16956 route Trans Canadienne #1,
Kirkland, Quebec H9H 0C5
Phone: (514) 693-5050
Chef Hats: 4.5
Cost: $ 5.99
I first came across a can of Chocolat Favoris fondue chocolate at my local IGA grocery store about nine years ago, not a likely or very romantic place to obtain premium chocolate. There it conveniently sat atop a shelf near a box of fresh strawberries. Those days, I was always looking for specialty items that would make my home dinners a little edgy, over the top and special. I threw it in my cart not thinking twice about it. That weekend, I made chocolate fondue for dessert with my Saturday night dinner and served it with strawberries, bananas and pineapple. Everyone indulged, lapped it up till everything was gone. I never gave it another thought and we moved on to better chocolate items that were the craze of the day. That is until the name came up again, last fall, when driving by the new shop that had opened in Kirkland on the service road of the highway.
I actually walked inside with a friend, looking for a place to have a coffee, to sit and chat for a while. Sometimes your mood will play big time into an experience, not being open minded, my friend walked in first, she asked if they had coffee, did not see what she wanted and walked out. I followed behind her, not wanting to be too insistent. She was not in a good mood and we spent the next hour trying to figure out where to go, driving around endlessly, until we settled at the same place we always go to. Such a waste of time especially when we had some really good stuff right under our noses. Since then, Chocolat Favoris has added coffee to their menu.
Fast forward to the Summer 2019, while eating at Pizza Bros in Kirkland right next door to Chocolat Favoris, we sat next to the owner of the Kirkland franchise while he was grabbing a break and a bite to eat. Of course, like the good entrepreneur he was, he recommended we have dessert next door at Chocolate Favoris. Upon hearing this, our accommodating waiter brought us promotional coupons for free ice cream at Chocolate Favoris. When you’re on a budget, any free coupons are welcome, so we indulged. He was also nice enough to tell us to ask for his wife so we could get served immediately. After our fantastic pizza dinner and the fantastic hospitality, we received, we walked into Chocolate Favoris to get our free ice cream.
It is really strange how things work out when you walk into a place with a different perspective and an open mind. Chocolat Favoris is a cross between an ice cream parlor and a chocolate shop. In front of us, we noticed shelves and more shelves of any chocolate product you can image and lots of beautifully wrapped gift baskets. A real candy store that would put a smile on anyone’s face. There was many combination and permutation possible, of all types of fine chocolates, dessert and candy. At the far end of the shop you will discover the ice cream bar with chocolate dipped ice creams in many funky flavors, including a blue cotton candy dip. There are all kinds of special ice cream combinations like banana splits and even poutine ice cream. There is ample comfortable seating inside and outside of a sun filled terrace.
The idea behind the ice cream bar is simple, but not uncommon, you choose your preferred dip and topping, which follows the same principle as another famous ice cream shop in Montreal called La Diperie. The cones come in three sizes, we received the largest size, dipped in thick chocolate and each with our preferred the decadent toppings. The chocolate dip is not runny and will keep your ice cream in place even on the terrace in the bright sun. We got a special tour from the owner who explained everything to us and showed us some of their better products and a sampling of their fine chocolates. I ordered the salted chocolate with dulce de leche junks. Yum Yum Yum! It was the best ice dipped ice cream I ever had, the chocolate was super thick, the soft vanilla ice cream under the thick chocolate was so creamy and the chunks of dulce de leche massive.
Upon my return home to write the review, I did some research and discovered that the original Chocolat Favoris is actually a local Quebec product that has been in existence since 1979, they originally opened as an Easter chocolate artisanal shop in the town of Lauzon in Quebec City. With time they fine tuned their chocolate to please the local palate and to become a recognized a leader worldwide in chocolate gastronomy. By 1996, they started to expand to other areas of Quebec, and their success story lies in its history. Today, they have re -invented the concept of the chocolate shop. They not only offer fine chocolates, they offer 12 varieties of real chocolate dipped ice creams, coffee and desserts, and their delicious chocolate fondue in a can that has become their signature card.
Since 2012, Chocolate Favoris has been in expansion after being purchased by Dominique Brown, who was the founder of a video game company Beenox which he ran for 13 years. In 2011, he bought Quebec based Chocolateries de l’le ’Orleans, which he later sold, and in 2012 he bought the Chocolat Favoris chain, which he expanded from three stores in Quebec to 42 across British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. He turned his passion towards chocolate on his year off from work after he sold his video gaming company. With enough experience in business startups, he knew that the company was viable and saw potential in growing the business. The formula seems to be working like a well-oiled machine, as the store is especially profitable and popular in summer, and franchisees, keep buying into it.
Chocolat Favoris has many outlets across the island of Montreal and its suburbs, find one near you, its worth a try. You won’t regret it. You can also pick up one of their fondues at your local supermarket, it may be difficult to replicate their chocolate dipped ice creams, but you can get very creative with a can of their chocolate fondue.