Small Scale Food Processor Association SSFPA
Food Safety Portal Success Stories Rogers' Chocolates


rogers1Victoria, BC

The first time Charles “Candy” Rogers offered homemade chocolates coming straight from the kitchen in the back of his store, he had a captive audience. That was in 1885 and by 1891 Rogers had moved the tasty operation to a heritage storefront on Government Street in Victoria. Company headquarters still occupy the same space except that today the business has expanded to include seven retail stores, several hundred wholesale outlets, accounts in more than fifty countries and a 20,000 square foot factory. It’s could well be called a sweet success.

Julie Oakley is Director of Manufacturing and Operations; Jo-Anne Dryburgh, Manufacturing Manager of the business and they’re pleased with the advances being made by the company. Along with the on-going development of new products both staff members attributed SSFPA with other advancements.

“I came from the meat industry so I am familiar with HACCP (B.C’s Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points plan),” Julie says. “Using the compact disc supplied by SSFPA we were quickly able to develop our own policies and procedures.

The major [advantage to that] is if we’re ever required to be HACCP certified by any of our customers, we are one – or two or three – steps closer to being there. It will allow us to achieve it much more quickly.”
In addition to creating and implementing company-specific policies and procedures, Jo-Anne describes enhanced communication with the company’s maintenance department as one of the operational benefits the business now enjoys.

“It really has helped a lot in terms of our being able to keep better track by using a maintenance log. It kind of controls when we do maintenance checks and our communication with the department – just by going in and signing off on repairs that have been done,” she explains.

rogers1Working with SSFPA also has guided the company in implementing new tools and equipment that, in turn, have contributed to better time management for staff, Julie says.

“We’ve added double sinks and hand-washing sinks. That reduces the time it takes for staff to prepare and be ready to go to their work stations.”

According to Julie, staff and visitors alike will notice a difference in what the factory looks like: it is more organized in terms of having food safe equipment and materials in place; in coming into the building there’s a designated place for putting on hairnets and coats; and, for visitors, you can clearly see areas of access.

Now that the essential elements of documentation, organization, education and training are in place, the process of organic certification is speeded up, she continues.

“We are quickly able to come up to speed…in taking what we have in place, tweaking it a little bit and making sure the organic tracking is in place… Alll our documentation follows the HACCP plan – it’s like a pre-certification where everything is in line to being certified. It allowed us to bring in an expert in food safety. The consultant helped keep us on the right road and she alleviated some of the stress around getting documentation ready…That was a positive benefit for us.”

Watch a short interview with Jo-Anne Dryburgh and Julie Oakley.