A sweet tradition is being rekindled in the town of Smiths Falls.
A new partnership involving Canopy Growth means the town’s former chocolate factory is churning out chocolate once again. A ribbon-cutting ceremony made it official on Friday. It’s been 12 years since chocolate was last produced at the plant. At that time it was made by Hershey, now it’s Hummingbird.
“We make chocolate, and there are two ways to do it, high industrial or by a very efficient team of artisans that get the job done, and we choose to go with the latter.”
Drew Gilmour and his wife Erica own and run Hummingbird Chocolate, an awarding winning Canadian operation out of Almonte, also in eastern Ontario.
Gilmour says he’s happy with the new relationship.
“To be frank, we were approached by many potential cannabis partners but we liked the feel, the honestly, the sincerity and the fact that Canopy Growth is not just … in Smiths Falls but across Canada really intrigued us,” he said. “They really want to do the right thing by chocolate, by cannabis, by consumers.”
Canopy Growth president Rade Kovacevic says the ability to bring chocolate back to the town of Smiths Falls and put Smiths Falls back on the map as the chocolate capital of Ontario.
Around 30 Hummingbird employees were in attendance for the ceremony. Smiths Falls Mayor Shawn Pankow was also a part of the ribbon-cutting.
“It’s a big part of our identity, source of pride,” Pankow says. “We have a great sense of pride, what’s happened here. Chocolate is just the cherry on the sundae.”
Canopy Growth and now Hummingbird share the space that once housed the Hershey Chocolate factory. Friday’s ribbon-cutting came less than 24 hours after the province announced it was eliminating the lottery system for retail locations and opening the market.