Few specialty retailers can claim to be all things to all people, but when it comes to chocolate, few can rival the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Company for going all out in making its ‘chocoholic’ clientele feel right at home.
With over 300 varieties of hand-made chocolates and confections sold across North America through its 332-store franchise network, the Durango, Colo.-based confectionery manufacturer has outdone itself last month by transforming its Canadian flagship store on Robson Street in downtown Vancouver, B.C., into a sweet-tooth Mecca of premium-quality treats and dazzling merchandising displays.
With creative help from its long-time local branding and packaging design partner dossiercreative inc., the company has “created a store environment that is a modern-day interpretation of the craft of making treats, and the fun of selecting and enjoying them,” according to dossier’s director of experience design Don Cleland.
The store involved the use of contemporary materials and design elements—including metal surfaces resembling foil wrapping, diffused lighting to ‘halo’ the product, and modular aluminum/wood shelving systems—with whimsical store displays such as the air-floating ‘apple towers,’ equipped with special ingredient dispensers for applying selected candy-apple toppings right on the spot.
Moreover, the installation of an awning-style store-front—displaying the three-dimensional Rocky logo via a sliver-painted acrylic sign that glows with the help of internal LED lights—has given the store a distinctive new presence along Vancouver’s most vibrant and trendy shopping and retailing strip.
“The awning is the welcoming face of the store; it sets the tone for the entire experience,” Cleland explains. “The space under the awning is the front row from which the pedestrians can see the spectacle inside.
“It all ties to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory personality that is fun, animated and yummy,” says Cleland whose company has designed numerous unique carryout packages for the Chocolate Factory in the last few years (pictures below), including:
• The ApplePack totes—featuring sturdy carrying handles— for carrying multiple candy-apples, featuring special slots inside to anchor the apple stems in place.
• Customized Gift Box cartons, featuring individual small boxes inside for packing different kinds of chocolates,
as selected by the shopper.
• The triangular OutPack carriers—‘brown bag’-inspired takeaway packages for carrying random products of irregular shapes and sizes