Experience Delta Stories
Tilbury Industrial Park & Brockmann Chocolates Spring 2017
Tilbury Industrial Park & Brockmann Chocolates
For: Experience Delta spring 2017
by Michelle Hopkins
7863 Progress Way, Delta, BC V4G 1A3/ 604.946.4111
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hours: Delta Outlet Store open Monday to Friday, 10am – 4pm.Facebook – @BrockmannsChocTwitter – @BrockmannsChocInstagram – @BrockmannsChoc
Along the banks of the mighty Fraser River is where you will find Tilbury Industrial Park. Considered a hidden jewel, Tilbury is a modern and high growth industrial park with more than 750 businesses, employing more than 8,000 people. The companies offer a wide selection of products and services, ranging from aerospace and high-tech to manufacturing and distribution.
But it wasn’t always the case.
In 1973, with a growing demand for more industrial land, more than 400 acres of land was taken out of the ALR to construct the park. At the time, Tilbury was pretty much inhabited by farmers and fishermen.
“At the time, there wasn’t even a thru road,” says Delta City Mayor Lois Jackson. “It was the late Mayor Tom Goode’s vision to develop Tilbury Park.”
It took a few years to service such a large area. In November 1977, Phase 1 of Tilbury Industrial Park officially opened.
Tilbury One of Canada’s Largest Industrial Parks:
Tilbury is one of two of Canada’s larger industrial parks, the other being Annacis Island, and both are located along the south arm of the Fraser River. Combined, they represent more than $4.6 billion in annual business – more than the Saint Lawrence Seaway.
Back in 2014, Jackson was credited for revitalizing Tilbury Industrial Park and capping much of the landfills in the area in order to encourage commercial and retail tenants. Today, Tilbury has attracted companies such as: Amazon, Bridgeview Marine, Pacific Coast Doors, Fountain Tire, and the newest kid on the block – Four Winds Brewing Company.
There are also several restaurants in the neighbourhood like Tilbury Restaurant and Café, the Sandwich Tree, Monte Cristo Bakery and Meadows Restaurant.
Jackson says there is much interest due to its location.
One of Tilbury’s biggest advantages is its proximity to most of the Lower Mainland, Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal, Deltaport Container Terminal, Fraser Valley and the US Border. In addition, the four-lane South Fraser Perimeter Road makes it even easier to access the area.
Brockmann Chocolates in Tilbury:
Tilbury is where Brockmann Chocolates chose to set up shop in 2008, attracted to the “business-friendly atmosphere Delta offers.”
Kathrin Brockmann, Brockmann’s Chocolates CEO, says: “Our business was growing so quickly and we couldn’t expand in our Richmond location.”
In 1934, Kathrin’s grandfather Willibald ‘Willy’ Brockmann, a master confectioner trained in Cologne, Germany, founded Conditerei Café Brockmann, a small confectionary shop in Munich, Germany. Specializing in pastries, cakes, and handmade truffles, Brockmann’s soon became a landmark.
It wasn’t long before his son Norbert Brockmann joined the family business. In 1967, he also trained to become a master confectioner. Nearly 20 years later, Norbert and his wife Marianne immigrated to Canada and opened Brockmann’s Tea Room in Vancouver.
“My parents were way ahead of the times when they opened the tea room in Kerrisdale … it closed a year later,” she adds. “My father decided to refocus his energies on what he did best, handcrafted chocolates.”
Following in her grandfather and father’s footsteps, Kathrin also trained as a chocolatier in Germany.
From 5 Employees to 60:
From its humble beginnings as the Brockmann’s Tea Room in Kerrisdale, Brockmann’s Chocolates has grown into a major player in the industry. The family-run business sells its high-quality Chocolates Truffini and Crunchetti brands throughout British Columbia, including Save-On Foods, Urban Fare and Thrifty Foods, and in major retailers across North America.
“When dad started here back in the late 1980s, we had a handful of employees … five or six,” she says. “Today, we employ between 50 and 60.”
Kathrin clearly recalls her earliest memories of working in the factory. “I was five or six and I was helping to make truffles for some of Vancouver’s top hotels,” she says. “I can still remember those smells and eating a lot of chocolate.”
As a third-generation chocolatier, Kathrin is still guided by those principles that her grandfather founded the company on – his commitment to using only the most natural and freshest ingredients of the highest quality.
“In our Crunchetti, and in our signature line of Truffini, we use Barry Callebaut premium chocolate,” Kathrin explains.
Just like the Belgians and the Swiss, Brockmann Chocolates has always appreciated the alchemy of turning cocoa into irresistible confections.
“I love the innovation … there are lots of players out there, chocolatiers who are thinking outside the box to create unique and different chocolate flavours,” Kathrin explains. “That’s what we strive to do at Brockmann’s.”