Pearl Street Chocolate Co. brings much-needed joy to the community during these trying times
Food often facilitates connection and is a focal point at many gatherings. Chocolate is one of those foods that is almost universally a favourite. For many, it is a comfort food, a connection to happier and celebratory times. It seems fitting then that Pearl Street Chocolate Company launched during a time when we are so desperately in need of connection and joy.
“We started in April, so it was in the thick of [the pandemic] and it was kind of exciting because we did these deliveries for people and it was this little small thing that made people happy you know? We’re not saving the world or anything but it just brought smiles to people’s faces,” explained Blaise Misiek, founder of Pearl Street Chocolate Company.
Chocolate has always had a central role in Misiek’s life and was a particularly prominent feature of family celebrations and holidays for him growing up. In recent years he began to explore the history of chocolate and the process of creating it. Combined with his desire to connect and give back to the Hamilton community, this research culminated in the creation of Pearl Street Chocolate Co.
View this post on Instagram
Given the place that chocolate had in his life growing up, it’s been important for Misiek that Pearl Street Chocolate Co. be a family project. He involves his children in various aspects of the business, including making and tasting the chocolate.
“For us it’s very important to have our family involved and our kids involved . . . they’re tasting, they’re trying. They’re the biggest critics,” said Misiek.
At Pearl Street Chocolate Co., all the chocolate is made from “bean to bar,” meaning that Misiek and his family are actively involved through every step of the lengthy process. They communicate and work closely with the farmers growing the cacao beans and make the chocolate bars themselves. Misiek felt it was crucial that all their products were made in the most ethical and sustainable way possible.
“I like to urge people to learn about what they’re eating and where it comes from and [I want them to] know that there’s a process that can happen that could benefit a lot more people,” explained Misiek.
View this post on Instagram
Making chocolate isn’t the only thing Misiek’s business does though. Pearl Street Chocolate Co. also donates a portion of its profits to local charities. Misiek and his family made a point of choosing charities that were close to their heart, feeling that it was important for them to work with causes they understood and had experience with.
Giving back and supporting the community, especially in these times, is particularly important to Misiek both at this higher level of connecting with charities and supporting crucial causes, but also at a personal level, by bringing joy and uplifting individuals during these trying times.
“[I hope people come away with] a smile on their face, even if it’s for that little bit. For me, having a bar and doing the snap and tearing the package, things stop for me and it still happens all the time for me. It just gives you a reason to stop and enjoy it for a little bit and I think we could all use that right now, just a little bit of stop and enjoying the moment,” said Misiek.
It is still early days for Pearl Street Chocolate Company and in the future they hope to open a store of their own and to run workshops. However as it is, they’re off to a lovely start, bringing quality chocolate and much needed joy to the community during these trying times.