Calgary chocolatier Bernard Callebaut declares personal bankruptcy

Calgary chocolatier Bernard Callebaut COLLEEN DE NEVE / CALGARY HERALD

Well-known Calgary chocolatier Bernard Callebaut has declared personal bankruptcy.

In an interview, Callebaut told the Calgary Herald on Wednesday his financial woes with credit card debt date back a number of years to when his former business went into receivership.

“It’s totally personal,” said Callebaut, who operates Master Chocolat, which he added is owned by private company GRC Food Services.

He said the bankruptcy is not related to Master Chocolat.

“I’m still involved with them. Absolutely,” said Callebaut. 

A legal notice in the Calgary Herald on Tuesday, by Hudson & Company Insolvency Trustees Inc., stated that the bankruptcy of Bernard Willy Margueritte Callebaut occurred Dec. 23 and that the first meeting of creditors will be held Jan. 12 at the Office of the Trustee.

Callebaut lost his company, Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut, in 2010 after it hit financial trouble and went into receivership.

“When I lost my old company, some of the credit cards were business credit cards but when I signed up in 1983, I signed personally. Twenty-seven years after that, you don’t remember that,” he said.

“The reason I’m in this situation is from the old company going into receivership. That’s a result of that . . . It’s a financial burden that dates back from the old company.”

Cococo Chocolatiers was the company that successfully bid on the business when it came up for sale through the receivership. It owns the Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut brand.

In March 2011, a judge ordered Callebaut and his wife, Francesca, to pay $150,000 in fines and restitution after being found guilty of contempt of the receivership order for removing assets from the former company, including bulk chocolate and moulds.

Bernard Callebaut opened his new company location, Papa Chocolat, in late 2011 but that eventually ceased operations.

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