Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dominique Chartrand, Founder of Chocolat Voyageur, located in Miramichi, NB, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I make bean to bar chocolate handcrafted from various beans around the world. I deal with distributors that source the beans directly from the farmer and/or cooperative! I focus mainly on dark chocolate but do make a line of oat dark and milk chocolate. I handcraft truffles with my dark chocolate and enrobe them with a dark chocolate couverture!

Now that we are in Miramichi, the business also includes other services that include and complement chocolate in the form of a small café dedicated to chocolate and quality products from the region and different parts of the country. We offer coffee and tea hot/cold, takeaway drinks such as sparkling fruit water to Kombucha. We offer local cheese to take away or to enjoy in a cheese plate or crêpe. All pastries are handmade in-house, and the chocolate is ours. We work with clean ingredients and whole ingredients with lower amounts of sugar. We celebrate ingredients and the joy of sharing quality chocolate and food experiences.

Tell us about yourself

I started my business with my desire to learn to make and more about chocolate. I had the opportunity to learn with Lisa Beth from Finnia Chocolate & Cacao and realized that I wanted to create my own chocolate and business. I always wanted to own my own business, and chocolate was going to be my muse. My motivation stems from my desire to make quality chocolate to share with people, to be part of a circular economy, and to bring good food into my community. I am motivated by the desire to be successful in helping to support my family and bring good jobs to the community.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment was to open my first commercial kitchen and boutique during the pandemic and still being open. Also, creating a line of chocolate that I can be proud of.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The fear and the uncertainty that you cannot make ends meet. Sometimes the hours can be too much, and making the right decisions and also learning from those that did not work.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Create a solid business plan and do the work to talk to people and see what is out there already and what you would add.
  2. Surround yourself with people who believe in you.
  3. Believe in yourself, and don't be afraid to ask for help.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Making chocolate, being part of a chocolate community, and bringing something to a community are what make me continue and enjoy my job. I love being an entrepreneur and would not change a thing. I do believe that it is scary, and continued analysis and looking to the present, future, and past can all help you improve and grow.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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