Petrolia chocolatier among the best in the world


Guild Chocolates won silver and bronze at the World Finals

Jaclyn Sanders says she hasn’t been this excited about stickers since Grade Three spelling.

The Petrolia chocolatier has won two medals at International Chocolate Awards World Finals.

Guild Chocolates FruiTea Bonbon won a silver at the World Finals in May and a bronze for the Fruity Hibiscus Bonbon. Sanders says the International Chocolate Seal will now be placed on the boxes containing the chocolates – a big marketting advantage. “I can use the award as a way of marketting my products. When it come to retail, that is very helpful.

“I’ve never been so excited about a sticker since Grade Three spelling,” she joked.

The two chocolates were among the seven winners at the Canadian competition which qualified for the world finals. Sanders says it is very expensive to enter the world finals competition particularly shipping product to be judged, so she chose just two of the seven to move on in competition. “I really wanted to send my best,” she says.

Her two bonbons stood out. “Nearly every country competed. I think Peru actually came away with the most medals,” she says noting a chocolatier in Montreal also claimed some of the top prizes.

The ceremony, like almost every other during the pandemic, was virtual. “My husband had it playing on the phone while he was at work,” says Sanders. “I was in the middle of changing (one of their children) and he told me ‘You won a silver!’

“I was totally caught up with day-to-day life but it was pretty good to hear the news from my husband.”

Sanders has made a name for herself, building her small business in Petrolia for a number of years. She also sells her unique chocolates at a store in Pittsburgh which carries chocolates from across the globe.

“I just wanted to prove I was making quality chocolates that are among some of the best in the world. Some of the companies which compete have a tremendous amount of employees…I am a one-woman operation…so this was pretty amazing.”

The competition has brought fresh attention to her Petrolia shop with people from as far away as Toronto, Hamilton and Windsor making “pilgrimages” to Petrolia on a Saturday morning to get a sample.

Sanders says the demand has increased so much that she’s looking for more staff to help keep up with the demand.