“The store would be full”: a long-time Burnaby chocolate maker faced with Easter very different during the pandemic

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BURNABY, British Columbia –
It’s normally a busy time of year for Charlie’s Chocolate Factory.

Already the third-generation family-owned store in Burnaby is full of chocolate Easter bunnies and eggs wrapped in brightly colored foil, all ready for the upcoming holiday weekend.

However, this year things are different.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the two plant stores are currently closed to the public at this time. Executive Director Ellen Sigvardsen said it was definitely quieter.

“The store would be full. People would mingle. People always bring their children or their families, ”she said.

Like many other small businesses at the time, the plant had to reinvent the way it serves customers in order to continue. They went from focusing on walk-in traffic to curbside pickup, placing orders online and by phone.

“We will pack it, take it out, process the payment, and then deliver your box or bag to your car,” said Sigvardsen. Behind the scenes of the store, employees are busy making chocolate or packing orders for pickup.

“Our customers have been amazing,” said Sigvardsen, adding that they are grateful to people for letting them know that they are always open. “For having our door physically closed, it was good. “

However, it is difficult to see what lies ahead. The factory’s 50th anniversary is next year, but for now, the company is focusing on the present.

“We take it day by day. We have Easter this weekend. We are trying to get there and see what’s going on, “said Sigvardsen. “We deal with many companies, with their logos, and unfortunately, if the companies do not order chocolates, it may not be possible to continue during this difficult time. But we will serve our customers as best we can. “

In the meantime, they hope to help people find more sweetness in a spring like no other.

“We want Easter to always be there for children and families, even if grandmother and grandfather cannot come, at least you can still have fun and have the normality that it is always Easter and still spring Said Sigvardsen.

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