From humble beginnings to a large Fifth Street storefront featuring decadent chocolate treats, Hot Chocolates owner Jorden Marshall credits 25 years of success to the phenomenal level of support in the community.
Marshall and his large staff has been celebrating its 25 years in business all year long, but is culminating the celebrations with an art show this weekend.
"It's a great feeling to have the kind of support that we do," he said.
Hot Chocolates got its start with a small 400 square-foot store on Duncan Avenue, and as the business grew, so did the need for more space.
The store then moved to a location at 286 5th St. — the spot currently occupied by Laughing Oyster Bookshop.
Now at their current location at 368 Fifth St., Marshall and his team of 40 to 50 people operate Hot Chocolates, the adjoining Cakebread Artisan Bakery and Uranus.
Marshall noted over the course of 25 years, one constant has always remained — exemplary customer service.
"We all have extremely busy lives. If you've made the time to come into the store, we value your time. We don't want to keep the customer waiting," he said.
Marshall also added expansion is always on his mind as he looks forward.
"(Having a second location) is always there. It's looking at what might be the best way to go forward. We have a lot of depth in terms of a team. We've got some possibilities but we'll continue to have that discussion," he added.
As part of the store's celebration, a mural will on the west side of the building will be unveiled by local artist Kelly Everill which Marshall describes as a mix of elements with words and a plaque celebrating the past and the present.
Marshall's wife Sherry, who passed away in March 2010, began the three businesses, and Marshall said the mural is a reminder of a saying he uses often both in a business and personal perspective.
"There's no dress rehearsal in life. This is it. It's a harsh reality, but it's pretty worth remembering."
He noted the store is dedicated to supporting arts and children's endeavours, and is inviting the public to visit the store on Saturday to view the art show which includes works from artists including George Littlechild, Stephanie Warkentin and Tony Martin, along with an amuse-bouch as a gift from Hot Chocolates.