Making Chocolates WITH A DRAGON BY SUSAN GELLERT PHOTOS SIMPLE SHOTS BY JACKIE
MG’s is the perfect name for the delectable and mouth-watering chocolate created by Chris Emery and Larry Finnson. Their name is also an apt way to describe their journey to the top of the candy making heap. They wanted to work together. They had the drive to be successful, Chris’s grandma’s chocolate recipe, and a goal to make a million dollars. For high school buddies, Chris and Larry, failure was not an option. With a vision, strong work ethic and families that believed in them, Chris and Larry took the family recipe and turned it into the well-known chocolate brand, Clodhoppers. With grit, determination and a whole lot of setbacks, Clodhoppers became a top 20 chocolate brand. In 2006 the Clodhoppers board of directors made a decision to sell the company to Brookside foods. “We did not have board control so we had no control over the decision to sell the company. There is mixed emotions in that you put your heart and soul in something and then you have to let it go,” says Chris. After waiting out a five year noncompeting clause, Chris and Larry were back at the drawing board and back at making chocolates. Determined to take ten years of experience and make something great, they stuck to what they knew. “When people eat candy it makes them happy and we like making people happy,” laughs Larry. Armed with experience, a new
product and single-minded focus they entered the Dragon’s Den. Putting pride and their business bottom line on the line, they pitched their new product based on past experience. They hoped to secure funding and business advice from one of Canada’s top financial gurus. Chris and Larry had faith in their product and their abilities but they needed brand awareness and a great marketing campaign. In short, they needed Arlene Dickenson. OMG’s Candy — its product and Chris and Larry — caught the attention and the backing of Arlene. As she stated on the show, “they are the real deal.” Of Arlene, Chris and Larry say she is the perfect partner for many reasons. “In addition to everything else she brings to us, Arlene falls into our target market (women) and brings so much brand awareness. She raises the credibility of OMG’s.” OMG’s Candy is a premium chocolate product with chocolaty graham clusters mixed with toffee bits, peanuts or almonds. It comes in resealable bags with bright eye-catching packaging and is available at chain stores and independent retailers across North America. Through the power of partnership and collaboration as well as planning, conviction and focus, OMG’s is set to take over the candy world. The product is an addictive delicious treat, their partner is a marketing dragon and Chris and Larry are focused and fun-loving with big dreams and goals for their candy. “What M and M’s were to the 20th century we want OMG’s to be to the 21st century,” says Chris. Open a bag for yourself and discover the OMG’s difference and then prepare a space in your kitchen, your purse and your car because you won’t want to be without them again.