Julien Rousseau-Dumarcet and Nathalie Morin met and fell in love in Wakefield, QC: he; a Frenchmen with a passion for chocolate; she, a young hospitality professional with a love for travel.
Together they embarked on an adventure around Europe until ultimately settling in Halifax. Why Halifax? Because it offered a great quality of life, has many European influences and is conveniently located between Ontario and France!
With over 15 years of experience, Julian uses only the finest quality chocolate and ingredients - locally and seasonally sourced as much as possible. Everything is made on site and production can be seen through the viewing bay window in their shop.
We spoke with Nathalie to learn more about their thriving business.
What inspired you to start your business? My husband had been a chocolatier and pastry chef for a few years when we met. At that time, it was only a distant dream to one day open our own chocolate shop. Our quest to gain experience and remain together as a couple, led us to live and work in Canada, France, England and Scotland over the course of 5 years before opening Rousseau Chocolatier in 2014.
Tell us about your 4-year-old self. Wow, 4 year old me? That's a fun question!! I was very carefree, rambunctious and strong willed. I was the second born in a family of 2 kids and I was very fortunate to grow up in a big house on a quiet street in the woods. My days were spent at home with my mother, playing in streams, tree houses and getting dirty! I wanted to be independent and loved accomplishing things on my own. There were a lot of messes and bruises that occurred as a result but overall, I wanted to grow up fast and do things that everyone else was doing.
What do you know now, that you wish you knew when you started your business? What I know now versus when we first started is that there's a wealth of information to help guide any aspiring entrepreneur. Whether it be provincial/federal government programs and grants, local business associations or even knowledgeable bookkeepers! I wish I could have thought to utilize these valuable resources when we started out.
I also think that running a business is a constant evolving experience. With over 4 years under our belts, we still get thrown curve balls all the time. You really learn how to roll with the punches and problem solve on a daily basis. You also learn how to wear ALL the hats; leadership roles, time management skills, marketing exec, photographer, receptionist, customer service expert, accountant, electrician, plumber, you name it!! And with all that, you still need to make money. It's true what they say, running your own business is not for the faint-hearted. We put our heads down, plow through every day and hope it will pay off and we'll be able to reap the fruit of our labour by providing a bright future for our family.
Want to read more about Rousseau Chocolatier? Check out our Spring Blog