The owner of one of Blaine’s most successful businesses has sold the business, but the chocolate won’t stop flowing.
Totally Chocolate, the Blaine-based chocolatier, has been sold to Vancouver corporation Tricor Pacific Founders Capital. Jeff Robinson, founder and CEO of Totally Chocolate, and Derek Senft, managing director of Tricor, announced the sale on February 3.
Founded in 1987, Totally Chocolate has been located in Blaine since 1994. The company specializes in custom engraved chocolates, commonly used for corporate gifts. The company has about 35 full-time employees, but the workforce swells to more than 100 around the holiday season.
Senft said current Totally Chocolate president Ken Strong and the rest of the management team will remain with the business, with Tricor’s Richard Harris stepping in as executive manager.
The change in management won’t affect the company’s business model much, according to Robinson. The business will continue to operate out of its headquarters on Sweet Road in Blaine.
“Tricor is a fairly local company, based out of Vancouver, and they’re delighted to stay here and keep all the employees,” Robinson said. “This isn’t like a typical buyout where they pack everything up and take it out of state or out of the country. The appeal for them was what we and the community had to offer.”
Tricor, a family-owned investment firm, has a history of investing in food businesses. The company owned a stake in Blaine’s Golden Boy Foods until 2014, and has managed more than 75 businesses in its 25-year history.
“They plan to expand on the business and develop further ideas,” Robinson said. “They were attracted by our uniqueness and they want to see what more they can do.”
Even though he’s out of the chocolate game, Robinson has no intention of kicking back.
“I have other business projects that I’m embarking on, not chocolate-related,” he said. “I’m retiring from chocolate but I’m not retiring.”