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Syrian chocolatier celebrates factory opening in Antigonish, N.S.

The Hadhad family poses in front of their new chocolate factory, which officially opened on Sept. 9 in Antigonish, N.S. .
The Hadhad family poses in front of their new chocolate factory, which officially opened on Sept. 9 in Antigonish, N.S. . Facebook/Peace by Chocolate

A Syrian refugee says he and his family are giving back to the Nova Scotia town that welcomed them when they had “nothing” by employing locals and treating the community to tours of their new chocolate factory.

Hundreds of people waited in line Saturday at Peace by Chocolate – whose sweets have been touted by none other than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – for the grand opening of its new factory in Antigonish.

READ MORE: ‘Peace by Chocolate’ entrepreneur appointed to Invest Nova Scotia board

Spectators looked on as Assam Hadhad deftly scooped molten chocolate into trays to be filled, frozen and boxed into rows of sweets shaped like pyramids, roses and maple leafs.

Hadhad ran a chocolate business in Damascus for decades, but it was destroyed in a 2012 bombing, forcing the family to flee to a refugee camp in Lebanon.

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WATCH: Peace by Chocolate is making the move to a bigger space to keep up with demand, Tareq Hadad speaks about what’s next for the thriving business.

Peace by Chocolate
Peace by Chocolate

His son Tareq Hadhad, an aspiring physician, says his eyes welled up with tears as he celebrated with the residents of Antigonish, whose support he credits for his allowing his family to rebuild after settling in the town of about 5,000 in early 2016.

READ MORE: Syrian refugee chocolatier Justin Trudeau mentioned at UN denied entry to US

Tareq Hadhad, now a board member of Nova Scotia’s economic development agency, says Peace by Chocolate plans to double its workforce to 20 employees to keep up with demand and spread its message across the globe.

 

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