Alberta couple revives once-popular Cuban Lunch chocolate bar
A chocolate bar known as Cuban Lunch — once popular in Western Canada — is making a comeback, almost three decades after disappearing from store shelves.
Cuban Lunch bars were made in Winnipeg for decades until 1991, when the Paulins factory stopped producing them.
Crystal Westergard of Camrose, Alta., had been trying to find the chocolate and peanut snack for her mother, who considers it to be her favourite.
“When I went on the internet … all I found [were] other people like me looking for a chocolate bar for their mom,” Westergard said with a laugh.
She and her husband, Bert, discovered the Cuban Lunch trademark was no longer in use and had become available. After renewing it, they went into business.
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One of the hardest parts has been keeping up with demand. After producing batches of a few thousand bars in a rented commercial kitchen last year, the Westergards moved production to a factory in Delta, B.C.
In the coming month, one order consists of nearly half-a-million bars, according to Bert Westergard, who co-owns the business with his wife.
“I could never have guessed that people are enjoying it as much as they are,” he said.
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Sales have far exceed expectations, the couple told Global News.
“If you wrote it in a script for a movie, it would get discarded for being unbelievable,” Crystal said.
Nostalgia is part of the appeal, including the iconic rippled paper cups — which were no longer produced — and the clear packaging.
In Western Canada, Cuban Lunch bars are available in many Sobeys grocery stores, as well as at subsidiaries Safeway, IGA and Thrifty Foods.
The couple hopes to continue increasing production to better align with strong demand.
“We aspire to meet the demand of Canadians and make Canadians happy, because that’s what it’s for,” Crystal said.