Purdys’ Chocolate History is Crafted Right Here In Canada
Take a walk with us down a tasty memory lane and see Purdys’ rich, decadent Canadian history.
Let’s Start From the Beginning…
In 1907, the very first Purdys shop opened on Robson St. in downtown Vancouver by Richard Carmon Purdys, a barber turned chocolatier. At the time, it was called Purdys Chocolate, but from the very beginning, Purdys was focused and dedicated to craft delicious confections using the finest ingredients available. The commitment to his craft paid off, and soon the business became one of Vancouver's finest chocolate makers.
Then in 1963, Charles Flavelle and Eric Wilson purchased Purdy’s Chocolates, and from then on Purdys took off, growing from 5 shops in 1963, to 28 shops in 1980. Now, in 2021, Purdys Chocolatier remains a family-owned Canadian business, with Charlies Flavelle’s daughter, Karen, as President of Purdy’s. With over 200 years of history, and over 80 shops across the country. Purdys’ commitment to making delicious, premium-quality chocolates made right here in Canada remains as true as the day we opened our doors in 1907. Look and taste the difference in our special Canadian collection celebrating our proud heritage.
The Flavelle Flair
When Charles Flavelle first took over Purdys Chocolates, there were only four shops—all in Vancouver, British Columbia. He quickly thought of new innovations to push the company to new heights. Mr. Flavelle introduced some of Purdys’ most well-known and beloved treats. It is because of him we have the Original Ice Cream Bar, and our famous signature milk chocolate.
In 2017, Mr. Flavelle sat down and shared a few cherished memories and stories about the history of Purdys. How Purdys was almost renamed to Rosebud Chocolates, how Purdys continues to incorporate and welcome new and modern machines to craft our artisan confections, and a heart-warming story about how he helped build a popular children’s playground called Choklit Park in Vancouver.
Sweet Georgia Browns—A Triple Layered Legend
Oh who loves Purdys and doesn’t know our Sweet Georgia Browns? With the crunchy salted Georgia pecans, smooth and chewy caramel, topped by a generous dollop of our classic chocolate—it’s a Purdys fan favourite since the very beginning.
As you may have guessed, the name comes from the pecans sourced from Georgia and the rest of the name fell into place after countless taste tests. Roasted in-house, the pecans are also salted to add a savoury flavour that enhances the sweetness. With the oh-so-soft caramel, and the creaminess of milk chocolate or the decadence of dark chocolate, every bite of our Sweet Georgia Browns is a perfect combination of texture, flavour, and pure joy.
Our Cutest and Tastiest Icon
Undeniably, our Hedgehog is the cutest chocolate around. We first introduced the hazelnut Hedgehog in the early 1990’s and it became an instant hit—to kids and adults. Hazelnut was a popular Easter flavour, so the Purdys team wanted to create a signature year-round hazelnut chocolate and our Hedgehog was born!
Every detail of our Hedgehog is special: from the tip of the nose to the hazelnut gianduja centre. The iconic hedgehog shape was inspired by the common shapes used to make hazelnut-centred chocolates; they were commonly made with a slight hedgehog shape. Additionally, the hedgehog was also a symbol of good luck in Belgium so the Purdys team decided the critter was the perfect model to shape the new best seller.
You Scream. I Scream. We ALL Scream For...Purdys Ice Cream Bar!
Walk into a Purdys shop now, and you’re welcomed by the most charming and delicious display of our ice cream bars. But that wasn’t always the case! It was Charles Flavelle who originally developed the Purdys Ice Cream Bar that is now served daily in Purdys shops across the country. A shopping mall manager told Charles he wanted ice cream served in his malls, so Charles got to work and Purdys started to serve ice cream cones. But to truly stand out in the mall, Mr. Flavelle set out create the ice cream bar. He tested recipe after recipe in his home kitchen to find the right chocolate coating until finally, in 1987, he made the first successful chocolate-coated Purdys Ice Cream Bar on his kitchen stove. Because of his passion and drive to craft the perfect chocolate ice cream bar recipe, we all can now enjoy a Purdys Ice Cream bar every day of the year in a Purdys shop.
What’s the Secret Behind Purdys?
With more than a hundred years of history behind Purdys, you’d think the secret to success is a locked-away secret recipe, full of complicated processes and formulas. But at the end of the day, what makes Purdys continue to be Canada’s favourite chocolatier is how a simple box of our chocolate can make any moment a celebration.
Whether you’re with friends, strangers, or the very closest of loved ones, each moment is a connection: a promise of delight and cherished memory. We believe chocolate can help bring out the magic of human connection. From the moment you open a box of our chocolates, there is gleeful anticipation, shared delight, and a delicious warmth that brings us all together. At Purdys, our goal is to help make those moment—your moments—together brighter, happier, and of course, tastier.
We hope all of our customers find their own magic to share in every one of our products.
As our President, Karen Flavelle, says,
"When people open a box of Purdys chocolates, I hope they just have the most wonderful feeling of anticipation and deliciousness. And we’ll continue to work hard to make that happen forever more."