Chocolates by Bernard closes permanently
After 21 years, Chocolates by Bernard in downtown Lake Oswego is closing its doors for good.
Owner La Quita Corbett decided to end the business June 30 due to the economic uncertainties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as supply chain issues.
"My decision is based on the global pandemic. It has impacted my manufacturer who is located in Calgary, Canada," Corbett said. "It's truly a bittersweet day today."
Corbett has been involved with Chocolates by Bernard for 12 years, first as a part-time employee before taking over ownership.
"I loved, loved, loved what I did," she said.
Corbett was recently contacted by her manufacturer, who said they were only focusing on Canadian stores — Corbett said she was the last United States independent dealer.
"And no, I dont wanna sell a lesser product," Corbett said. "I am passionate about this chocolate."
Corbett said her lease and two business licenses were set to expire within the next 60 days as well.
"We have been so incredibly blessed to have many long-term employees who became family. We are so fortunate to have loved what we did, and the people that we did it with. We will always be thankful to our Lake Oswego community and all of the local causes that we were privileged to be a part of," read a post on the store's website. "I am grateful for the past and am looking to the future. More time with my grandkids, family and friends."
Corbett said she looks forward to being more active in the Lake Oswego Women's Coalition and the Oswego Heritage House Board. She also looks forward to spending time with family and golfing with friends.
"I like to work. I like people. I'd love to find something admin, part-time. My region is from Lake Oswego to possibly Canby," Corbett said. "I'm looking forward to what the next chapter is."
Though Corbett said it's a good time for her to transition, she is concerned for others who she says are "losing so much more."
"I'm very humbled by peoples' kind words right now," said Corbett, adding that the Lake Oswego community has been wonderful and her fellow employees were like a family.
"You have welcomed us as a part of your gatherings, causes, special moments and celebrations. You have allowed us to be a part of your family traditions and holidays," the website read. "You laughed and reminisced with us and allowed us to share your milestones and your sorrows. Being a part of that has meant the world to us."
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