Communal Beat

Hot Chocolates on 5th

Hot Chocolates

by Chris Graham

hot chocolates_2

Hot Chocolates has been an anchor on Fifth Street since moving into their present location in 2006. The business was founded by Sherry Marshall-Bruce and her mother, Deanna Stewart, on Denman Island in the 1980’s. They started with truffles and found themselves extremely popular. They eventually moved to Courtenay where they established the business as Hot Chocolates.

hot chocolates_Jorden Marshall

Jorden Marshall, the present owner, gave me a tour of the chocolate factory where I had a chance to meet some of the amazing crew. Staying true to the tradition established by Sherry and Deanna, they hand-form each and every truffle and produce an excellent chocolate. This is such a cohesive and friendly group that I can’t think of a place more fun to work; you get a Courtenay tradition, great people and delicious chocolate! What could be better?

Behind the scenes, chocolate pours from machines, pops out of molds and is made into some very creative shapes and flavors, the timeliest being the beautifully decorated hearts! Valentines day is coming up and Hot Chocolates is gearing up to make sure all the sweeties out there get some sweet stuff for this special day. If you want to see a cohesive and great crew doing what they love to do, drop in on these guys; it’s a lot of fun…and there’s chocolate galore!

The crew_Jorden Marshall_ Michele Henry_Sherry Gibney_Ana Lench_Dave Lawson_Cedric Ariss

The crew:
Jorden Marshall, Michele Henry, Sherry Gibney, Ana Lench, Dave Lawson & Cedric Ariss

Hot tip: Want to see this cool crew on video, making yummy truffles from start to savored? The Journey of the Majorca Truffle @ is a great way to see them in action!

A Short Semi-Sweet History of Valentine’s Day.

By Dinny Lansdowne

We link the 14th of February to sweetness – people we love, chocolates we love to get and lovely flowers that make us feel cherished. This modern sense of Valentine’s Day, representing romantic, courtly love, dates back to 18th Century England when Geoffrey Chaucer wrote a ‘Valentine’s poem’ to celebrate the engagement of King Richard II to Anne of Bohemia. More ancient roots are to found in the Roman Holiday Lupercalia, a Fertility Festival.  The holiday was later Christianized and declared the Feast of St. Valentine, named after a martyr (noone is certain which one!) There are various versions of this history so, for now, let’s enjoy the day and celebrate love.

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