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Scharffen Berger at Dollarama?!

I just got back from the Dollarama on Parc Avenue where they had the 85g Scharffen Berger bars (milk and bittersweet -70%) for $1/each! (chocosphere.com is selling them for US $4.19.) To be honest, I nearly cleaned them out of the 70% bars, but there are probably 20 or so left there. I don't know if other Dollaramas also got them, but they said they were new to the Parc Avenue store and I'm guessing a one-time deal.

As a native Californian, this is especially poignant to me in light of this story:

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  1. Picklebird, which dollarama? That is a good deal....

    1 Reply
    1. re: moh

      The Mile-End one on Parc b/w St. Viateur and Bernard.

    2. Truly one of the best eating and cooking chocolates I've bought. I'm going to try my local Dollarama to see if they were so lucky.

      1. picklebird, have you tasted one? I'd assume they are past their best-before date, but if properly stored, that might not be any problem at all.

        8 Replies
        1. re: lagatta

          Don't assume they're past the best-before date - as per the story Picklebird linked to above, unfortunately Scharffen Berger is going out of business, so that may be the reason for the sudden choco-dump. I'll be checking out the Dollarama near me soon.

          1. re: kpzoo

            Yes, that is very sad. I knew the founder had died but I didn't know his artisanal chocolate plant had been closed down by the corporation that took it over. What a pity.

              1. re: kpzoo


                It seems that the plant in SF will be closed but Hersheys has owned this company since 2005. Hershey claims that the majority of it has been made in a plant in Illinois for quite some time and they plan to continue the product line.

                1. re: blond_america

                  Ah, thanks for the clarification, blond_america. I'd read a slightly different story somewhere else, which made it sound like they were going out of business completely.

            1. re: kpzoo

              West End hounds: they have tons of 4 kinds of bars (milk, semi-sweet, dark & extra-dark) at the Dollarama on Somerled & Cavendish.

              Thanks, picklebird!

              1. re: kpzoo

                Thanks KP, I know where I'm going tomorrow morning!

            2. re: lagatta

              The best before date on mine is June 2009.

            3. the Dollarama on Sainte-Catherine near Berri-Uqam has them, too.

              1. My Dollarama has them, as well. At this price I'll probably try cooking with the stuff.

                1. Yay! Picklebird, thanks so much for this post! You rock!

                  The bars are dated August 2009, plenty of time to scarf these babies down!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: moh

                    I bought 15 and wish I bought more!

                    1. re: picklebird

                      Just bought some this morning at Dollarama in Wilderton Mall, (Van Horne and Wilderton)
                      Best before date May/09. They still have lots, some by the cash and others by the drink machine. I was kind and left some!

                      1. re: eatwell

                        Actually, the 62% are May/09 and the 70% are August/09

                  2. (Lying amongst empty Scharfenberger wrappers, Moh wipes chocolate away from her face and hands as she slides into chocolate coma. A big burp, then rolls over onto shards of half-melted chocolate. Somewhere, a cocoa bean roasts.)

                    Well, I just stopped off at the Dollarama on St. Laurent near Libraire Espagnole. I had to ask for it, but they still have bars left. They also have 82%! The bars are dated June 2009, and so I think there is some variability in the batches being sold.

                    The MIlk chocolate is one of the darkest milk chocolates I have enjoyed, with 41% cocoa. It has the lovely creaminess I love about milk chocolate, but with a bit more interesting chocolate flavour. The 70% cocoa bittersweet chocolate is wonderfully fruity and spicy, and very smooth. It is an excellent eating chocolate. The 82% is intense, dry, bold spiciness, sharp chocolate flavour. It is more hardcore, and I think I will probably use it in chunks in homemade chocolate chunk cookies.

                    It is a real shame they will be closing. All the more reason to hate Hershey. But again, many thanks to Picklebird for the post! Very kind and generous of you to share this fabulous deal!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: moh

                      Yes, I second the motion to thank Picklebird. I hardly ever venture into a Dollarama and never would have been the wiser. What a steal!

                      Thank you thank you thank you.

                      What a strange place to find such quality.

                      1. re: moh

                        I greedily picked up a few of the milk chocolate as well. I don't usually like milk chocolate, but as I sit here eating it right now, this is some of the best I have ever had- rich and not too sweet.

                        And to be clear, I think that Hershey's will continue to make Scharffen Berger chocolate (it's been very profitable to them). They will just be making it elsewhere where it's likely cheaper to manufacture. We'll have to wait to see if quality is compromised-- you can guess what I think.

                        And one more thing- 82%! I will have to make a special trip tomorrow.

                      2. While searching through their website today i noticed that they carry at least six different varieties of chocolate. Just out of curiousity has anyone seen the other two kinds: mocha or nibby bar at any of the dollaramas?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: blond_america

                          Not at Somerled/Cavendish, but I definitely like the word "nibby". ;-)

                        2. Downtown people, there are a lot of them at the dollarama at Promenades de la Cathédrale, where the Linen Chest store is, in the basement.
                          The 70% is not the best I've ever had but for $1. it's fine. They also had the 62% semisweet, and the 41% extra rich milk chocolate, which I have not sampled yet.
                          From what I found on a google search, those bars are usually between 4 and 5$ a piece.

                          The dollarama also had Thrill gum, which I have not seen in years.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: superbossmom

                            The semi sweet expires in july, the others in june.

                            1. re: superbossmom

                              dollarama in the faubourg has a ton left
                              i bet 10

                              1. re: celfie

                                Couldn't find any at the dollarama in promenade du parc :( Had to buy a reese's peanut butter cup instead :D

                            2. re: superbossmom

                              Contrary to Gazette reports, there is no longer a "motherlode" at Cathédrale. i watched someone at lunchtime buy them all, except for the 2 (62% beige and 70% blue) that I managed to snag.

                              Complexe Desjardins was cleared out earlier this morning.

                              1. re: rwarren

                                Yeah, I plead guilty for Complexe, I bought the last 9 bars (3 43% and 6 62%) this morning when they opened.

                                Promenades de la Cathédrale is all out and Place Montréal Trust still has some 62% and 70% left but they're going fast (thanks in part to me).

                                When I think about all the baking I'll do with these babies.

                            3. I wonder why dollarama has a ton of this stuff all of a sudden. The faubourg dollarama even has a branded cardboard display right at the entrance. Initially it seemed like a liquidation but we've established that the company isn't going out of business. Did they hijack a big rig full of this stuff??

                              But it seems like it can't be permanent either since it's being sold for one sixth of the price at Pharmaprix. Has anyone asked an employee about it?

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: blond_america

                                «Has anyone asked an employee about it?»

                                No, but yesterday an employee at the Wilderton Dollarama asked *me* about it.

                                1. re: blond_america

                                  it seems like overstock to me. I've never in my life bought a chocolate bar that expires a few months from purchase. Or maybe that's just the company's thing. I think with the economy in the shape its in, dollarama has some potential.

                                2. Update: I went to 2 D. stores today and here is what I found.

                                  The Dollarama on Parc near Bernard only had 3 of the 41% milk bars left - sorry guys, but I snagged those! On the bright side, the cashier said they were expecting more soon. They were located in a cardboard display right beside the cash register counter.

                                  The Dollarama in Wilderton shopping centre (Van Horne @ Wilderton) had a much better variety and quantity, but note that they are NOT in any kind of cardboard display - they are in the wire shelves/racks adjacent to the cash.
                                  They had a handful of the 41% bars left, plus a nice stash of the semisweet (62%) and bittersweet (70%).

                                  In case you go looking, be observant and patient - I had trouble finding them in both stores, and none of the employees I asked had any idea what I was talking about. Luckily my husband has keener choco-spotting skills than me, or I woulda walked out of both stores empty-handed! :-P

                                  Damn are these things delicious! I had never tried this chocolate before, so a million thanks to you, Picklebird, and also to everyone who contributed to the discussion. I would probably not have even bothered except that you guys were so enthusiastic about it - now I see why! :-)

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: anachemia

                                    I also found the motherload at the Carrefour shopping center in St-Leonard. A cardboard display and a lot more on the shelves. We bought about 15 bars and I think I'm gonna go back for some more. That 41% is incredible, especially molten over blueberries.

                                  2. The Dollarama in Cavendish Mall has some left. They are at the cash.

                                    I bought the last few 82% bars, but they had a pile of 70%, 62%, and milk chocolate bars left. I got a few of each.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: spankyhorowitz

                                      This is a national event:

                                      I think i'll call the 1-866 number today and see what the deal is on these bars.

                                      1. re: spankyhorowitz

                                        only 64%s left in the faubourg. i bought every milk chocolate bar left and even gave one as a tip to the cashier ;)

                                    2. 4h44: Alex reads this thread.
                                      4h46: Alex leaves work early
                                      4h51: Alex is at the Dollarama in the Promenade de la Cathédrale buying 21 bars
                                      4h52: First bite of delicious, delicious Scharffen Berger chocolate
                                      5h00: What am I going to do with 20 chocolate bars?!?

                                      Thanks picklebird, this is exactly why Chowhound is so amazing.

                                      BTW, plenty of 70% and semisweet left at Promenades de la Cathédrale.

                                      10 Replies
                                      1. re: alexthecook

                                        Even the Gazette has picked up on this in todays issue (arts & life), and mentions this thread and one of our members. I say stock up as there's not going to be any left soon!

                                            1. re: carswell

                                              Well, isn't Chowhound there to serve as a farm system for un-investigative reporters?

                                                1. re: emerilcantcook

                                                  I don't really care, if she see something interesting here on a rare occasion to report. The reporter credited this Chowhound board(she can't be everywhere). I regularly get interesting suggestions on this Montreal board(I can't be everywhere & know everything; it's not that I'm too lazy to find out on my own).

                                            2. re: alexthecook

                                              I went to the store at Marche de la Ouest during lunch and cleaned out the last 20 bars. Soon after that my young son called (he works in the stock room at Dollarama) and said he is putting another large amount of bars by the cash registers...
                                              This is what's in the display:
                                              41% Cacao Rich Milk Chocolate
                                              62% Cacao Semi Sweet
                                              70% Cacao Bittersweet

                                              1. re: alexthecook

                                                I didn't see any at Cathedrale this afternoon, shucks.

                                                1. re: Victorinia

                                                  Cavendish Mall; sold out
                                                  Somerled/Cavendish; sold out
                                                  Cote St. Luc Shopping Centre; sold out...because of me! (hee hee)

                                                  All 3 locations said they think they might be getting more next week.

                                                  1. re: bomobob

                                                    The GF was at Boulevard shopping Center on the corner of Pie-IX and Jean-Talon and called me to say there was plenty left of all kinds, except for 15 milk chocolate bars she snagged. But still plenty of all kinds. Run while you can. We're all done buying this stuff for now since we now have a huge stash.

                                              2. I just bought some at the Dollarama store on St. Catherine West near Fort. They have a fair quantity of all 4 types (82%, 70%, 62% and the 41% milk chocoate). Incidentally, I'm not a fan of milk chocolate, but this one is to die for - amazing. They are in the aisle with the other chocolate bars - not in the front on a separate display.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: davyboy

                                                  Picked up some 70% and 41% bars at the Greenfield Park location. They have 20+ of each in the store with the other chocolates.

                                                2. None in Ste-Dorothee unfortunately!

                                                  1. I spent $265 at the St Catherines & Fort St location.

                                                    BTW did I say I love chocolate...MMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!

                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: bigfellow

                                                      you bought 265 bars?!??!?! theyre not that good man!

                                                      1. re: bigfellow

                                                        Granted, your handle is "bigfellow" but considering the best before dates of June/July '09 and the fat and saturated fat content of these chocolate bars, you might consider giving some away -- to me for example! LOL.

                                                        1. re: Chow_Hound_Dog

                                                          I use them for cooking and I sent 100 of them to the 3rd Royal Canadian Regiment Battlegroup in Afghanistan.

                                                          1. re: bigfellow

                                                            I tip my hat to you, sir!

                                                            No doubt, a "bigfellow"" with an even bigger heart!

                                                            I'm sure your gift will be much appreciated.

                                                            1. re: bigfellow

                                                              Dang, what a fantastic idea! You rock!

                                                        2. On Friday, the Dollarama in the Galeries St-Laurent on Marcel Laurin had decent quantity of the 70% & 82%. They are located at the cash.

                                                          1. The store on St Catherines near Fort was out last night....I think that I`m going into withdrawl. lol

                                                            4 Replies
                                                            1. re: bigfellow

                                                              I bought 2 of each to sample them since I had never eaten Sharffen Berger before. But honestly, they may be really inexpensive but they're not really good to my taste. Even at that price, I won't be buying them again.

                                                              1. re: Simon Patrice

                                                                sounds like you missed out on the milk chocolate ones

                                                                1. re: celfie

                                                                  Actually, I tried it and much prefer Cluizel's

                                                                2. re: Simon Patrice

                                                                  i was beginning to wonder if there was something wrong with my tastebuds as I tried SB many years ago in California, before it was available here, and was not impressed, even though it is higly rated by such chocolate experts as Alice Medrich. So I am glad to see that there is another dissenter here. I use Callebaut for all of my baking, and really like it.

                                                              2. Attention all shoppers!
                                                                I finally found some, and bought a selection (Plateau area). Alas, I found the higher cacao-count ones to taste a smidge moldy, but the 41% and 62% were fine. So buyer beware. Maybe that's why they're doing a dollarama dump, quality control issues?

                                                                1. There has to be a reason they're dumping the stuff. I've never heard of the brand before, I'm not a big chocolate fan. But what was the last thing of excellence that ended up in a dollarama? Ever. Never?
                                                                  Buyer beware.

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: everyonelovessushi

                                                                    Whatever the reason, I embrace it. I have heard of the brand before,bought it many times when in the US, have eaten it, cooked with it and love it. It's not the best in the world, but who cares? It certainly ain't a Dove bar!

                                                                    And by the way, not everyone loves sushi

                                                                    1. re: maisonbistro

                                                                      I heard that with the sale of their SF factory & warehouse that it was cheaper to dump it in foreign parts. (That's us) than to ship it to St Louis and store it there.

                                                                      I'm just glad that I got in on it.

                                                                      1. re: bigfellow

                                                                        Interesting, make sense. (My guess had been that maybe they're rebranding and needed to dump the bars with the old labels.)

                                                                      2. re: maisonbistro

                                                                        "And by the way, not everyone loves sushi"

                                                                        Yeah, I guess that's the joke.

                                                                    2. With a quick google search it looks like the "company" is probably just going out of business. Why didn't anyone just post that this is HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE! The sister subsidiary (Joseph Schmidt) in San Fran has folded tent so it sounds like Hershey's is just pulling the plug on a couple specialty items.

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: everyonelovessushi

                                                                        «Why didn't anyone just post that this is HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE!»

                                                                        Because it's not. Scharffen Berger was originally a small, artisanal "bean to bar" chocolate maker, arguably the best in the USA (Julia Child was among those doing the arguing). The firm was acquired by Hershey's in 2005, but reportedly with no huge impact on quality. Many are now worried that will change with the announced closing of the SFBA factory and the consolidation of manufacturing -- along with that of several other chocolate makers acquired by Hershey's -- at production facilities in Illinois. In other words, the chocolates under discussion here are not Hershey bars any more than your 2006 Chrysler Neon is a Mercedes.

                                                                        As chocolate goes, SB is not the be all and end all. Valrhona has nothing to fear. Still it's high-quality stuff, better than European names like Lindt and Côte d'Or, IMHO, and a great buy at a buck a bar. I doubt I'll be eating my bars straight but have no doubts they'll be dandy for cooking.

                                                                        1. re: carswell

                                                                          ...but....but....we've been eating them straight. A lot of them.

                                                                          1. re: bomobob

                                                                            I go both ways...on these bars that is.

                                                                        2. re: everyonelovessushi

                                                                          Had you read the article linked in the first post, you would have learned all that and would have saved you some googling.

                                                                        3. I just got back fro the Dollarama next to Carrefour Laval and there are about 20 of the 62% bars there. I bought the other 25 of 70%.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: jaynel

                                                                            Amazingly there's no such thread on the Chowhound Toronto section (granted, most Toronto chocolate fans have been posting on Redflagdeals instead). Anyhow, I've been doing my part reducing the inventory at nearby Dollaramas here.

                                                                            I have to admit I used to like the British Cadbury & Roundtree chocs but as I got older I found the more-cocao chocs a lot more satisfying than the high-sugar/hydro-veg-oil chocs.

                                                                            A buck is definitely a good price. It's obscene what SDM (Shopper's Drug Mart ie. Pharmaprix) is charging.