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Dream Comes True Part 2 - Hot Fudge Opens at Montreal Eaton Centre

October 01, 2012

I met Joey Labrecque approximately 10 years ago, when he began working for his father's company Bizou. At the time, Joey was young, polite and extremely hard working. I would have been hard pressed to find a more kind hearted person than Joey. His father, who I hold in very high regard, entrusted me with the responsibility of training Joey in all facets of the retail shopping centre business. Joey was a quick learner and it did not take him long before his knowledge of this side of the business was extensive.

Skip forward seven years, and Joey decided he was ready to leave the family nest and create his own business. I recall sitting with him approximately two and a half years ago when he unveiled his plans to open retail chain specializing in the sale of branded fashion accessories. He felt that there was a tremendous void in this category, and he had developed a concept that would not only fill it, but had the potential to be something truly special. His vision was to open only in Quebec's top 10 super regional centres. More specifically he indicated that his concept was created with three malls in mind: Montreal Eaton Centre, Carrefour Laval, and Promenades Saint Bruno. At this time Joey informed me that he began to assemble a small team to work on this project and invited me to participate. And that's how Hot Fudge was born (OK there's a little more to the story and one day when I write my book, I'll elaborate further).

Earlier this year, part 1 of Joey's dream was realized when Hot Fudge opened at Promenades Saint Bruno. Notwithstanding, Joey realized that parts 2 & 3 were truly the feature acts. And in this regard, I am so pleased and proud to announce that Hot Fudge is now open at Montreal Eaton Centre. The store is 1150 sq.ft and is strategically situated at the 50 yard line of the metro level. The store looks fantastic (see attached photo). The design is the brainchild of Joey's talented designer Frederic Bernier. Please consider that I am not just biased with my compliments on the design, and in this regard, I am thrilled to announce that Hot Fudge has been nominated by the International Council of Shopping Centres in the Best Store Design category. Pretty impressive for a small chain based in Sainte Marie de Beauce.

I'd like to offer my thanks to Eric Fortier for all of his efforts, help, and patience in completing this transaction. Eaton Centre is the 2nd Hot Fudge store that Eric and I have concluded (Les Rivieres was the first). As I have previously written, Eric is a star in the making, and Ivanhoe should strap a rocket on his back and promote him soon. Further on a side note, Eric and his wife are shortly expecting their 2nd child and I want to offer them an early, and very heartfelt congratulations.

As most of you know, Montreal Eaton Centre is the #2 mall in the province of Quebec in terms of sales psf; sales are an impressive $690 psf. With respect to traffic, MEC boasts over 27 million annual visitors, which ranks #1 in the province. MEC is owned by Ivanhoe Cambridge.

Hot Fudge now operates 5 store and there's more to come.

Stay tuned for more Hot Fudge updates next month, including Dreams Come The Finale - Carrefour Laval.

For additional information on Hot Fudge, please visit their website at www.hotfudge.com.