Purdys Chocolatier Former Owner Charles Flavelle Passes


Vancouver, British Columbia — Charles Flavelle, former owner of the Canadian brand, Purdys Chocolatier, passed on May 27 at the age of 95.

In 1963, Flavelle made a life-changing business move by acquiring Purdys Chocolatier with his business partner and co-owner, Eric Wilson. As the general manager & president, he laid the foundation for the brand.

His focus on quality chocolates, core values, and people-centric management resulted in Purdys Chocolatier’s growth and success over the span of 31 years. His entrepreneurial spirit and passion for engineering were key drivers in taking the company from a four-shop operation to a 42-shop network, extending its reach beyond British Columbia into Alberta.

His vision included retail expansion and enhancing the company’s production capabilities. He oversaw the establishment of a state-of-the-art chocolate factory that the company uses to this day in Vancouver, BC. Among his contributions, Flavelle created the iconic Purdys Hedgehog and Sweet Georgia Brown in the early 1990s, which have become signature treats.

Flavelle’s legacy thrives under the leadership of his daughter, Karen Flavelle, who has been serving as the CEO since 1997. The ownership transition is presently under the guidance of his grandson Scott McTavish, VP of strategy & corporate development, who is committed to maintaining the family’s dedication to Purdys’ values, success, and people.

Charles and Karen are 2024 Laureate Inductees into the Business Laureates of British Columbia (BLBC) Hall of Fame. Charles will be recognized posthumously in addition to Karen on June 3 at the 18th annual Business Laureates of B.C. Hall of Fame Gala Dinner and Induction Ceremonies.

Flavelle will be remembered for building a place where people enjoy the work they do and the people they do it with. His passion for a supportive, caring, and inclusive workplace culture earned him the respect and admiration of his employees and can be credited in part for the many employees who have been with Purdys Chocolatier for more than 25 years.

Flavelle was a 2007 inductee into the Candy Hall of Fame.