unLovemark: Bernard Callebaut the businessman and the two brands

Love is more enjoyable and easier to write than heartbreak. And it is no expectation in writing about Lovemark and what I will coin as “unLovemark”. I will try to keep this one short.

I publicly wrote about my love of Bernard Callebaut chocolate in 2007 (and twice in passing in 2006). Since Bernard Callebaut the business entering receivership in 2010 and now Bernard Callebaut the chocolatier/businessman being found in contempt and ordered by court to pay $150,000 fine (see below for excerpt), I finally realized the heartbreak moment has arrived. If we are living in the real world where good and bad things sometime happen, then we have to also have “unLovemark” for fallen Lovemark. This is sad but sometimes life has sad moments.

Some background info

* Just before Christmas 2010, the court has concluded that Bernard Callebaut the businessman tried to launch his new brand Papa Chocolat using misappropriated bulk chocolate and moulds from his old company that was in receivership. Taking and using things that are not his personal property anymore. Unfortunately, I don’t know if  Papa Chocolat will have much chance of survival.

Bernard Callebaut the business is still in operation (by receiver Deloitte & Touche) but it is hard to imagine all these negative news about the founder and namesake of the company/brand are helping businesses or regaining the lost charm and love of the chocolate.

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Here is an excerpt, “Bernard Callebaut ordered to pay $150,000 after being found in contempt – By Kim Guttormson, Calgary Herald March 24, 2011

CALGARY – The increasingly bitter fallout from Bernard Callebaut losing his chocolate company ended Thursday with a judicial rebuke and $150,000 in fines levied against the Calgary chocolate maker.

After finding Callebaut and his wife Francesca in contempt of a receivership order because they removed assets from their former company — including bulk chocolate and moulds which were then used by their new company — Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Barbara Romaine said the couple offered a “number of rationalizations…but it comes down to a sense of entitlement.”

She ordered the Callebauts to pay $99,150 in restitution for the assets taken, most of which have been returned, as well as to cover the legal costs of receiver Deloitte & Touche and Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut.

As well, Romaine said the well-known Calgary business man should pay a $50,000 fine — which will go towards the unsecured creditors — in part because she doesn’t believe the Callebauts realize the magnitude of an offence she calls a “wrongful and serious breach.”

While Callebaut has already suffered “a stain on his business reputation,” according to Romaine, she felt a further fine was appropriate to send a message.”

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