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Canadian chocolatier wins family business award

A Canadian chocolatier that has been in the hands of its current owners for 50 years has been recognised for entrepreneurial achievement over successive generations.

A Canadian chocolatier that has been in the hands of its current owners for 50 years has been recognised for entrepreneurial achievement over successive generations.

Purdy's Chocolatiers will be presented with the Ernst & Young Family Business Award of Excellence for the Pacific region at a ceremony to be held next week.

It will be accepted by chief executive Karen Flavelle, whose father, Charles, bought the business in 1963, with his friend Eric Wilson – representing the second time the business had been sold since it was founded in 1907.

Purdy's currently has 63 stores in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario – but began with just one Vancouver store, opened by Richard Purdy.

The existing owners bought the business from the Forrester family, who had saved the company from receivership in 1925, but passed the family firm on due to conflict between the first and second generations.

Flavelle was appointed vice president in 1994 and two years later the family acquired Wilson’s stake in the business in an amicable buyout.

The overall winner of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, to be announced on October 4, will represent the Pacific region at the national awards to be held at the end of November.

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