Peterbrooke Chocolatier has come quite a long way since opening its first shop in San Marco back in 1983.
The Jacksonville-based chocolate shop chain celebrated its 35th birthday this year by opening three new stores, bringing them to a total of 22 locations throughout the Southeast area.
The brand offers a wide selection of handmade, European-style chocolates, including traditional favorites like truffles and caramels as well as specialties such as chocolate-covered cookies, pretzels, popcorn, and more.
Business was booming for the chocolatier in 2018. The chain saw double-digit increases in sales this year, moving over 108,000 lbs. of chocolate covered popcorn, its most popular item.
Peterbrooke also hand-dipped over 46,000 of its chocolate-covered strawberries – another high-demand item – for Valentine’s Day 2018.
The brand credits its efforts towards innovation and sustainability for its recent success.
Peterbrooke recently launched a new store design that features chocolate tasting bars, build-your-own-bark stations, and prep area and kitchen upgrades aimed at bringing the chocolate-making experience closer to customers.
“Our store design updates have improved Peterbrooke’s customer experience, which is evident in our sales growth and increased franchise development interest,” says Jeff Smith, Peterbrooke’s chief operating officer.
Many of the brand’s chocolates, including its gelato, are certified as kosher. And all of its shops are UTZ-certified, an accreditation that supports sustainable cacao farming worldwide. The UTZ program helps Peterbrooke’s cacao farmers learn environmentally-friendly growing methods and safer working conditions.
The chain was among the earliest enrollees in the UTZ certification program in the U.S.
After its successful 2018, Peterbrooke doesn’t plan on slowing down. Smith says the brand hopes to open up to 24 new franchise locations across the Southeast over the next six years.
The chain, which began franchising in 2006, is seeking local developers and operators to facilitate that expansion. Owners are required to have a minimum net worth of $300,000 as well as at least $75,000 in liquid assets, with initial investments ranging from $222,000 to $344,000. For information about franchise development, visit peterbrookefranchising.com.
And to learn more about Peterbrooke Chocolatier and its products, visit peterbrooke.com.