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7/20/2017 4:26:00 PM  

As part of our 110th birthday celebration, we’re taking a look back at some historical (and historic!) moments in our Purdys timeline.

In the mid-80s, Charles Flavelle, then-owner of Purdys, received a tip from a mall manager who wanted ice cream sold in the mall. The manager didn’t want a separate business to sell the ice cream, instead looking for a confectionery shop already established in the mall to take it on.

At the start, Purdys sold ice cream cones only—but Mr. Flavelle wanted to add another option: ice cream bars.

So he took ice cream home, cut it into chunks and experimented with melted chocolate and different toppings until he found it.

The Original.

Vanilla ice cream dipped in dark chocolate and smothered in roasted almonds.

Like so.

You can get the Original at any Purdys shop (but not online, as it turns out you can’t easily fit an ice cream bar through a mail slot).

Be sure to also try the Ultimate Ice Cream Bar (watch how it's made!), the Sprinkles Ice Cream Bar and the NEW Cookie Crunch Ice Cream Bar, which was inspired by the white chocolate Cookie Crunch Bar


Ice cream itself actually dates back to (at least) the 4th century B.C. and it’s believed to have been brought to Europe from China. Originally, it was ice blended with fruits, so more of a sorbet, but as people continued to experiment with flavours and ways to keep the ice cream frozen, it became what we now call ice cream.

The ice cream bar was invented much, much later (in 1920) in the United States by Christian Kent Nelson, a confectionery shop owner originally from Gunstrup, Denmark.

The story goes that a young customer in the shop couldn’t decide between a chocolate bar or an ice cream sandwich but only had enough money for one or the other.

This gave Nelson the idea to create ice cream dipped in chocolate, and called it the “I-Scream Bar”. The name was changed to the Eskimo Bar a year later when Nelson went into partnership with chocolate maker Russell C. Stover.

Where to next, time travellers? The 90s, and a certain chocolate with a lot of personality.

7/18/2017 10:43:00 AM  

As part of our 110th birthday celebration, we’re taking a look back at some historical (and historic!) moments in our Purdys timeline.

In 1993, American advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners came up with the now-iconic “Got milk” slogan for the dairy industry, which is said to be the most remembered tagline ever in the beverage industry.

But that’s not where our story starts. We’re going back 30 years earlier, to 1963, when Purdys customers were saying ‘got milk chocolate’?

The answer was no, actually.

Purdys chocolates were crafted using only dark chocolate until Charles Flavelle, then-owner of Purdys Chocolatier, introduced milk chocolate to our lineup that same year.

Already popular in Eastern Canada, milk chocolate proved to be a very, ahem, sweet idea.

Milk chocolate is typically made from the same ingredients as dark chocolate (cocoa powder, cocoa butter, sugar, soya lecithin—an emulsifier—and vanillin, an extract of the vanilla bean) and one extra ingredient: milk.

The percentage of cocoa powder and cocoa butter also makes a difference. Dark chocolate generally has a higher percentage of both, often giving it more of a bittersweet taste.

Ghana, one of our Single Origin Bars, has a 45% cocoa content, so it’s often described as a deeper milk chocolate.

And, of course, we had to take our “regular” milk chocolate even further—ours is actually a special blend of milk, dark and white chocolate together to create a memorable, uniquely Purdys taste.

What’s next in our time-travel itinerary? The 80s and ice cream (baby).

7/13/2017 12:07:00 PM  

As part of our 110th birthday celebration, we’re taking a look back at some historical (and historic!) moments in our Purdys timeline.

The year is 1939.

It’s the start of World War II and rations mean that cream and butter are in short supply.

Hugh Forrester, then-owner at Purdys Chocolatier, came up with a pretty sweet workaround to the rations—by purchasing a dairy farm with 20 cows in Ladner, BC (which is about 40 minutes outside of Vancouver).

Throughout the war, Purdys' chocolatiers and candy makers had fresh cream and butter daily from this farm to craft favourites that are still made today, like any of our Creams.

But WWII didn’t just mean rations; it also meant supply restrictions, which meant that Purdys shops sold out of chocolates very quickly.

Each day during the war, the shops would open at exactly noon and customers could only purchase one pound of chocolates each. There were line-ups around the block, and we usually sold out of chocolates within half an hour of opening.

Evelyn Powell, a Purdys fan who lived in Edmonton during WWII and came to Vancouver with her friend on a mission to find lumber (as Alberta was experiencing a lumber shortage at the time), remembers:

“One day we saw a line-up on Granville Street. In those days, when you saw a line-up, you got into it. If you didn’t need what was offered, someone you knew did.

‘What is on,’ we asked. No one knew. As the line moved on, people came by waving their parcels.

‘Chocolates’, they smiled. ‘Purdys chocolates, in boxes.’

We let out a scream. We hadn’t seen a box of chocolates in months!

We each got a box, and went back to Purdys every day and stood in the line-up.

When we went back to Edmonton, it was with seven boxes each and some lumber. We were really proud of ourselves.”

And the farm with 20 cows in Ladner? It got sold after the war ended in 1945.

Next up, we’re time travelling to the 60s. Specifically 1963, which is when milk chocolate became a thing at Purdys.

6/30/2017 7:09:00 PM  

It's Canada's 150th birthday this year! And it's our 110th birthday!

We figured we'd celebrate with chocolate (always chocolate) and take a look back at some sweet moments in our Purdys history.

First up, 1907 AKA the beginning.

Purdys' founder, Richard Carmon Purdy, was originally from London, Ontario. Born on January 20, 1878, he moved out west to Vancouver some time in the early 1900s.

He was also a barber by trade, according to the 1901 Canadian Census.

We're not sure if he was a good barber but he had a real passion and talent for chocolate-making.

So in 1907, he traded shaving cream for chocolate shavings.

He sold his homemade chocolates on the streets of Vancouver and pretty soon after, he saw the need for an actual chocolate shop to meet the demands of his increasing fan base.

That original shop was at 915 Robson Street, in an area of Vancouver that was quickly becoming the heart of the downtown shopping district.

And the rest is sweet, sweet history.

Want a taste of that history? Get it with Vanilla Caramels, crafted from an original 1907 recipe.

You can find Vanilla Caramels on their own in the Chocolate Case or in our Caramel Assortment. If you like, you can request a custom pack of just Vanilla Caramels, whether you're ordering online or in a shop, or just enjoy some other incredible caramels with them. Either/or, you can't go wrong.

Himalayan Pink Salt Caramels are also crafted from the same OG 1907 recipe.

Isn't learning about history just tasty?

Next up, we're going back to 1939. And cows. Oh, yeah, it's a good story.

6/19/2017 4:09:00 PM  

When Purdys first launched the Clean Water Project, we hoped to raise enough funds for 35 LifeStraw Community water filters.

Just one of those filters provides safe, clean drinking water for about 60 children for three whole years so we knew that 35 LifeStraw Community water filters would have a significant impact in our cocoa-growing communities.

But your enthusiasm and support for the Clean Water Project saw us smashing that goal of 35 water filters.

Thank you again for your incredible help in making safe, clean drinking water possible in rural cocoa-growing communities.

In the end, we raised enough funds for 63 filters. That's 28 more filters than we had as our initial goal.

Those filters are now on their way to schools and medical centres in cocoa-growing communities in Ivory Coast that are part of our Sustainable Cocoa Program.

Our on-the-ground partners there will work with local community leaders to distribute the filters and provide training on their use and care plus important WASH (water, health and hygiene) training for teachers and students.

Our Sustainable Cocoa Program itself continues to support programs that build schools, dig water wells and provide medication in these cocoa-growing communities as well as training for cocoa farmers, seeds for them to grow healthier, more productive crops and give them the resources they need to improve their and their family's livelihoods.

In a couple of months, we'll have an update on the Clean Water Project that I can't wait to share with you.

Talk soon, 


Peter Higgins, President & Chocolate Scientist at Purdys Chocolatier

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