Photo © Courtesy of Peace By Chocolate
“Our story is about peace,” says Tareq Hadad, founder and CEO of Peace By Chocolate. “Without peace, there’s no life. You cannot do anything without peace.”
Chocolate-making has been a Hadhad family tradition since 1986, when Tareq’s father Essam Hadhad opened a factory in Damascus, Syria.
For more than 20 years, they shipped their specialty treats all over the Middle East and Europe. Tragically, like much of their homeland, the Hadhad chocolate factory was destroyed in a bombing that forced the family to leave everything behind and flee to Lebanon.
“In a blink of an eye, our lives in Syria were destroyed,” Hadhad recalls. “We decided to leave the country and started thinking about moving to a country that would give us human rights and the freedom to live again. What better place to do that than in Canada?”
The Hadhad family settled in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, a small town of 7,000 people. Tareq recalls feeling accepted and welcomed upon arriving in Canada and says that rebuilding the chocolate business was their way of saying thank you to their community.
As newcomers to Canada, the Hadhad family rebuilt their family-run chocolate business into a symbol of international peace and hope. With every piece of chocolate, they aim to reflect something of the culture that they brought to Canada.
“Chocolate brings people together. With a piece of chocolate, you can form a connection. It’s about the people.”
—Tareq Hadhad, Founder & CEO, Peace by Chocolate
With the support of their community in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, the Hadhad family has rebuilt their chocolate company and is once again doing the work they love. In late September 2016, they received international recognition when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told their story in an address to the United Nations.
More than just peace, the Hadhad family champions compassion. In 2016, they donated their profits to the Canadian Red Cross in support of the wildfires in Fort McMurray, British Columbia.
“The Hadhads said that they knew what it felt like to flee their country, to flee their homes and lose everything and they wanted to help by giving back what they could,” Trudeau said.
Peace by Chocolate has shipped and produced millions of chocolates across the country and the world. Their lived experiences inspire them to support their local community by offering jobs to community members—especially immigrants.
“Newcomers and immigrants are motivated to translate their skills and experiences. They have knowledge, hopes, and dreams, and they want to share them with their community,” says Tareq Hadhad.
By 2022, Peace by Chocolate will hire 50 refugees at its facilities across Canada and provide mentorship and guidance to 10 refugee startups. Peace By Chocolate also donates 3-5% of its profits to the Peace On Earth Society—a Nova Scotia-based organization that donates funds to peace-building projects around the world.
Inside each Peace By Chocolate product is uncompromising quality, with each chocolate a little work of art in and of itself, exuding sophistication, style and excellence.
Shop their mouthwatering collection at peacebychocolate.com
After all, One Peace Won’t Hurt™.
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