Brent Smith is chief chocolate officer and co-owner of the Newfoundland Chocolate Co. The company is this year's recipient of the St. John’s Clean and Beautiful Golden Broom award. — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram
The Newfoundland Chocolate Co. is this year’s recipient of St. John’s Clean and Beautiful’s Golden Broom Award in recognition of the company’s eye-catching renovation and beautification of the property at 166 Duckworth St.
This new award was established to recognize those who take pride in the presentation and maintenance of their property.
“This is a lovely acknowledgement,” said Brent Smith, chief chocolate officer and co-owner of the company. “We’re pleased and proud to do our small part in making St. John’s a cleaner, more beautiful place to live and work.”
Smith said when the company purchased the building last year, it learned it had a rich historical significance.
It was built in the early 1800s and had housed a number of businesses and functions, including a gun shop, a pharmacy, a furniture store and most notably, served as the first synagogue in Newfoundland and Labrador during the latter part of the 19th century.
“We wanted to honour the heritage of the property and preserve as many of the heritage features as modern building guidelines would allow.
“We paid particular attention to the outside aesthetic of the building, essentially treating it as a blank canvas on which we could create something bright, fun, interesting and, of course, fitting for a chocolate factory,” said Smith.
“We created a building dripping with chocolate, adorned with its own six-foot chocolate mermaid and we commissioned a huge art mural for the building’s west side — a lively, colourful and very popular installment called ‘New Founde Chocolate Lande.’ We’re proud of our building and proud to be a part of St. John’s beautiful downtown neighbourhood, and we thank St. John’s Clean and Beautiful for this kind recognition.”