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Bernard Callebaut’s new Calgary chocolate factory pulls back curtain on decadent creations

Click to play video: 'Chocolatier Bernard Callebaut makes comeback with second Master Chocolat location in Calgary' Chocolatier Bernard Callebaut makes comeback with second Master Chocolat location in Calgary
WATCH: After dealing with financial hardships in the past, famous chocolatier Bernard Callebaut is prospering once again. As Tracy Nagai reports, his new location features a chocolate factory in Calgary’s southwest. – Dec 31, 2019

Calgary-based chocolatier Bernard Callebaut isn’t letting his past financial hardships get in the way of his passion.

The man behind the luxury handmade delights is now celebrating the opening of his second location, Master Chocolat‘s flagship factory.

“The whole idea is to be transparent,” Callebaut said. “There’s a big glass window and you can see the whole production.”

The factory that opened in early December boasts a 30-metre long window that allows customers to watch how the confections are made. People can indulge in an array of treats while salivating over what’s being created right in front of them.

“Ultimately, people are fascinated with chocolate and want to see how the Oompa Loompas make it,” Callebaut laughed.

While it sounds like a page out of Willy Wonka’s paradise, the chocolate business hasn’t always meant sweet success for the Belgium-born chocolatier.

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In 2010 — after nearly 30 years in business — Callebaut’s famous chocolate company that shared his name went into receivership due to a land deal that soured with the economic downturn.

The company was eventually bought by the group Cococo Chocolatiers but Bernard no longer had any control over the original brand, Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut.

“It’s an issue that I cannot put my personal name on the front of the retail shop,” Callebaut said. “It’s very confusing for the public.”

Callebaut’s life didn’t get any easier from there. A year later, Callebaut was fined $150,000 for taking supplies from his bankrupt company.

Then, in 2015, Callebaut was forced to declare personal bankruptcy.

Throughout it all though, Callebaut vowed he would not give up and it seems he’s been true to his word.

“If you’re truly passionate and you get a setback, it gives you an opportunity to reinvent yourself and do it better,” he said.

Callebaut’s new company, Master Chocolat, can now be found in Calgary’s southwest community of Marda Loop and in select retail locations along with the chocolate factory just off of Macleod Trail.

For those willing to get messy, there is also a chocolate course room in the factory where hands-on chocolate making is taught to members of the public.

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Callebaut said he also has plans to roll out Chocolat birthday parties in January 2020.

“I have different projects that I’m thinking about for the new year. It’s a rebirth that I’m really enjoying,” he said.

The Master Chocolat factory is located at 560 69 Avenue S.W.

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