What happened back home
For nearly three decades, the Hadhad family created and shipped their specialty treats throughout the Middle East and Europe.
But the Syrian war caused the loss of their family business. In 2012, their original chocolate factory in Damascus was destroyed in a bombing, and the Hadhads were compelled to leave everything behind and flee to Lebanon.
For the next three years, they endured life as refugees with no hope of being able to live the lives they loved. But then, everything changed when the family was invited to Canada, and their dreams came true.
Rebuilding a New Life
The Hadhad family came to Canada on a community-based sponsorship. Their love of peace and entrepreneurship encouraged the family to relaunch the chocolate business and produce the chocolates they once exported around the Middle East.
In 2016, Peace By Chocolate was founded with the support of the Antigonish community and the people of Nova Scotia. They rebuilt the chocolate company and shared their passion for chocolate with new friends in the community.
The opportunity helped the Hadhad family rebuild their lives and do the work they love.
Peace By Chocolate
Each chocolate made by Peace by Chocolate contains a little taste of heaven. It is a little work of art in and of itself, filled with sophistication, style and excellence. The desire for excellence is apparent in every piece of their chocolate.
Inside each product, there is an uncompromising quality as they passionately blend the Syrian fillings and ingredients, which include nuts, fruit, and spices. They offer handmade, automated, and filled chocolates and make chocolates for special events.
Their business is a start-up business winner, a newcomer support initiative, and a peace-building project. Their initiatives focus on generating job opportunities and engaging with community members and refugees from Nova Scotia to assist the local economy.
Tareq Hadhad is the founder and CEO of Peace by Chocolate. In addition, he is a Syrian-Canadian entrepreneur, a public keynote speaker, and the recipient of Start Up Canada’s National Newcomer Entrepreneur Award.
Tareq, a longtime peacekeeping advocate and former medical student at Damascus University, joined medical assistance efforts after arriving in Lebanon.
He has had the privilege of meeting the former President of the United States, Barack Obama, and Canadian Prime Ministers, and has had conversations with many world leaders.
He was named one of the Top 25 Immigrants in the Maritimes and was selected by Google as the National Hero Case for 2018. In addition, he received the prestigious EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Atlantic Award in 2021 and was awarded RBC’s top Immigrant Award and Entrepreneur of the Year in 2020. He also received Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal.
Tareq has spoken on many platforms, including the Summit of The Americas, Amnesty International’s Human Rights Conference and TEDx events.
He has given keynote addresses in Jamaica, London, Paris, and Copenhagen and has done over 500 interviews with various news organizations worldwide.
Tareq shares the compelling story of his family and speaks on the positive impact of immigrants, the spirit of resiliency, entrepreneurship, and giving back.
The Peace on Earth Society
Peace By Chocolate donates 3-5% of all company returns to the Peace On Earth Society. It is an organization registered in Nova Scotia that contributes funds to peace-building projects worldwide.
The society’s work started unofficially after the Fort McMurray Wildfires when Peace by Chocolate launched a donation campaign to support all the evacuees and their families through relief organizations.
The Hadhads know the trauma of losing everything, living in fear and struggling with uncertainties. However, since they arrived in Canada, their resilience has grown through their community’s deep, consistent, and generous support in Nova Scotia. The Peace on Earth Society is a grateful initiative for the security and peace the country has given in their lives.
The story and survival of the Hadhad family have been made into a feature film titled Peace by Chocolate in 2021 and directed by Jonathan Keijser. In addition, a best-selling book by the name “Peace by Chocolate: The Hadhad Family’s Remarkable Journey from Syria to Canada” was authored by Jon Tattrie.
Since founding the company, Peace By Chocolate has grown quickly from the simple roots in their Antigonish kitchen to storefronts in Antigonish and Halifax. For more information about Peace By Chocolate, visit their website at https://peacebychocolate.ca/.
Small businesses are about resilience and giving back to the community. To read more about these inspiring entrepreneurial stories, subscribe to CanadianSME Small Business Magazine https://lnkd.in/dbqmSKN. For the latest updates, visit our Twitter page at @canadian_sme.