New ‘bean to bar’ chocolate factory to open in Gore Bay next year

Ms. Flanagan's business, Ultimately Chocolate, will be moving into a permanent location, the former ‘The Source’ location on Meredith Street in Gore Bay. The Source building was torn down last week as the first step toward the relocation of the bean to bar chocolate factory in Gore Bay being constructed.

GORE BAY—The dismantling of The Source store in Gore Bay last week meant the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one that will definitely be what you could term as being sweet. The building, which prior to The Source had been Hardman’s Photo and TV, has now been taken over by the owner of Ultimately Chocolate, Lisabeth Flanagan and business partner Trish Moran.

“We had planned to take the building down this spring and construction will start later this summer, so that next year (2020) will be a bean to bar chocolate factory,” Ms. Flanagan told the Recorder last week. “When the building is constructed and opened the goal is to get a production facility up and running.”

Ms. Flanagan, who has moved Ultimately Chocolate’s a location behind Loco Beanz on Water Street in Gore Bay, told the Recorder, “when we open the new site we will be changing the business name as well to Finnia Chocolate. She explained, “I want to expand my sales, currently I have retail outlets in Vancouver and Victoria, BC and want to extend this base into Ontario. We sell beans to bar chocolate as far as we can and as many markets as possible,” she said, noting Ultimately Chocolate ships world-wide now. “Recently we sent 100 bars to Australia.”

“Our goal is to have a production facility in place by January 2020,” said Ms. Flanagan. She noted as well, “eventually there will be a store where customers can come in and browse and place orders but I don’t see this taking place in 2019, probably 2020.”

Lisabeth Flanagan displays a tray of her chocolate bars.

Previously, Ultimately Chocolate had been a home-based business, “but we now have a little bigger equipment that is producing more that is one of the main reasons we need the additional space of the new chocolate factory,” said Ms. Flanagan. “It should be great for the town of Gore Bay, and should bring in tourists, chocolate tours and tasting.” Like wine, depending where cacao beans are from, provides for a different taste she said, noting the business roasts all its beans itself.

“The storefront will be our flagship store,” said Ms. Flanagan. “I’m still operating under Ultimately Chocolate but my new packaging will have Finnia Chocolate (a nod to her two children Finn and Fia).”