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Congratulations to Karen Flavelle, CEO of Purdy’s Chocolates, and the 2013 Pacific Region Special Citation for a Family business of excellence.

Keeping a 106-year-old business not only alive, but thriving, takes a particular blend of nostalgia and foresight. Karen Flavelle, who took the reins of Purdy’s Chocolates from her father, Charles Flavelle, in 1997, has managed to keep the company relevant without losing any of its historical charm. One of Flavelle’s first orders of business was to reintroduce the deep-purple colour so unmistakably tied to the brand, and cut costs through lean manufacturing, not cheaper ingredients. Meanwhile, new on-trend confections are continually being introduced (Himalayan salted caramel, anyone?), and an aggressive growth strategy has seen Purdy’s grow to more than 900 employees, with 63 stores in B.C., Alberta and Ontario.