One Syrian refugee family made a new home for themselves in Nova Scotia, and found that life in the province can be pretty sweet.
The Hadhad family spent the last three years in a Lebanese refugee camp after fleeing their home in Damascus in 2012. They were forced to leave behind most of their belongings, as well as their chocolate business, a company that was quickly destroyed by bombs after Issam Hadhad spent two decades building it.
In January, the family arrived in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, and according to Issam’s son Tareq, enjoyed a warm homecoming. “We came here with nothing. We are now in a very welcoming, warm-hearted country and we’re so proud to be inspiring others,” he said.
After putting their lives on hold during the years spent in the refugee camp, the Hadhads were able to once again start own their own business after arriving in Canada. Thanks to donations from nearby residents and various sponsors, the Hadhad family opened the aptly named Peace by Chocolate a few months ago, creating jobs for themselves and other locals.
The company has already enjoyed a big boom in growth thanks to one very famous fan. During an address to the United Nations in New York in November, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used the Hadhad family as an example of a success story for Syrian refugees relocating to other countries.
Later that same week, Prime Minister Trudeau traveled to Nova Scotia on official business, which included meeting with the Hadhad family to welcome them to Canada and extended his congratulations on their new business. Trudeau had reportedly been following the family’s story and was eager to sample some of the items sold by Peace By Chocolate.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) November 11, 2016
Prime Minister Trudeau posed for pictures with the family and took home five boxes of maple-leaf shaped chocolates.
— Tareq Hadhad (@TareqHudhud92) November 10, 2016
Understandably at a loss for words, Tareq Hadhad took to his Twitter account to thank the Prime Minister for his visit and support.
— Tareq Hadhad (@TareqHudhud92) October 23, 2016
Thanks to Trudeau’s very public support of Peace by Chocolate, the company has been inundated with orders. They have now started a GoFundMe account in hopes of raising the funds necessary to rent additional warehouse space and hire more local employees.