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The Magic Of A Chocolate Legacy

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It took a year to finally walk into the bejewelled inner sanctum of this confection lovers delight.

Rogers Chocolates, a Victoria, BC icon since 1885 has enchanted locals and visitors alike from the day its doors first opened.

Many wonderful articles exist extolling the facts of this chocolate story, so I thought I’d take a different approach and share the perspective of a newbie to town.

If  you’ve lived on Vancouver Island for any amount of time, you know of Rogers.  It’s a simple story.  Charles ‘Candy’ Rogers moved into the area over 130 years ago, married local girl, Leah Morrison. They set up shop on Government St. as a ‘green grocer’ selling fruit, vegetables and chocolates imported from San Francisco.  Demand went through the roof which they found hard to accommodate so began creating candy themselves.

rogers front

The rest is history.  Full details here.

As a newbie that frequently wandered around the downtown core of Victoria taking in its sights and sounds, I would occasionally stroll by the exquisite store front of Rogers.  I would unknowingly slow down to take a slight peek in its tempting windows but  never made the commitment to go in.

Perhaps I unconsciously knew I’d become hooked upon entry of this space of beauty and temptation.

Almost one year to the day of my Victoria arrival, a reason to enter Rogers popped up.  A friend pulled me in while visiting.

I melted upon entry.

Old-world cabinetry, lighting and décor preserves the elegance of fine chocolate shopping.

Old-world cabinetry, lighting and décor preserves the elegance of fine chocolate shopping.

The Rogers flagship store at 913 Government St. imported me back to a time of gentile shopping, when ambiance of the store’s environment was just as beautiful as the objects for sale themselves.

 

Antique cabinetry, ornate lightening, the occasional placement of decorative items all contribute to the romantic air and experience of purchasing fine chocolate.

Yes, let’s not forget the chocolate.  President and CEO, Larry Sullivan, took time to dive deep into the chocolate collections, their history and brought my attention to their packaging.  The signature burgundy, leather-like boxes adds to the high mystique factor.

I was intrigued by the other shoppers in the store.  Many obviously had a pre-existing relationship with Rogers and knew precisely what they wanted.  A few others milled about, stopping to glance at elegantly wrapped selections or gaze almost lustfully at the infamous ‘Victoria Creams’.

victoria creams

The famous Victoria Creams.

The Victoria and Empress ‘Creams’ made Rogers famous. These iconic delights, when first introduced to the city, created all-day lineups outside the store.  Charles and his wife did their best to fill the demand however, when the last one was sold, they closed the doors for the day.  Closing time was dictated by the disappearance of the ‘Creams’.

Prior to my tour with Larry, I purchased a holiday Cream and tested the product so I had an idea of what to expect.  I took a bite and let it sit on my tongue as the chocolate slowly melted.  The cream was beautifully flavoured with egg nog, that coupled with chocolate, created an explosion of flavour in my mouth that only compounded my yearning for more.

This is why I’ve hesitated for a year before entering Rogers.  I knew I would be hooked.

classic assortment

Classic 22 PC Milk & Dark Chocolate

The magic of this chocolate is known far and wide outside the boundaries of Vancouver Island and British Columbia.  This is a must-go-to-stop for tourists as they sail in on cruise ships or fly in from the US or other parts of the world.

I also noticed the staff.  Each one held the pride and heritage of the Rogers legacy as if it were their own.  You could see love for the product, love for the store and love for each other.  Their customer service skills are impeccable.  It’s the reason I went back to make a purchase for friends and it’s also the main reason I wrote this article.

It’s more and more difficult to encounter those that truly love what they do or are enchanted with the organization in which they place their energy.  The Rogers team clearly stands by their claim of excellence and tradition.

‘Iconic parts of the store’s history will remain’, stated President, Larry Sullivan.  ‘It’s my passion to ensure the past and future beautifully meld together to ensure what made Rogers great, continues’.

rogers tree

The magic of Christmas in Rogers’ windows.

The store also provided a rush of nostalgia as I took in the magically decorated holiday windows.  The Christmas tree with requisite train cruising around its base, spoke of a simple and happy time.  The décor held images of candy, colour, toys, decorations and promise of sweet delights for the child in all of us.

The Rogers legacy will continue for many years to come.  Our love of chocolate will never die and the need for sumptuous and elegant chocolate will always remain.

Take a moment to stop by and treat your senses to all things that fine chocolate offers.  It’s a must when in Victoria.

Rogers Chocolate Full Website

Chocolate Care Instructions

 

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