! Thx for sharing your Purdys love with us. I never knew you are a Purdys fan!! You didn’t tell me what your favourite Purdys find has been?

  27. Mehedi Hasan
    Twitter:
    says:

    I am very glad that Purdy’s is now in Winnipeg.I also have had the 45% dark milk chocolate from Ghana and it is truly my favorite Dark Chocolate

  28. Mehedi Hasan
    Twitter:
    says:

    Yum! These chocolates seem definitely mouth-watering. Too bad they don’t have a store in Europe, Doreen!

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