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Master chocolatier Bernard Callebaut celebrating 40 years of chocolate-making in Calgary

By CNW Group Ltd.   


CALGARY, Alta., March 14, 2023 /CNW/ – Bernard Callebaut has a rich history of chocolate behind him, growing up outside of a chocolate factory in Wieze, Belgium, where his great grandfather diversified the family brewery by opening a chocolate factory in 1911. He had noticed chocolate was gaining popularity and sent his two sons to Meunier in Paris to learn the trade.

Bernard’s mother ultimately sold the business in the 1980s, and their original family-owned factory is the largest chocolate factory in the world today.

After completing his electro-mechanical degree in engineering in Belgium and a business-management course in Switzerland, Bernard took a leap of faith and started an unpaid internship with one of Europe’s most renowned chocolatiers, Rene Goossens of Antwerp.

In 1982, he had a vision: to offer North Americans the same style of superior chocolates Europe had been enjoying for years. His philosophy is simple. By using the purest ingredients, uncompromising quality, handcrafted precision, and continuous improvements – North America would truly experience “chocolate enlightenment.”


After falling in love with the mountains and deciding to settle in Calgary, Alberta, he opened his very first chocolate shop on 17th Ave SW on March 25th, 1983.

Having no idea if the public would like what he was bringing to the city, but armed with an understanding that the need for high-quality European chocolate in Canada was undeniable, Bernard made it his mission to be the one to provide just that.

“The support I received in the city was instantaneous – the first shop on 17th Ave SW had lineups outside around the building, even when it was -20 degrees Celsius. It was then that I knew I was on to something,” reminisces Bernard.

After building up his original business to unparalleled heights, Bernard had a dramatic down in 2010.

“Starting from scratch is a daunting task, to say the least, but I saw it as an opportunity to reinvent myself and raise the bar. When passion is in your blood, you can truly do anything you set your mind to. Because of our long-time loyal customers unwavering support of me, I still get to do what I love the most. I will always continue to make your favourite chocolates!” promises Bernard.

2023 marks 40 years in his chocolate-powered adventure. Today, he continues to create and innovate in the Master Chocolat factory in Calgary.

The legend synonymous with the name Bernard Callebaut would not nearly hold the weight it does today without such a storied history behind him. The true magic in his story is his continued theme of resilience and fortitude. The message is that when you genuinely love something, you never give that up. That is something to be inspired by.

Bernard continues to pour his heart and innovation into every original creation with Master Chocolat – with his singular philosophy always at the top of mind, Master Chocolat is 95 per cent organic, and offers fair-trade certified chocolate bars, accompanied by vegan and gluten-free offerings to choose from. In Bernard’s opinion – “everyone should be able to enjoy superior indulgence!”

Master Chocolat is celebrating Bernard’s incredible milestone at all four Master Chocolat Calgary locations in the week leading up to March 25th, 2023. We hope to see you there to help celebrate Calgary’s most beloved chocolatier, and potentially try a new creation. (or two!)


Chocolate Factory / Head Office: 560 69th Ave SW, #130Marda Loop: 2403 33 Ave SW CFM South: 510 77 Ave SE CFM West: 25 Greenbriar Drive NW


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