The Short and the Sweet
When a passion for creativity meets chocolate – now that’s Sweet.
Sweet Lake of the Woods Chocolate Shop opened their doors in May of 2017 and quickly took the Kenora region by storm. Their small-batch gourmet chocolates are individually crafted daily without mass production, assembly lines, or added preservatives – only indulgence at every bite. Customers from near and far have come to love the handmade chocolates, truffles, gift baskets, and everything else sweet.
Owner and operator Alexis Pernsky, a life-long lover of all things chocolate, is passionate about making all moments a little sweeter. She believes in celebrating life and pursuing joy in any given situation, regardless of occasion. From the way the chocolates are presented in wrapping or gift boxes to the savoury first bite, every item that comes out of her small Kenora kitchen is infused with love, care, and consideration.
My Journey to Sweet
I was born and raised in Kenora by generations of hard-working entrepreneurs. At the age of 12, I purchased a seasonal bakery located on the Harbourfront in Kenora where I sold a collection of homemade muffins, cookies, ice cream, and drinks. I operated it for four years from June to September and sold the business at the age of 16. Some say Sweet was in my DNA.
Fast forward a few years and a university degree, I worked a number of jobs and while I really loved a handful of them, I just wasn’t meant to be working toward someone else’s dream.
As my two young daughters became more independent, I began to day dream about what I want to be when I grow up.
I was jotting down potential careers every single day – all the while my mom and I would joke about opening our own chocolate shop. In the beginning it was an excuse to eat more chocolate and enter every chocolate shop on our travels as “research and development,” but it was never something we really dove into.
As my career list was becoming a little more...eclectic, I kept joking that we should do it. After some research, I learned that the industry has chocolate themed holidays all year, so business wouldn’t rely entirely on tourism like many in our region. Trends were showing that artisan chocolate shops were on the rise, but there was nothing like that around here. At this point I kept daydreaming, kept joking, and kept eating chocolate.
It wasn’t until one of the cutest buildings in Kenora became vacant, it was a perfect fit, it was Sweet. My business was formed on paper in January 2017 and we opened our doors on May 11, 2017. I took a few courses in Montreal and Buffalo, hired an amazing team, and started working around the clock making handcrafted chocolates and sweets that people could share with those they love.
I am so lucky to have the best customers in the world, the greatest team who works so hard to make all of our treats, and my amazing circle of support. My mom who helps in the kitchen, keeps me going, and keeps the retail space looking amazing. My dad who keeps an ongoing list of things that need repair, moving, picking up, delivering, and photographing. My brother, my in-laws, my favourite Aunties ;), and the most incredible family of friends that are always around for moral support and advice. My wonderful husband Rich, who keeps our home (and me) sane – he supports our business by supporting our home life every single day. Lastly my two daughters, Anna and Miriam, who are always there to make days sweeter and eat the ‘Flooreos.’
Thanks for keeping my life so sweet,