The Bonavista Peninsula has long been a prime tourist destination in the province. With anchor businesses and organizations, like the Trinity Historical Society and Rising Tide Theatre, as well as newer initiatives, such as Bonavista Living and Bonavista Creative, the area is leading the way when it comes to capitalizing on creative and cultural economic opportunities becoming a hotspot for innovative entrepreneurs. Moving beyond craft shops and B&Bs, over the last few years newcomers and locals alike have been opening cafes, breweries, food trucks, and eco-tourism operations all over the peninsula.
It’s that energy and opportunity that drew Sarah and Adam Rochacewich to the area in 2012—that, and the spectacular scenery. Originally from Ontario,
the Rochacewiches were inspired to open Aunt Sarah’s Chocolate Shop and Sweet Rock Ice Cream after visiting NL for the first time in 2008. They fell in love with the place and knew they wanted to spend more time in the province; deciding how best to make that happen, however, took some time. “The first part of the decision was to move to NL. The second part was figuring out how we can live
here and support ourselves,” Adam explains. “We landed on Trinity. We thought that we could open a little business here.”
“At that time there wasn’t a sweet shop in Trinity. We know that chocolate
is the type of treat that people like when they’re traveling. So, we thought
it might fit here.”
Adam Rochacewich, Co-Owner, Aunt Sarah’s Chocolate Shop & Sweet Rock Ice Cream
With a combined background in marketing, sales and accounting, opening a chocolate shop may seem like an unusual choice, but it was actually an
obvious fit—Sarah’s father has been in the chocolate-making business in Ontario for over 40 years.
“At that time there wasn’t a sweet shop in Trinity. We know that chocolate is the type of treat that people like when they’re traveling. So, we thought it might fit here,” Adam says. “Because of the family background, we had some support, and we learned how to work with chocolate. We were able to lean on Sarah’s family
business to get started.”
However, setting up a business in rural Newfoundland comes with unique impediments. A short tourist season coupled with transportation barriers and a small resident population have tested their resolve to sustain a successful enterprise.
That’s where setting up shop in an area full of other entrepreneurs has its advantages. “You are part of this big tourism movement,” says Adam, citing the support they have received from other organizations in the region. In just a
few years, the business has blossomed to include the original chocolate shop, two ice cream shop locations, online ordering, pop-up events, and distribution at locations around the province.