CED Profile: The Chocolate Shop & Patal Vocational School

The Canadian CED Network

Year: 2011

This is one of the Canadian CED Network’s CED in Manitoba Profiles Project produced 50 stories of Manitoba communities working to build fairer and stronger local economies, reduce poverty, and revitalize neighbourhoods.

At the historical Chocolate Shop restaurant, this nearly century-old local institution is re-inventing itself in a new and unique way. The menu cover declares this to be “Winnipeg’s Oldest Operating Restaurant Since 1918” and reminisces that in its early days, the Chocolate Shop was a busy dining room that was open from early morning to late evening for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and anything in between.

In its first six decades, the Chocolate Shop was one of the most popular spots on Winnipeg’s Portage Avenue, and the second-floor bakery was legendary for its fancy pastries in the 1930s and 1940s. Over the years, however, as Portage Avenue’s role as a major shopping and entertainment destination declined in importance, business at the Chocolate Shop also declined as fewer people made the trek downtown.