Refugee Family is Financially Independent One Year After Arriving in Canada

News | By  | 

Never doubt the power of chocolate. Yes, that may sound silly, but chocolate has actually been the key ingredient in helping a large Syrian family attain financial independence and prosperity just one year arriving in Canada as refugees.

The¬†Hadhad family arrived in Nova Scotia one year ago with nothing more than a few bags of clothes after fleeing war-torn Syria. They weren’t sure what was ahead of them, but one year later, their chocolate business has made them a wonderful success story for refugees everywhere.

“We were thinking that finding a job would be hard for me and my family,” said Tareq, the oldest son in the Hadhad clan. “We just explored every option to be integrated as fast as possible.”

Back in Syria, the Hadhads had a family business in which they made chocolate. For more than 20 years, the family sold chocolate throughout the Middle East until their factory was destroyed in a bombing, forcing them to flee the country.

When the Hadhads arrived in Canada, they decided to stick with what they did best: making chocolate. With help from their neighbors in the town of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, the Hadhads built a small shed and turned it into a tiny chocolate factory.

From there, the business grew faster than any of the Hadhads anticipated. Within months, they were selling their chocolate at farmers markets throughout Nova Scotia, and before long, tour buses were stopping by their tiny factory so guests could buy their chocolate.

When the Hadlads started selling their chocolate online at, they were so overwhelmed with the number of orders that they couldn’t keep up and had to shut down. “We had thousands of orders,” explains Tareq.

The Hadlad’s chocolate business now employs 10 people, a stunning accomplishment for a family just one year after relocating to Canada. They plan to hire more people when they resume online orders, and hope to give employment to other Syrian refugees.

The family business has become so successful that many of the younger Hadlads now have their sites set on continuing their education in Canada.

Their story is so astonishing that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau even mentioned them by name during a speech to the United Nations.

Like I told you, never doubt the power of chocolate, or families like the Hadlads.