Women of Distinction Magazine

Women of Distinction Magazine, December 2015 issue

 Listen to Ingrid's interview with Women of Distinction Magazine

(Ingrid is on the front cover of the issue)

One day a customer came into the Swiss-Master Chocolatier store and after looking around and asking some questions disclosed that she was a publisher visiting from New York and would love to write an article about Ingrid. At the time Ingrid did not think she was serious, but in the end, not only did she write an article about Ingrid, but also put her on the front cover of the magazine!

(Magazine available only in the United States)

Growing up in the Swiss town of Lucerne, Ingrid Läderach Steven never thought of becoming a chocolate store owner, even though she would eventually graduate from the prestigious Richemont Centre of Excellence culinary school in Lucerne. …. Ingrid actually made quite a detour. As a teen, she had the voice of an opera singer (plus an IQ of 180) that earned her two scholarships to the well-known Randell School (Denver, CO) by way of Dr. Antonia Brico, the famous conductor of the Denver Businessmen’s Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Brico persuaded Ingrid’s parents to let her go to Denver and study-music with her. (There was even an Oscar-nominated documentary made about Dr. Brico called ‘Antonia: A Portrait of the Woman’ with a big picture of Ingrid shown hanging on the wall.)

She convinced Ingrid’s parents that Ingrid had unbelievably great talent and that it would be a shame not to nurture this. …. This opportunity led to singing tours all over the United States and appearances on TV, all of which began to open up a whole new world for Ingrid. ....But from Ingrid’s perspective, “Being in a strange country with a stranger and not speaking the language was a real challenge. …. However, everywhere I went, I found people who inspired me intellectually, as well as emotionally. I studied hard both at school and with my music.”

Ingrid slowly adjusted to her new life. It wasn’t easy living with a famous, demanding artist like Dr. Brico, but Ingrid felt she had to persevere. … “After all, where could I possibly go?” (She kept thinking in her mind.) …Ingrid and Dr. Brico traveled a lot and stayed with many famous people... “My favorite place was California. We were personal guests of Sir Adrian Boult and the famed pianist Leonard Fleischer, who performed at the Hollywood Bowl. I was totally in awe; not just by their performance, but by the standing ovations they received. Sitting there under the stars as ‘special guests’ and listening to the beautiful music was magical.”

While Ingrid felt lucky to be in ‘this world’, it still wasn’t what she truly wanted in life. She wanted to ‘have a family, a home, and a permanent address’. So the following summer, Dr. Brico sent Ingrid home to her parents (who by then moved to Toronto, Ontario to stay with Ingrid’s aunt) for six weeks while she traveled to Lambarene, South Africa to visit with Dr. Albert Schweitzer, the famous doctor and humanitarian (who sent a greeting to Ingrid with the message, ‘To the little girl with the voice of an angel…’). …During her time ‘at home’ with her parents in Toronto, Ingrid decided to return to Denver in an effort to make her parents proud. But at such a young age, that way of life became increasingly harder for her; and in her own way, Ingrid started to rebel. …“Instead of going to school, I would go to the movies and sleep, as school during the day and music in the evenings left few hours for sleep. This-movie-place-to-sleep was my perfect solution to catch up on some much needed sleep. I still kept up with my studies though, and continued to get unusually high marks; so there was no problem there. However, Dr. Brico started to sense my uneasiness and unhappiness and was none too pleased. After all, I was her prodigy whom she wanted to continue to nurture, and she saw a very great musical future for me.

Life continued to become very tense though; so in my immaturity, I planned to run away. I dressed very warmly and started on my trip to ‘nowhere’. I walked and walked, and then got cold, so I turned back. I then wrote my parents that I wanted to go home and made all sorts of deals with them in the hope that they would ‘magically appear and take me away.” …Yet nothing happened, and Ingrid felt trapped. So one day, feeling so sad, she ransacked Dr. Brico’s medicine cabinet in the hope that some pills would help ‘ease the emotional pain she felt’. …“I was rushed to the hospital where I ended up in a coma for two weeks. When I came to, I had to learn to walk and talk again. In a way, it was as if I was reborn. It was a very slow recovery process.” …Unfortunately, her vocal chords were damaged as well and Ingrid could no longer sing the way she used to. “My parents were summoned to get me and when I was well enough to travel, we left. We settled in Toronto in what I guess started to become as normal a life as possible.” However, when one door closes, another one opens… “I then met Tom Steven, the man who would change my life forever. What touched me about Tom was his kindness and honesty. And he was good looking to boot! But I knew he was the right man for me when he picked me up one evening in his car to go to a dance. He abruptly stopped the car, ran across the street, and helped a handicapped and partially-blind person cross the street. He then got back into the car without saying anything and continued driving. To say I was overwhelmed, is putting it mildly. I was hooked full line and sinker. I knew then he would make a wonderful husband and a great father.”... And with her singing career behind her, Ingrid went back to her other passion (cooking).

In 1985, she founded Swiss- Master Chocolatier; an upscale chocolate shop selling “Beautiful Chocolates to Beautiful People”, including some of the most wealthiest and influential people in Canada. ...Ingrid imports some 60 high-quality Swiss truffles, pralines, and many other products directly from Switzerland. As an “active owner”, she is at the store every working day and is responsible for everything it takes to operate the retail shop, like working with suppliers in Switzerland (arranging for shipments, customs (duties), translations, and negotiations; and handling the customers, staff, and décor. ….Aside from the chocolate, what is “beautiful” about the store and has made it so successful is the interaction between human beings. She finds herself talking to and comforting people almost every day. … “It’s not just about the chocolate. It’s also about the people. There are so many lonely people out there who need to talk. I feel it is important to treat customers the way you want to be treated. I have a fantastic and consistent product at all times, but I also try to make customers feel a little bit better when they leave the store. We should never lose sight of the fact that we are human beings (not machines or robots); and we must treat each other with respect, honesty, and care.” … Clearly, Ingrid is doing something right, as Swiss-Master Chocolatier is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year with a congratulatory message from the Prime Minister of Canada. The store has also been awarded “Retailer of the Year” by the Toronto Chamber of Commerce and has received mass recognition from the Canadian and (even the) Swiss media; and at public events. Her greatest joy is spending time with her family. Ingrid and Tom have two beautiful daughters and four amazing grandchildren.

“They are the icing on the cake of life.”


"Retail is theater, especially upscale retail, and Swiss-Master plays it well..."

"... Läderach Steven helped defined the magic of upscale chocolates in Canada during the eighties, competing easily against inexpensive products that rely heavily on tropical oils, trans and hydrogenated fats, sugar, and glitz...It will be interesting to now watch her struggle for a competitive position with higher prices ...as we continue with the brutal recession nineties..."

"...all in all, she has the potential of becoming the most influential chocolate force in Canada. Läderach-Steven has an ability which very few chocolateurs begin to possess...quite abnormal talent for superbness...and it raises her shop above others...She also seems to be prepared to take risks based on her own thinking, which often differs from the norm..."

"...Swiss-Master, unlike many chocolate shops, has been able to thrive in a tough demanding market, through downturns, recessions, and onslaught of competition. Why? . . . "

Feb 2016: Rogers TV “Producer” interviewing Ingrid, including a special interview with Myra Maislin Mann who together with her late-husband, Oscar winning writer and producer Abby Mann, were recipients of Emmy and Golden Globe awards. Myra generously let us not only display these awards at our 30th anniversary party, but allowed our guest to have their pictures taken with them... a once in a life time opportunity, thank you!

Ingrid being interviewed for Global TV News, 12 Dec 2014

Global TV National News, October 2013

Ingrid is a graduate of the famous

Global TV (August 2012) ..Ingrid gives personal
views on need to enforce driver-rules to pull
over for emergency vehicles ..reflecting on
her own life and being picked up by ambulance
some 12 times ..actually probably even more!

Daughter “Jasmin” talks about her business

Entrepreneurship with Evan Kosiner

July 18/11 .."Swiss-Master Chocolatier and Ingrid" chosen as "Poster Child" for federal government’s announcement
of new Pension Plan for small businesses... with Jim Menzies making announcement ..and our MP John Carmichael introducing him

Ottawa launches final push for new pension option... reported on in most newspapers across Canada as well as most TV stations.
Here is just a bit of the coverage (July 18, 2011)

Ted Menzies, federal Secretary of State for Finance, speaks with Ingrid Laederach Steven in the Swiss-Master Chocolatier. Menzies (together with MP John Carmichael)
on Monday spoke about Ottawa's proposed solution to the pension crisis, the Pooled Registered Pension Plan.

DINE MAGAZINE .."Sara Waxman tastes and tells"

Cash TV (Switzerland) segment on Swiss Master Chocolatier
...aired June 26th, 2011
Click here to view the interview with Ingrid Laderach of Swiss Master Chocolatier on YouTube.

Ming Pao... two of 3 full pages about our 25th anniversary

from Snap North Toronto 25th Anniversary party

An early career disappointment and severe health challenges could not stop this incredible woman from living a life filled with joy, gratitude and success. Meet Ingrid Laederach Steven, owner of Swiss Master Chocolatier. Her incredible journey and message will make you "Believe" that anything is possible.

Second BiographyTV appearance July 2007
Changing-Lives .."People living deeply have no fear of death!"

Post Magazine October 2008
A Taste of Heaven near The Bridle Path
..23rd anniversary

Rose’s Picks: visions of truffles will dance in your head

Daytime Toronto TV Rogers, Feb 2008

Sing Tao Daily Jan 30 2008

Global News - Easter 2008

Toronto Star Feb 13 2002
Valentine article on Swiss-Master "Most Popular Chocolatier in Town" "...she is not in the chocolate business, rather she is in the magic moment business, providing magical moments of delight and sensual escape...the best and sweetest lady... always feel right at home......It's motto, "Beautiful Chocolate for Beautiful People" shines through in the service and packaging they offer, no matter who's buying or how much they're spending..."

..above with editor Sybille Forester-Rentmeister SOCCER FEVER ..Echo Germanica Aug 07 Book launch by James McCreath... beautiful people mixed and mingled with friends and industry people. We enjoyed especially running into Ingrid Läederach Steven

Swiss-Master Chocolatier is my number one chocolate shop for the perfect gift and to cater to our cravings. The "chocolate pizza" is by far the finest indulgence one can experience.
Definitely heavenly!

GlobalTV interviews Ingrid on chocolate as a healthy-choice food (February 27, 2006) News reported: new research shows consumption of chocolate, especially dark chocolate, decreases risk of disease, and can let you live longer … scientists found men who consume the most cocoa had 50% lower risk of dying from disease because. .
(People in Switzerland called to say they also saw this interview on Switzerland TV)

..the key to the store’s success .. is to making her products "a little bit more special" ..with even pictures on chocolate bars

Ingrid on Canada AM TV again, third time, to show how to make her famous Chocolate Mouse. May 2007

click to enlarge
Biography Channel, June 2007
Entrepreneurs ..some of most successful in Canada.
10 minute life profile of Ingrid

MingPao Daily News
Feb 10, 2007

Town Crier, November 2005

“Daytime Toronto” ..repeated during end of November 2005“ Liz is at Swiss-Master gorging on chocolate .. yes I (Myrocia) know Ingrid ..when I did my very first story on ‘Shop Toronto’ and Swiss-Master was Viewer’s-Choice”!

more.. “Daytime Toronto” November 2005 Ingrid with reporter Liz Stembridge”

Bayview Post Magazine, October 2005
“Swiss-Master Chocolatier is
celebrating 20 years of sweet success”

Global News TV Easter 2005

Omni TV . . . Valentines 2005
“Sooo, Ingrid tell us what makes
your boutique so special?”

CTV CFTO-News Valentine 2004
"We expect wall-to-wall men
with lineups around the corner
. . .and our staff just loves it"

“Chocolate Shock” CBC-Newsworld …repeated for two-weeks
Valentine 2004, across Canada, …in English and French.
“…the difference is that in Switzerland fine chocolate
is not a luxury but is part of our everyday culture…
We have a very big influx of Asians and Russians lately
who love our chocolate…We shouldn’t need a special day to show
our feelings and love…Let the power of chocolate seduce you”

+ Also parts of this shown Valentine’s week 2007

Swiss-Master: major sponsor at the
2004 Canadian Entertainment Network Awards

no longer available
“…make your guests feel as if they
are the main attraction by giving
them a chocolate Oscar from Swiss-
Master chocolatier…” Toronto Sun,
March 22, 2003

MoneyWise Global-TV and
Prime Business National TV
Easter April 17 & 18, 2003
"...not all bunnies are created
equal...business is really
hopping at Swiss-Master"

Our Choo-Choo train window display
as seen on Rogers TV network
shown through December 2003
before Christmas Day

CTV News --live on the scene
"We had a break-in at
Swiss-Master last night"

Canada AM 2006
"I love being at the boutique as I find
selling chocolates is like selling pure joy. . ."

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yoursourceCandianLifestyle, Holiday 2001

Tuesday, April 18th, 2000
Swiss-Master caters to chocolate lovers
Swiss-Master Chocolatier is a tiny but very successful boutique that has made a splash in the upscale and demanding area around Bayview, The Bridle Path, and Post Road. It also offers one of the nicest shopping experiences in Toronto. . .Proof of success includes deliveries to the Queen Mother and the Pope's entourage. And would you believe Swiss-Master even delivered to the space shuttle Discovery, providing chocolate for the astronauts’ preflight dinner? . . .Owner Läderach-Steven says she launched the boutique as a "keep busy" venture with Mel Lastman’s wife, Marilyn Lastman, but quickly decided to buy Lastman out and make the boutique the very best. . .That was almost 15 years ago, and since then she has managed to work on the inner passion most of us have for chocolate. And she has done it well. . .In fact, last year the tiny boutique’s success was recognized with a 1999 Retailer of the Year award handed out by North York Chamber of Commerce. . .

MoneyWise Global-TV and
Prime Business National TV
Valentine February 13, 2003
"...only word I can say is it's
bedlam...wall to wall men
inside the store, outside, and
around the corner"

repeated through December 2002
"...I may have wandered into
the heart of Switzerland...almost
everything here is straight from
Switzerland, including Ingrid"

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Ming Pao, March 31, 2002 Sunday Supplement. . . editorial on Wedding Favours (we hope to get a translation soon)

Sing Tao, February 13, 2001

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Ming Pao Saturday Magazine
In Style, May 1999
In Style Magazine, May 1999
TurningPoint: Life changing medical issues Dec 13, 2010

The beautiful little chocolate shop is tucked into a strip mall in one of Toronto’s most exclusive neighbourhoods. On the front door is a sign that reads, "I Believe ...that you can keep going long after you think you can’t." The author of the quote is unknown, but it is the mantra of the owner, a woman as beautiful as the perfect, tasty chocolates she has sold for the last twenty-five years. When you first meet Ingrid Laederach Steven you would never know the traumatic turning points that have shaped her life. All you see is a beautiful woman radiating inner peace and dispensing wonderful bits of advice along with her decadent chocolates. You would never know that her dream of becoming a professional opera singer had been dashed at the age of eighteen when she damaged her vocal chords. ...Trying to build a new future with her husband Tom, she went into cardiac arrest on a plane high above the corn fields of Nebraska. Ingrid hadn’t been feeling well and a well meaning Flight Attendant gave her some oxygen. But the effects of the altitude and great amounts of extra oxygen made her heart stop. There was a doctor on board the plane that day and while the pilots worked on making an emergency landing Ingrid fought to stay alive. She remembers looking at her distraught husband and thinking, "He’ll be OK, he’s young. He can marry again." Once the plane was on the ground they raced to the hospital. Ingrid remembers coming out of the haze and hearing one of the doctors shout, "She’s back — we’ve got her!" It was a close call but as she recuperated at home her medical issues continued. ...While trying to restore her health and start a family Ingrid suffered seven miscarriages. These were dark moments for Ingrid but she knew that life would get better. "I kept persevering," Ingrid says, "I kept telling myself, it’s going to happen — it’s going to happen." That positive attitude has served Ingrid well over the years... She opened up Swiss Master Chocolatier in Toronto and has been selling "Beautiful Chocolate to Beautiful People" for the last twenty five years. It’s not uncommon to see Hollywood celebrities in her shop along with thousands of people who have discovered the mouth watering joy chocolate brings. Presidents, royalty, a pope and astronauts have all nibbled her amazing truffles and treats. Through all of life’s setbacks and severe health challenges, Ingrid’s philosophy remains sunny and as sweet as her chocolate. "I tell people not to give up. Things do get better. You can have dreams but don’t make them too far out of reach so you can’t attain them. You have to be realistic but good things do happen." As you read Ingrid’s story, the "I Believe" sign on her front door takes on a new meaning. Remember the seven miscarriages? Ingrid refused to be defeated and finally gave birth to two beautiful daughters. Her two girls grew up and presented Ingrid and Tom with four grandchildren to spoil and love. "Every day I realize I’m lucky. So lucky." But for us looking in on Ingrid’s life we realize we’re the lucky ones. She’s shown us that not all turning points in life are happy ones but with a little dose of optimism, hope — and a few chocolates — we can all "Believe". By writer and TV broadcaster Teresa Kruze tkruze@rogers.com

Bayview Post .. A taste of Heaven near The Bridle Path

Town Crier ...April 2010

Town Crier ...April 2010 ..Grown-ups can indulge in shop’s bunnies for all ages .. It’s that craving that keeps the shop going over the years
by Joshua Freeman

Deutsche Presse Nov/10 "Local Business Celebrates Well Earned 25th Anniversary ...Just north of the BridlePath/PostRd is a tiny boutique offering one of the nicest shopping experiences in Toronto ..a comfort place for those who have worked hard, succeeded and now want to enjoy one of the niceties life has to offer ...Ingrid prides that her chocolates have become part of a "magic moment" and "healing process" for many, bringing emotional satisfaction as well as playing an important part in courtships and endless parties and celebrations... Proof of success includes deliveries to the Queen Mother, the Pope, our Prime Ministers, President of the U.S., many Hollywood and world Celebrities — even the Space Shuttle Discovery ...Her truffles and pralines are not made-special-for-export as is the case for many importers. ..the shop provides an emotional uplift and sensual escape ..takes straight aim at the rich and famous and fussy

www.postcity.com 8/10

Ingrid and her dog televised on CTV TV 2010 "commercial" for Carabana parade

Bayview Post Magazine 12/09

. . .Our slogan is “Beautiful Chocolates for Beautiful People,” and yes our sales have been driven feverishly by a “ravaging youth and beauty” clientele hell-bent on action. But we have as well a sizable quieter clientele that is doing its best to simply enjoy life. Plus our store and the gift-giving of our chocolates have become part of a magical healing process for many in their struggles of everyday life, helping people emerge from bleakness and lifting self-esteems, as well as an important part in their celebrations of “joys in their lives” especially “courtships in life” — and truth-be-told we are probably also an important part of the “devil take my soul” crowd, like those “messing around,” as we get regular visits from long-stretched-limos with mysterious passengers behind tinted windows.

. . . with the “graying of society” retailing requirements are changing in big ways and those retailers who embrace this with a positive and creative force will begin to gain the most. That is, sales that have been driven feverishly by “ravaging youth and beauty” over the past few generations will now have to slowly start to also focus on an “aging population with lots of money to spend that is simply doing its best to stay alive, active, and happy.” And we believe that Swiss-Master seems to unpretentiously fit this new gentle graying-society focus. . .

SING TAO, MAY 10, 2000

"... Swiss-Master has brought to the magical chocolate business ... a genuine feeling that you can actually buy something magical ..."
The Toronto Star
click to enlarge
The Toronto Star
(Now we know the secret
to Mono Lisa's smile!)

…see "Recipes" web-page for how
to make Ingrid's "Chocolate Mousse"

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Das Echo November 2005

Bayview residents Ingrid and Tom Steven reached for their sweet goal in 1984 when they opened their chocolate shop in 1984…and later in Hong Kong. In 1998 the Post featured their story…Today Ingrid says that the important thing in any relationship is that both people must have big hearts. He’s a wonderful father and a caring father…He has all the characteristics that you’d want in a partner. He’s just as kind and gentle now as he was then. Bayview City Magazine….February 2004
Women & Business April/May 1987
"Launching a Sweet Success"

Lots of media coverage also in 1980s

THE TORONTO STAR - March 30,1988

"Here's to love, chocolate,
and the time to enjoy them!"

Toronto Sun

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Toronto Sun

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Sing Tao Daily
February 12, 2001

click to get full contest page
Win a Day of Beauty' with Disney's "Beauty and the Beast"...with Swiss-Master Chocolatier chocolates as one of the prizes...
The Toronto Star contest, May 27, 2001

Another one of our suppliers of fresh-
cream-truffles and pralines
Aeschbach Chocolatier, Zug

Chocolatier Magazine, January 1987

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Canada's "Sweetheart" figure skater Josée Chouinard tapes a TV episode on Swiss-Master Chocoaltier, October 2002

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Sing Tao ... Swiss -Master "Year of the Tiger" truffles

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"The 600 year-old
legendary... BASLER LECKERLI
cookies Made for Switzerland's
'Beautiful People'
Now enjoyed the world over"


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Bayview Post, December 2002

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Ming Pao December 07, 2002



Thanks to customer praises... THE MEDIA HAS HAD A LOT TO SAY ABOUT US


Beautiful Chocolates for Toronto's Beautiful People
Deutsche Press
December 2, 2012

Ingrid Läderach Steven opened her Swiss-Master Chocolatier shop some 27 years ago and built it on her love for her "Switzerland." The shop is on Bayview just north of TheBridlePath/PostRd. Some 14 years ago she also opened a shop in Hong Kong in partnership with an owner of a private family bank ..that gave her more than a billion dollars backing. The plan was also to start tackling the Chinese market. The business went fantastic until SARS slowly became a killer and she was forced to close down ..although about a year later the HK economy began to boom again. "But!" Ingrid said "that's how things sometimes go, beyond our control!" From day one her theme was "Beautiful Chocolates for Beautiful People" ..with "beauty" defined by what's inside people's hearts. She also knew well that while everyday-sales pay for the bills, it is the big-volume-sales that will make a business successful ..and she achieved this by supplying lots of parties in her area and big corporations ..where CEO's saw her chocolate-excellence as a reflection of their own excellence. And with her "Beautiful" theme she attracted unbelievable attention also from celebrities, and lots of visiting athletes, singers, Hollywood people, President Bill Clinton, our Prime Minister ..even the Pope when he came to town ..anddd also when Playboy Club came to put on a big party here and asked for customized PLAYBOY truffle for the event. And for sure her store became Santa's favourite place to shop.

Ingrid also knew from day one that her biggest competition would come from "sweetened-cheap-fats with tiny bit of REAL chocolate" ..mostly trans and hydrogenated-fats that medical people love to call "diarrhea heartstoppers"! But Ingrid is proud of the fact that her clientele did know the healthy-choice difference, as they were some of Canada's most intelligent, most influential and wealthiest.

Ingrid above all "loves people" and on her 25th store anniversary she had a huge party in front of the store, with a tent and a 20-piece Swiss "Canadysli" band playing through the event. And there was lots of prizes, a clown, a Swiss Bernard dog, and lots of media coverage, including a lengthy coverage by "Rogers TV" that was repeated for almost a month. And she still continues to get lots of news-clip coverage these days, with some four TV "feature" appearances just now recently (some 7 to 9 minutes each), with one also on Swiss Cash TV News (in Switzerland) not long ago ..and she attributes this to her wonderful customers spreading-the-word and her Swiss-chocolate excellence. And just weeks ago she went to Switzerland to present a "50th corporate anniversary-congratulations from our PM Steven Harper" to her uncle at his new "Läderach Chocolatier" plant ..with lots of media coverage there, including just-out-now a write up with a picture of her in the famous Sweets Global Network international magazine.

And yes the recent economic downward disasters have had a big affect on her business, she says, just like with all other businesses. But business is slowly bouncing back thankfully to fact Canada survived the crash better than others around the world, Ingrid says. And just last year she was even chosen as "Canada's Poster Child" for small business pensions ..that gave her more unbelievable media coverage across Canada and even in the EU, and around the world as PM Stephen Harper started to then talk about his new pension plan on his visits. Ingrid's journey in life started in Switzerland and then she went on to Denver to study opera under Dr. Antonia Brico ..a famous conductor, whom even Judy Collins made an "Oscar nominated movie" about. Her opera performances took her through the U.S. but got interrupted by a throat virus and a coma, that stopped her career. Not long after that she came visiting Toronto and ended up getting married (to Tom) After numerous serious pregnancy problems she was blessed with two beautiful daughters and then four grandchildren. She discussed her life on two Biography TV episodes and several magazine articles ..and even Opera wanted to talk with her about-her-pregnancy-journeys on TV, as "an inspiration to others struggling to become mothers" ..but a health problem put a halt to that.

Looking back on life Ingrid summarizes her "survival" with these words: Our "haves" are few and they are easily met! ..and we are "happy, as it is what you do with what you've got" that counts! ..with reality also that it is one's health and family that plays the most important roles in life!"

Ted Menzies, federal Secretary of State for Finance, speaks with Ingrid Laederach Steven in the Swiss-Master Chocolatier. …here are a few selections from many newspapers across Canada as well as TV stations.
Toronto Star
July 18, 2011

..."I wish there was something like this 26 years ago," said Swiss chocolate retailer Ingrid Laederach-Steven when a reporter quickly outlined the general concept before Menzies's mid-day address. Menzies told Laederach-Steven and a small clutch of onlookers that the "sweet" idea with an ungainly name-pooled registered pension plans-is a top priority for governments across the country.
by Keith Beaty

Provinces set to endorse pooled pension plans Legislation would allow privately administered programs with options
Financial Post; Postmedia News
July 19, 2011

...Speaking Monday at Swiss-Master Chocolatier in Toronto, Menzies said PRPPs will for "the very first time" provide access to employer pensions for the 60 per cent of workers in small and medium businesses that currently have no such plan. ..."It's going to be a very welcome thing because there are so many different small businesses: retailers, restaurants, farmers and so on. I only wish this had been done 25 years ago, because that's how long we've been here."
by Jonathan Chevreau

Compelling advantages of PRPPs: Menzie
Financial Post
July 19, 2011

Minister of State (Finance) Ted Menzies tours a chocolate shop after announcing a federal pooled pension program for small business. When it comes to small businesses, it doesn't get much smaller than a tiny chocolate shop in a suburban strip mall. Swiss-Master Chocolatier, located at the corner of Toronto's Bayview and York Mills Yet the shop was chosen as the poster child for Ottawa's new Pooled Registered Pension Plans or PRPPs. On a sweltering mid-July Monday, federal and local politicians put the spotlight on the shop's proprietor, Ingrid Laederach Steven, whose great uncle started the business in the 1930s.

Ms. Steven had "no idea" why Minister of State (Finance) Ted Menzies singled her out. "When they called I thought it was an audit." At the end, when the cabinet minister bought a bag of chocolates, she drew laughs when she charged HST and declared it was "for the government."

Ms. Steven wishes PRPPs had been around 25 years ago, when she took over the business. Asked if she would offer this new pension plan to her employees, she said "If I feel it's something that would benefit them, then absolutely. It's going to be a very welcome thing."

She couldn't resist pointing out "it's a sweet story." ...As Menzies made his chocolate purchase, I asked him about the costs of PRPPs. "The administrative cost to set it up will be very low because it will be provided by a plan provider." Indicating Ms. Steven, he said "Ingrid as an employer will simply have the same process as deducting for the Canada Pension Plan. It has to remain simple for employers to adopt it." ALSO ON CBC TV WEBSITE
by Jonathan Chevreau

Financial Post
July 18, 2011

TORONTO — All the provinces are on board with the idea of providing small and medium businesses with Pooled Registered Pension Plans and of moving forward with enabling legislation as soon as possible, Minister of State (Finance) Ted Menzies said Monday. ...The venue for the announcement in Toronto — a Swiss-Master Chocolatier — is an example of how pensions could be set up for the tiniest of businesses.

Speech by the Honourable Ted Menzies, Minister of State (Finance), Delivered at Swiss Master Chocolatier
by Jonathan Chevreau

Montreal Gazette

Eager to promote his government's private pension scheme, Ted Menzies, minister of state for finance, headed to Toronto this week. His first stop was Swiss Master Chocolatier, an upscale boutique... It is Menzies's job to convince Canadians it is a "sweet" idea.
by Carol Goar

Swiss-Master interview
680 AM Radio
March 2010

Easter Sunday is just around the corner and that means kids and adults are loking forward to the chocolate egg. 680's Eva Fragiskatos has some tips from an expert Chocolatier... on how parents can make their own Easter treats at home...

Swiss-Master Chocolatier
Toronto Life

As you’d expect from the Swiss, the quality at this 22 year old outlet is extremely high, with tantalizing array of fresh cream truffles from the best of the country’s chocolatier... In the warmer months the store’s live-culture frozen yogurt is a soothing treat...

Post Magazine, Valentine’s Day Love-In
July 2008

As you’d expect from the Swiss, the quality at this 22 year old outlet is extremely high, with tantalizing array of fresh cream truffles from the best of the country’s chocolatier. — In the warmer months the store’s live-culture frozen yogurt is a soothing treat...

CBC 99.1 FM
Matt Galloway radio show
February 11, 2008

.. great shop for truffles is Swiss-Master Chocolatier — when you have a good truffle you think you died and went to heaven!

Bayview Post
February 2008

THERE IS ONLY one place in Toronto to get the most decadent, delicious and sensual truffles. Swiss-Master Chocolatier... has the only chocolates worthy splurging on. Inexpensive products that hide tropical oils, trans and hydrogenated fats, excess sugar and unnecessary calories are no match for these chocolates made with only the finest ingredients — Ingrid Läderach Steven has become one of the most influential chocolate forces — dare I say — in Canada. Number one on my list are the "fresh cream" truffles similar to shops in Switzerland. Her truffles are flown in regularly from Switzerland and she ships them all over world. A great Valentine’s Day gift for everyone! — Rose Reisman

York Mills mall a gourmet shopping experience
Baview-Mills Town Crier
December 2007

I’ve whizzed by the York Mills Shopping Centere before but haven’t had the chance to explore it until an early afternoon, when Ingrid Läederach Steven, owner of Swiss-Master Chocolatier invited me to her tiny shop... wow! ..Watching the well-dressed ladies glide from store to store .. I can tell this is a high-end mall catering to the Bridlepath residents... Ingrid is known not only for the chocolates — brut also for her generosity of spirit... the Late Harvest Champagne truffles are dreamy beyond belief... Kelly Gadzala

Chocolate Shop Defines Toronto in a "Beautiful People Way"
Deutsche Presse
March 2007

Just north of The Bridle Path is a boutique that has become famous in Toronto .. deliveries include to the Queen Mother, the Pope, our Prime Minister, President of the United States, and lots of Hollywood celebrities and sports celebrities, even to the Space Shuttle Discovery for a preflight dinner...

Human Rights Watch newsletter

We are also grateful to Ingrid Steven of Swiss-Master Chocolatier for donating Swiss chocolate gold bars for all our guests this evening.

OPMA 2007 Gala newsletter
In support of Heart & Stroke and Canadian Cancer Society

What treat could be more fitting for our VIP guests than the finest chocolates. Ingrid has been making people feel beautiful ever since she opened her shop in the upscale TheBridlePath are ..one taste of these chocolate masterpieces and you’ll know why... she has shipped her truffles to the Queen Mother, the Pope, Canadian Prime Minister, the US President and Hollywood starlets...

Front page: displayed during 3 months of summer
(one of most popular websites in Switzerland)
June 2007

Small profile of Ingrid Läderach Steven with comments on Switzerland: One of the top addresses is owned by Ingrid Läderach-Steven, a woman from central Switzerland who has become somewhat of a Toronto institution. She sells "beautiful chocolates for beautiful people" from her shop, Swiss Master Chocolatier, in the upscale Bridle Path neighbourhood .. The Canadian media have published and broadcast numerous reports about the shop, often asking Läderach-Steven for sweet tips at Easter and Christmas .. But even though she has become a minor Canadian celebrity, the woman ...remains Swiss at heart .. She moves in Toronto's Swiss circles, sponsoring events organised by the local Swiss club as well as taking part in their activities. However, she draws the line when it comes to exercising her right to vote in Switzerland .. "I love my homeland and as much as I am interested in what goes on there, I don't feel it is fair for me - after having been away for over 30 years - to contribute to what is happening in the country," Läderach-Steven says ..Her train of thought is interrupted time and again by people entering the tiny shop. She aims her seductive smile at the customers, gives advice, lovingly gift wraps small boxes of chocolate and concludes each sale as one would a friendship. It's her secret to success .. "There are some things I feel we should not have the right to anymore once we leave the country, [especially] when it comes to domestic issues," she adds. .. by Dale Bechtel

The Biography Channel - To be broadcast thoughout July
July 2007

Another new episode coming out in July ... that will include personal life profile of Ingrid Läderach Steven

Changing Lives ......Entrepreneurs ..some of most successful in Canada
The Biography Channel
June 2007

Broadcast thoughout June. A ten minute interview, life profile on Ingrid, about how she came to the U.S. to study voice, and how she ended up in Toronto, got married, had children, started a chocolate shop that is the best in Canada ..and her philosophy of running the shop and what made her such a great success ..and about "Beautiful Chocolates for Beautiful People" theme, etc.

Swiss-Master Chocolatier promotion
Nov-Dec 2006

CLICK HERE to hear promotion

Mom’s the Word
Hello! Magazine
May 14, 2007

Writer Rebecca Eckler presented her new book .. best-looking group of people I’ve ever seen at a book launch ..included Canadian-Idol judge -- and celebrity favourite Ingrid Läderach Steven

Chocolate Shop Defines Toronto in a "Beautiful People" Way
Success Magazine
Spring 2007

Just north of "The Bridle Path and Post Road" is a tiny boutique offering one of the nicest shopping experiences in Toronto. It prides itself on the words "Beautiful Chocolates for Beautiful People." Owner Ingrid Läderach Steven, though, explains her definition of Beautiful People is far deeper than outside beauty, and that she sees her shop as a place of comfort for those who have worked hard, succeeded, and now want to enjoy one of the niceties life has to offer. ..Ingrid also takes pride that her chocolates have become part of a "magical moment" and "healing process" for many, bringing emotional satisfaction — as well as playing an important part in courtships, and endless parties and celebrations .. Proof of success over 21 years includes deliveries to the Queen Mother, the Pope, our Prime Minster, the President of the United States, many Hollywood and world celebrities, sportspeople, and politicians -- even to the Space Shuttle Discovery for a preflight dinner .. And all this celebrity clientele has done much to continue define the shop in a "Beautiful People" way .. Ingrid says she gets lots of invites to celebrity-functions by way of customers, even three invitations to the Academy Awards ceremonies that included meeting stars backstage before the show, and at the famous Governor’s Ball after the show... Ingrid is proud that her fresh cream truffles and pralines are the very same as in the best chocolate shops in Switzerland, which is not easy given that the product is extremely perishable. The chocolates are not "made special for export" she emphasizes, as is the case with many imports. Plus she prides in telling her customers that, "for a price of locally-made chocolate you can buy at her shop some of the very best the world has to offer!" ..Ingrid has several suppliers in Switzerland, but most of the chocolates come from the family-owned Läderach Chocolatier, that supplies much of Switzerland and some of the best shops around the world. Founder, Rud Läderach, invented the "truffle shell" that revolutionized truffle-making, taking it out of an expensive, very labour intensive process. She points out, though, that most of her truffles and pralines are still hand-finished individually... When you walk into Swiss-Master you feel as if you are in Switzerland. And the impression one gets is that it is a lot more than just a "chocolate business" as it provides emotional uplift and sensual escape. It is decorated in old-continental style that "romanticizes" the products and services. And yes, it does take straight aim at a rich-and-famous-and-fussy clientele, with quiet emphasis on excellence at every turn. Ingrid believes strongly that, "to be good is not enough, if one aspires to be great!" No doubt this is what separates her from competition .. "What keeps sales busy much of the year is the endless parties and gift-giving" .. But she adds that the very busy times start in November when corporations begin ordering. Then the rush does not stop until after Easter. What adds another dimension is the sizable wealthy Jewish, Chinese, Russian, and Muslim clientele who have their own celebrations... The shop carries some 65 different "fresh cream" truffles and pralines flown in from Switzerland. At times the shop is so busy that lines form outside, "all the way around the corner occasionally," Ingrid laughs. You’ll sometimes even find famous celebrities waiting patiently in line, happily chatting with others. What also adds to the shopping experience is .. especially during the Toronto Film Festival, or when celebrities are in town or when there’s a big sports event. Singer Prince was a regular at the shop when he lived in Toronto. "He was an exceptionally gentle, warm person," Ingrid says. "At first he would come with his body guard, but then felt comfortable enough to come alone" .. Ingrid also explains her shop is a pleasure for her that’s more than a business, and that over the years she’s watched kids grow up in her store, and gone to their birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, weddings, even funerals. As she puts it, "I’ve helped many celebrate their joys of life and shared in their sadness of life" .. From 1998 to 2003 Ingrid also had a successful Swiss-Master Chocolatier boutique in the heart of the financial district in Hong Kong, with visions of expanding into China. But as the economy there took a dip, followed by SARS, she and her partners closed it down .. One can’t help but notice she’s also a "hugging" person, and people continually come for a hug and words of encouragement, without need to buy. It is things like this that define her as the nice person she is, and that define the store and clientele in a "Beautiful People" way. This alluring warmth has made Ingrid the most popular chocolatier in town, and continues to bless Swiss-Master with endless media attention, including recent TV coverage in Europe. Even when the shop had a robbery, CTV-News sent a crew to report on the event live. And just recently celebrity cookbook writer, Rose Reisman, chose to have her magazine front-cover picture taken at Swiss-Master .. Ingrid explains her need to connect in beautiful ways with people comes from her heart, by way of how her parents ran their tourist shops in the Swiss Alps and San Remo, Italy .. She also explains that she likes to think of her shop as a fairytale boutique that sells "love and happiness" by way of what scientists tell us is a healthy-choice product, unlike many other "chocolates made with vegetable trans and hydrogenated fats and a little bit of real chocolate" — what the industry calls "heart stoppers" and even "diarrhea chocolate." It’s this "healthy-choice customer trust" in her chocolates that’s become very important to her success. Astronaut Dr. Roberta Bondar said the chocolate she brought along for the night-before-flight dinner were not even tested, as the name "Swiss-Master Chocolatier" gave automatic trust .. One thing people look forward to is the shop’s pick for its own "Beautiful People of the Year" choice on its website, which gets almost a million "hits" a year. What’s especially heartwarming is the poem that comes with this theme, that reflect the outlook-on-life Ingrid seems to have, and it reads... In 1999 Ingrid received a "Retailer of the Year" award in a black-tie event before some 600 guests. In her speech she had many women in tears as she thanked her "Swiss Master," her husband .. The store celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2005, and there was a big party with tents and lots of samples and prizes, including a trip to Bermuda and a TagHeuer watch, and lots of people came to share in Ingrid’s celebration .. Ingrid looks to her husband, Tom, for support in the business. They are parents of daughters Jaclyn and Jasmin, and grandchildren Chloe and Connor. The daughters both worked many years at the store from the time they could stretch their necks around the showcase, and this is what has made it a family business. By: Suzanne Sharma

"Swiss-Master Chocolatier"
Treasures of Ontario (hard-cover book)
Summer 2006

Health studies show chocolate can bring on feelings similar to those when falling in love, especially sending females into emotional ecstasy. The very best chocolates can enhance that sensation .. like chocolate at Swiss-Master Chocolatier, located just up the street from Toronto’s ritzy The Bridle Path /Post Road area. Owner ...has the chocolates flown in... These fresh cream truffles and pralines burst in the mouth with exotic tastes and they are the very same as sold in the best boutiques in Switzerland and are not made special for export .. and they have a short shelf life... The shop operates in the Old-Continental tradition of personalize service and the staff is warm and friendly with special patience for indecisive shoppers. The store’s slogan is "Beautiful Chocolates for Beautiful People" and refers to more than the "inherent beauty in chocolate-lovers or clientele" that includes many of the wealthiest, most famous and fashionable people in Toronto and throughout North America. Every year the boutique draws special attention to its "Beautiful People of the Year," people whose beauty comes not from fashion but from humanitarian or life-saving work they perform. Normally the store has a leisurely pace, but holidays are hectic... the line to buy can extend down the block... BOOK by Morgan Chase Publishing Inc.

Star Gazing ..complete guide to spotting celebs
TV Guide
February 2006

...We attract celebrities when the film festival is on, when a show or performer is in town or when they are making a movie …. Prince used to drive up in a limo with his bodyguard, but now feels comfortable enough to drive up by himself or with his wife. Ingrid stresses she does not get ga-ga when someone important drops in ..and waits for them to start up a conversation. She described Jon Voigt as an exceptionally interesting and friendly person who picked up chocolates for the entire crew when he wrapped his last film. …by Stephanie Earp + Gred David

Historical Highlights
In The Spotlight
December 2005

Swiss-Master Chocolatier: A chocolate lover's dream. This award-winning chocolate boutique just celebrated its 20th anniversary and is famous throughout Toronto for its exquisite chocolate and scrumptious truffles. The shop's slogan "Beautiful Chocolates for Beautiful People" reflects its friendly staff and attention to details.

Happiness with Quality
Das Echo
December 2005

(translation) It has been 20 years that Swiss-Master was created at the corner of .. and for it not to be there is unthinkable. The owner .. has every reason to be happy in that on November 5th longstanding customers as well as "nosy" customers gathered to celebrate the anniversary. There were lots of beautiful prizes to be won … games for children, and most of all lots of sinful chocolates for tasting. These luscious delicacies –fresh cream truffles and pralines –are the same you can buy in the finest boutiques in Switzerland in that they come directly from .. the Läderach confiserie in Glarus in the Swiss alps .. by: Eva Wazda.

Still sweet after 20 years
Town Crier
November 2005

About 20 years ago Ingrid Läderach-Steven decided to bring a little bit of Switzerland .. “If you have good quality, it will outweigh quantity ..she said her success is directly linked to what she feels is the most important aspect of running a small business – honesty.

Toronto Life
November 2005

As you’d expect from the Swiss, the quality at this 20-year-old outfit is extremely high ..from the best of that country’s chocolatiers. There are more than 60 truffles ..the dark chocolate truffle is rich and full flavoured, but not bitter or over-sweet. Full-sized chocolate Oscars are popular choice year-round; whimsical bunnies sell well at Easter. In the heat of summer the store’s live-culture frozen yogurt is a treat.

Swiss-Master Chocolatier celebrating 20 years of sweet success
Bayview Post Magazine
October 2005

As the chocoholic’s best friend, owner Ingrid Steven Läderach (with Janine Mohebat and Kathy Hamilton) are extending an invitation to their customers to help celebrate the anniversary …

“ALL-TIME FAVES!” The people, places and things that have ‘consistently’ made our Best of Bayview List
Bayview Post Magazine
March 2005

BEST TRUFFLES IN T.O. Our choice for the past 14 years. Their truffles are displayed in a case like jewelry. Try their chocolate party pizza: it’s full of fruit and nuts, and topped off with their signature truffles. And it comes in a pizza box, of course.

Global Wellness Report . . inside Swiss-Master Chocolatier boutique
Global TV News
January 12, 2005

A gift of chocolate on Valentine’s Day may give your sweetheart a happy and healthy heart. Research shows chocolate contains antioxidants that prevent cholesterol from sticking to artery walls. Chocolate also contains flavanoids, the same compounds that give wine and tea their disease-preventing benefits. The darker the chocolate the more antioxidants and favanoids . . .by Dr. Ariel Dalfen

Toronto’s Swiss-Master Chocolatier
In Magazine, Montreal
Winter, 2004

Just up the street from Toronto’s ritzy “The Bridle Path / Post Road” area is a tiny boutique where Toronto’s “beautiful people” have come to shop for chocolate for some 19 years. Owner Ingrid Läderach Steven tells me what keeps her open much of the year is the endless parties and gift giving. But the “really busy” times, she says, start in November when corporations come to put in huge orders. Then the rush does not stop until after Easter. What adds another dimension is the sizable Jewish, Chinese, Russian, and Muslim clientele who have all their own holidays and celebrations to also shop for. Ingrid carries some 65 different “fresh cream” truffles and pralines that are among the very best the world has to offer. She flies them in from Switzerland . . At times it is so busy that lines form. For Valentine’s it can be up to 30 feet outside. Often you’ll find famous celebrities waiting patiently in line, happily chatting with others . . What really impressed me was how Ingrid even supplied for the space shuttle SST-42 DISCOVERY “night-before shuttle flight” dinner. What also adds to the shopping experience is the many Mercedes, BMWs and Hummers in the parking lot . . .and at times stretched limos with celebrities from the Canadian Film Institute down the street .. by Simone Cloutier (French and English)

‘Twas the day before Christmas
Toronto Star
December 24, 2004

... You’re a fool if you haven’t considered: Box of chocolate. Just go a little bit more toward the high end . . Swiss-Master . . .by Garnet Fraser

Swiss-Master Chocolatier
The French Side of Toronto
October 2004

Swiss-Master chocolates are imported directly from the Swiss Alps . . One of the signature pieces . . available only during the summer months . . these delicate “white chocolate and fruit truffles” come in orange, strawberry, lime, lemon, and passion fruits . .and simply must be tasted to be believed. . . Be sure to try the rum and raisin, the Grand Marnier. . crème fraise and liqueur. Swiss-Master makes gift-giving simple. Those who traditionally say it with flowers can now say it with chocolate. . and for children a delightful selection of chocolaty insect-shaped critters, including lady bugs and bees.

Couple Values Children . . and Makes Sweet Treats
Bayview Post. . .and other Post Magazines
October 2004

(This is a follow up on October 1998 “How They Met” article, see below, which describes how “singing talent” brought Ingrid to the U.S. and then Canada) . . . Ingrid and Tom have lived in the Bayview area for 30 years. They have two daughters, Jasmin, a graduate of University of Western Ontario, is married and has a two-year-old son named Connor. Their other daughter, Jaclyn, works as a teacher and has recently gotten engaged. Jasmin and Jaclyn did follow the showbiz route for a while, as between them they made 120 TV commercials in Canada and the U.S. Ingrid and Tom, who worked as a computer consultant, started in the sweets business some 25 years ago wholesaling throughout North America. Ingrid, who has a family history of chocolate masters, opened her York Mills Plaza boutique in 1985 with Marilyn Lastman. She soon bought her out, and hasn’t looked back. The shop will soon be celebrating its 20th, and there will be lots of things happening in the months to come. Stay tuned. Ingrid says that the best thing abut her job is that she gets to meet the nicest people from all walks of life . . . by Ron Johnson

“ALL-TIME FAVES!” The people, places and things that have ‘consistently’ made our Best of Bayview List
Bayview Post Magazine
March 2004

BEST CHOCOLATE ON THE PLANET: Swiss-Master Chocolatier…Whimsical truffles, double-dipped strawberries, and even the chocolate pizzas are so diving you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven. . .

Rita on the Oscars
Toronto Star
February 29, 2004

We’ll be hunkered down at our primary workstation at The Star tonight watching the Oscars with our best and bitchiest pals. . . That lovely woman from Swiss-Master Chocolatier has sent us a box of bon bons again this year, complete with an anatomically correct chocolate Oscar. Can't decide which part to eat first. . .Rita Zekas.

"Toronto’s Top Tastes"
Bayview City Magazine, The Village Post, The North Toronto Post, The Thornhill Post, The Rishmond Hill Post, and the North York Post
February 2004

The ultimate chocolates for true romance…Master of Chocolate a huge success…Wow! Swiss-Master had our tasters blushing with pleasure. Outstanding combination, perfect and fresh…You would be hard pressed to find a better chocolate anywhere!

A guide to Toronto’s Best
Toronto Life

If you’ve ever been to Basel in Switzerland, you’ve probably come across leckerli, the intriguingly chewy biscuits that have been made there for 600 years. Made with nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and honey, they find a persuasive champion in Swiss-Master’s owner, Ingrid Läderach Steven, who uses them at home in everything from cheesecake to gravy. More conventional practice, she tells me, is to break off a little piece and dissolve it slowly in the mouth, letting all those flavours emerge. A delicious sideline, but chocolate is the main event—rich, finely milled Swiss chocolate . . .from Switzerland. Six new truffles are promised this winter, and if they’re as good as the kirsch-café introduced last summer I hope I find them in my stocking. Special treats also appear for Jewish holidays, such as calvados truffles shaped like apples, and honey ones like honeycombs for Rosh Hashanah. Chocolate “pizzas” are a year-round pleasure, but one must wait for summer to taste the awesome frozen yogurt that is the store sideline.

Star Gazing
Toronto Star
December 7, 2003

"PRINCE (singer). . .we do know he has a sweet tooth. He's been seen at Swiss-Master Chocolatier on Bayview Ave, near his Bridal Path digs. . ." Rita Zekas
"CLICK" TO HEAR The New Country 95.3FM Radio . . . talking about Swiss-Master, December 2003

Eat, drink & be OSCAR…Roll out the red carpet for your guests
Toronto Sun
March 22, 2003

“Make your guests feel as if they are the main attraction by giving them a chocolate Oscar from Swiss-master Chocolatier. The munchable mini-statuette has a Florentine base and is sprinkled with a gold glitter confection…I am seeing more Oscar parties than ever, says Ingrid Läderach Steven…It’s a bit of escapism during these uncertain times…It’s also reflected by an increase in sales of our ‘I Love You” truffles since the Sept 11 tragedy. . .” Vena Eaton, Lifestyle Editor

And the chocolate Oscar goes to. . .
Toronto Star
March 19, 2003

For those of us who have no hope of winning an Oscar, let’s just eat one. . .Americans are calling, saying they’ve searched everywhere and can only fined these treats in. . .Oscar parties are more popular than ever. . .if perhaps this is an escapism from the seriousness of these days. . .” Jennifer Bain, Food Editor

"Holiday sales on retailer wish lists"
Bayview Post Magazine
December 2002

“…local retailers wonder what December will bring…Ingrid Laederach Steven…said December is supposed to be one of her busiest times. But…Steven is reluctant to make that prediction...I hear stories about more stores closing and more companies closing. It seems to be a global situation…rather than spending on expensive gifts, they go to something that will satisfy them…”When things get rough, people turn to chocolate for Instant gratification. . .Julie Greco

"Where to find the best. . ."
Toronto Life
2003 Edition

If you've ever been to Basel in Switzerland, you've probably come across "leckerli," the intriguingly chewy biscuits that have been made there for 600 years. . .Ingrid. . .uses them at home in everything from cheesecake to gravy. . .special treats also appear for Jewish holidays, such as calvados truffles shaped like apples, and honey one like honeycombs for Rosh Hashanah. . .

"Best Truffles in Toronto"
Bayview Post Magazine
July 2002

HONOUR AWARDED 11 YEARS IN A ROW to: Swiss-Master Chocolatier.... try the champagne. They're the editor's favourite.

Most Popular Chocolatier
Toronto Star
February 13, 2002

"...she is not in the chocolate business, rather she is in the magic moment business, providing magical moments of delight and sensual escape...the best and sweetest lady...always feel right at home......It's motto, "Beautiful Chocolate for Beautiful People" shines through in the service and packaging they offer, no matter who's buying or how much they're spending..."
Jennifer Bain, Food Editor

PURE LUXURY: Dipped in chocolate
Holiday 2001

...Swiss-Master...has truffles in every flavour...every shape from telephones to computers and soccer balls to buzzing bees..The staff customize each order to the client's specifications..even create gift packages for holidays like Rosh Hashanah, and Chinese New Year...But the lure of Swiss-Master is as much in the wisdom and warmth of its owner as the purity and goodness of its chocolate...Making a difference is key to Laederach-Steven's philosophy "We've got to interact with our fellow human being much more than ever before," she says,..."I want to show that the business has a heart, that we've got to think with our heart, not just our pocket book."...and many customers consider Laederach-Steven to be a friend. "I try to give a little bit of warmth with everything that we do, and hopefully that will spread." ...Kathy Barthel

Eating & Drinking Guide...directory of Toronto's best...

Ingrid Läderach Steven...flies them to Toronto, where they pause very briefly in the store before fanatical customers pounce. There are always seasonal flavours to try (chestnut and maple for fall, passion fruit and lime for summer) and such amusing shapes as chocolate bees and golf balls, plus the famous Party Pizzas...exceptional frozen yogurt blended with plums or pears, and there is a website...to consult above having orders filled from Swiss-Master's sister store in Hong Kong...

It’s “to live for” and not “to die for” since 9-11
Deutsche Presse
December 26 2001

Since the horrible September 11 terror-attacks the words “to die for” have taken on a morbid suicidal meaning, robbing us of their silly innocence in everyday conversation....It’s therefore refreshing to see Ingrid Läderach Steven of Swiss-Master Chocolatier going all out in promoting her luscious fresh cream chocolate truffles as being simply “to live for.” ...

Wine & Food // Chocolate” the Chocolate Adventurer column”
October 2001

If ever a woman was born into chocolate, it was Ingrid Läderach Steven. . . Unquestionably, her business is well-suited to her personality. Ingrid is very much a “people” person, and she loves the fact that people feel good when they’re in her store. . .While Ingrid herself tends toward more traditional chocolate items, she knows her customers demand products that are new and different. One such item is a computer truffle. . . But looks aren’t everything here, and I am partial to the pieces with complex natures, which contain several different tastes and textures, all in harmony with one another. That is a very European characteristic in a chocolate, and I don’t see enough of it in the U.S.. . . Ingrid appreciates that chocolate is a comfort food for many people, and she knows that comfort foods are an acceptable part of one’s diet if consumed in moderation.

"Best Chocolates this side of Switzerland"
Bayview Post Magazine
July 2001

HONOUR AWARDED 10 YEARS IN A ROW to: Swiss-Master Chocolatier.... owner Ingrid L.äderach Steven produces the best truffles in Toronto, bar none...

(Global Gourmet on AOL)...Mother's Day and Graduation...Chocolate Find of the Month
www.globalgourmet.com (U.S.A)
May 2001

I protest! This month's Chocolate Find, Swiss-Master Chocolatier of Toronto, Canada, has a most unfair website. It isn't enough that the homepage hits you with a paragraph about their fresh cream truffles; the company has to go further and include appealing photos of their boutique and some of their products. Even the descriptions are enough to make me want to hop a flight northward...Better still, check out their rather glamorous website at...but don't say I didn't warn you!..."Beautiful Chocolates for Beautiful People" is the slogan here, and I can at least vouch for the truthfulness of the first part of that motto!...If you're going to be in Toronto or Hong Kong, consider stopping by their boutiques...Stephanie Zonis (see: www.globalgourmet.com/food/ilc)

Cyberwar survival tips from a “Mom and Pop” retail shop   ….by Tom Steven, Swiss-Master Chocolatier
REVIEW Business Magazine
March 2001

(How a ... chocolate boutique ... gets 1,000-to-2,000 webpage requests a day.) . . .With all the hype about e-commerce there is lots of pressure for small businesses, especially retailers, to join the bandwagon. Yet selling online is one of the toughest businesses in the world. . . Based on our retail experience, our message for small businesses is. . . Our biggest benefit from the web comes from three areas. . . We are currently analyzing the pros and cons of going to a full-blown e-commerce system. . . Experimenting with search engines shows. . . Some simple tricks that improved our hits. . .

Millennium Achievements
Toronto Business Times
January 2001

"...when asked for her secret, Läderach-Steven answered: ‘There is no overall simple answer, or magic formula. Just offer great chocolate and great service, all at a fair price, and watch the magic click in, especially with an upscale clientele...It’s that simple... and yet it’s that difficult!’ "

Best of Gourmet Food...
Bayview Post Magazine
August 2000

"BEST CHOCOLATES" 9 YEARS IN A ROW: Swiss-Master Chocolatier....

For Chocolate Lovers Only. . .with Stephanie Zonis
www.starchefs.com (U.S.A.)
June 2000

"Chocolate Recommendation of the Month". . . June’s Chocolate Find is Swiss-Master-Chocolatier, with boutiques in Toronto and Hong Kong. . .

Tiny boutique delivers to...Toronto's Rich & Famous
Deutsche Presse
December 20, 2000

"...Their web site...is currently running a $2,000 (in chocolate) 'GUESS THE OSCAR WINNERS' contest."

Chocolateur Values Children the Most
Bayview Post
October 1998

What better way to salute in our 'How They Met' column than to get the story of the purveyor of Bayview's sweetest treasures . . .Before she was even a teen, Ingrid was whisked from her home in the Swiss Alps by Dr. Antonia Brico, a legendary musician, conductor, and philanthropist...This is the same Dr. Brico that singer Judy Collins documented in the 1974 Oscar-nominated movie Antonia: A Portrait of a Woman. . Brico was so taken with Ingrid's singing talents that she convinced her parents that "Ingrid's talents belonged to the world"...Ingrid moved to reside with Dr. Brico in Denver...But because of exhaustive two years of training sessions Ingrid fell very ill, and her vocal chords were severely damaged. Her recuperation led to a visit to Toronto... where she met Tom (now her husband)...Starting a family wasn't easy though, a fact Ingrid attributes to stress in her early music life...this is why she has such a love for life and why children really feel her warm welcome... opened boutique in 1985 with Marilyn Lastman. She soon bought her out, and hasn't looked back.
(See "page 3 of Photo Library" webpage for picture of Ingrid with Dr. Brico)

Truffles: The Latest Addition to This City’s Sophisticated Palette
October 1998

...Now, though, you can get just about any kind of truffle your little heart desires — imported from Switzerland — but you may have to line up for it...people come in and are quite disappointed because...only a small selection left...The city’s growing affection for truffles...goes hand-in-hand with the burgeoning demand for vintage wines, gourmet coffee and Cuban cigars...the moment you swallow a truffle...you can tell if you’ve been gypped...When I first started eating truffles, I didn’t know how to differentiate between them, probably didn’t even know I was eating a truffle...Now I know how to compare them for creaminess, texture, bitterness.

Chocolates with a sweet Swiss secret
Honk Kong Standard
October 29,1998

...Ingrid Läderach Steven...her warm optimistic personality is extended to the slogan of her shop: ”Beautiful Chocolates for Beautiful People” Bernice Chan

Food Guide
Toronto Life
November 2000

... There are always seasonal flavours to try (chestnut and maple for fall) and such amusing shapes as chocolate bees and golf balls, plus the famous party pizzas... made with nuts and fruit, studded with truffles and other goodies.. exceptional frozen yogurt blended with plums or pears, etc...orders (can be) filled from Swiss-Master sister store in Hong Kong...

nosh nosh nosh
November 8, 1998

This has been a week of chocolate highs. A new chocolate shop, Swiss-Master Chocolatier, opened in Central... Supplier Rud Laederach revolutionised the truffle-making industry in the 1960s when he injected the filling into an empty chocolate case, then sealed it with a chocolate cap...” You’re chomping,” scolded Ingrid. ”Let the chocolate go all round your mouth and enjoy and think of the pleasurable experience you had”...I swore I wouldn’t chomp...it’s worth mastering the art. Nell Nelson

Say it With Chocolate
B International
January 1999

... In town for the shop opening was Ingrid Laederach Steven...Our slogan is "Beautiful Chocolates for Beautiful People." Beautiful people radiate from within and so do our chocolates...

No Trick, Just Treats...Grand Prize Winner
Bayview Post
October 29,1998

...if you’re going to indulge, why not indulge in the best?

"Sweet Secrets Waiting to be Discovered"
Tatler Magazine (Hong Kong)
January 2000

Right in the heart of Central...discreetly tucked away, Swiss-Master Chocolatier...offers a visual feast to everyone who discovers its sweet secret...Specializing in small, perfectly formed ”fresh cream truffles”...the absolute quality of Swiss-Master is guaranteed.

"Sweet Something"
Eve Magazine (Hong Kong)
February 2000

If you’re feeling guilty about going for that chocolate, think again. Research indicates that chocolate eaten in moderation can reduce flood clots and apparently lessen the risk of heart disease and strokes.Chocolate lovers Keith & Angela Law, the husband-wife duo behind Swiss-Master Chocolatier...Our chocolates tend to be less sweet, and the fresh cream truffles...For diabetics who love chocolates, Swiss-Master Chocolatier also sells diabetic chocolates containing diabetic friendly sweeteners such as lacitol and asartame.

"The Wedding Guide Book" (Hong Kong)
Beautiful International
May 2000

...Swiss-Master Chocolatier’s rich mouth-watering chocolates made with a variety of tantalizing fillings and with its wonderful packaging makes a perfect wedding table gift...

Can Chocolate-Inspired Slogan Cure Canada’s Tourism Ills?
Saturday Night Magazine
August 12, 2000

”Wild and Beautiful”...We used the slogan for our chocolates...Exotic chocolates...

"Diabetic treats" (Hong Kong)
Beautiful International
July 2000

...if you’re a diabetic and have to forgo your favourite foods, despair no longer. Swiss-Master Chocolatier has a range of diabetic chocolates, so you can enjoy quality chocolates without risking your health...

Beanie Baby Blast
The Toronto Sun
June 1, 1998

. . . were raffled off yesterday at Swiss-Master. . . with proceeds ($2,019) going to Sheena’s Place, a non-profit centre offering support and services to people with eating disorders...

November 1996

Ingrid Läderach Steven has all-chocolate pizza, rich truffles and petits fours, real kirsch in chocolate shells ... flown in from Switzerland .. and packages them beautifully.

Sweets For The Sweet
November 28,1996

... "beautiful people do not just happen."

Best Chocolate -- Swiss-Master Chocolatier
Bayview Post
August 1996

Rose Reisman, chef and Cookbook Writer: "They prepare the most incredible chocolate pizza. . ."

In Search of the Magic Truffle
April 1995

. . . built a reputation for satisfying the most demanding Toronto chocoholic . . . The boutique's clientele includes some of Toronto's most famous people, as well as visiting dignitaries and actors(the shop is near the Canadian Film Centre).

Nobody Knows the Truffles We've Seen
Toronto Star
December 15,1993

Chocolatiers dish up their favorite desserts as our tribute to Valentine's Day. . Ingrid's Chocolate Mousse: Probably the best chocolate mousse I've eaten, this is from Ingrid Laederach Steven. . . -Marion Kane, Food Editor

If Truffles Make You Drool
Party Directory
September 22, 1994

Swiss Master chocolate truffles are more than just a mere food. ..The shop offers some of the world's very best truffles while keeping prices in line with locally made products.

For the Love of Chocolate
Toronto Sun
December 15, 1993

Dazzle the chocoholic on your Christmas list with a chocolate pizza from Swiss-Master Chocolatier. . .

CFTO Eye On Toronto (TV)
December 3, 1993

. . . We have chocolate pizzas courtesy of Swiss-Master Chocolatier at York Mills and Bayview. I go there all the time.

Swiss chocolate - always in demand
Deutsche Presse
August 27, 1997

Whoever is looking for chocolate in Toronto is advised to go to Swiss-Master. . . because there one gets true Swiss chocolate, as one is used to at home.

CFTO Eye On Toronto (TV)
September 14, 1993

Look what I have here from Swiss-Master Chocolatier. Speaking of nice! Isn't it beautiful? A whole tray load of the most spectacular chocolates . . . .

If Truffles Make you Drool Then Look No Further
B'nai B'rith Covenant
May 12, 1994

...selling some of the finest truffles the world has to offer -- for the price you'd pay for locally produced chocolate...

The Best Food Shops in the City
Toronto Life
June 1993

. . . The staff are friendlier than any indecisive shopper has a right to expect, the packaging is imperial...

Chocoholic paradise no 'truffling' matter
Canadian Jewish News
May 14, 1992

Nestled amongst the beautiful estates of Bayview Avenue is a tiny boutique that caters to a unique group of chocolate aficionados. . .Laederach-Steven has brought a much needed flare to the chocolate business and her clients include some of Canada's famous business people and actors . . . noted for having some of the best chocolate truffles in the world at a very reasonable price . . . For the price of a good local chocolate . . . a choice of some of the very best truffles the world has to offer.

The Intrepid Gourmet: "Kingly, Nee, Godly, Orbs"
Toronto Life
December 1989

. . . Ingrid Läderach Steven's Swiss-Master Chocolatier has a decadent range of these bite-sized pieces of heaven . . . - Adele de la Lumiere

Pamper your tastebuds
Globe and Mail
December 10, 1987

A tiny chocolate boutique stand at prestigious York Mills Plaza, and celebrities...come...in elegant Swiss style...A delectable eggnog truffle has been created for Christmas…and ”Rosenberg of Switzerland” is flying in Kosher truffles and pralines. This ”fashion food” is packaged like precious jewels... Their Swiss-Master frozen yogurt is the piece de resistance...a Swiss-Master bonus.

Big-name clients mean sweet success . . .
Small Business Magazine
October, 1990

How does an unknown entrepreneur gain entry into the highest circles of the international chocolate and sweets business? . . .Is this any way to make a living? Only if you land enough heavyweight chocolate makers and big-name volume buyers: cruise lines, five-star hotels across North America, airlines, country clubs, and department stores (Eatons, Holt Renfrew, Neiman Markus, Thalheimer's, Wannamaker, Broadway, Bloomingdale's). . . Swiss-Master Foods Corp . . . opened Young's eyes to the potential in the million-dollar chocolate amenities business...
(See "Retailer of Year" webpage for picture of Ingrid, representing Swiss-Master Foods Corp at a trade show in the 80s)

A Chocolate Safari -David Churchill
Essential Toronto

What makes a city extraordinary?. . . The search for the ultimate chocolate experience is an elusive one. . . Owner Ingrid Läderach Steven imports the chocolates directly from Switzerland...

CFTO-TV "Eye on Toronto"
February 19, 1990

Attention all chocoholics. . . I'll show you a place that will send your taste buds into a tale spin. Swiss-Master Chocolatier is a store where decadence is always in vogue. So, chocolate lovers brace yourselves...

Toronto Star
Chocolate Shop Has Swiss Twist - Mary McGrath
March 30, 1988

One shop specializing in some of the finest that Switzerland has to offer is the Swiss-Master Chocolatier

The Gift of Giving
Country Estate
Holiday Issue, 1990

The charitable impulse of those who have, to help those who haven't, has been at the heart of the Hospital for Sick Children since its inception . . . truffles by Swiss-Master Chocolatier...

Shop boasts crème de la crème of chocolate
Canadian Jewish News
December 10, 1987

The chocolate world was set ablaze in 1968 when Rud Laederach, a young Swiss chocolatier, together with his wife, revolutionized the fine art of chocolate-making when they created the first "truffle shell"...Today, Ingrid Laederach-Steven. . .imports Laederach truffles as well as other Swiss chocolates, including Rosenberg of Switzerland chocolates, a kosher line of deluxe truffles and pralines. These products are under the certification of Rabbi Mordechai Piron of the Israelitishe Cultusgemeinde Zurich Rabbinat...The showcase is a dream-come-true for chocolate-lovers and a temptation for even those who don’t have a sweet tooth . . . Ingrid began importing Swiss products and selling them to Department stores. In 1985 she opened her shop. . . As customized chocolate became popular with North America's finest hotels, Swiss-Master became a major supplier to many of them . . . As well, they. . . sold to restaurants and department stores across Canada and the United States . . . What makes Swiss-Master special is the ambience that exudes pleasurable experiences. Their packaging is regal -- it's almost like buying a fine piece of jewelry or a designer label . . .Consumers have long called chocolate the 'food of the gods' and Swiss-Master's luscious, melt-in-your-mouth chocolates, presented in the Swiss-style splendor and elegance, explain why they got this title.- Zahava Kleinert

Swiss-Canadian News
October 1986
Swiss-Master Chocolatier Brings Back Memories of Switzerland at its Chocolaty Finest

The chocolates were superb and every bit as good as we would expect from the finest chocolatiers in Switzerland...

Launching A Sweet Success
Women & Business
April/May 1987

Over the past few years Läderach-Steven has become prominent and formidable contender in the specialty food industry. She accomplished this largely by cultivating an image of a tough-minded entrepreneur who runs her two businesses firmly ... making decisions based on a very optimistic approach to life ... the new shop goes all out in romancing the products and providing personalized service... I love being at the boutique as I find selling chocolate is like selling pure joy. In the old days it was called "food of the gods," and today it's still considered the most alluring food known to mankind... We are well aware that there is a limit to what people will pay, even in our shopping centre... One important point about Swiss chocolates is that they are made under what one would describe as clinical sanitary conditions. In fact, Swiss cleanliness is legendary. That is one reason Swiss chocolates can have a low sugar content and more natural flavours — but in turn they require much more delicate handling when they are air freighted, stored, and sold...The biggest clients in Canada are the hotel chains, who buy customized chocolates for their amenity programs by the hundreds of thousands... all in all, she has the potential of becoming the most influential chocolate force in Canada. Läderach-Steven has an ability which very few chocolateurs begin to possess...quite abnormal talent for superbness...and it raises her shop above others... She also seems to be prepared to take risks based on her own thinking, which often differs from the norm. . .And, she does not believe someone can be called successful if he or she becomes rich but loses a family along the way.

Swiss-Master Chocolatier
Swiss-Canadian News
June 1987

We have two companies now, Swiss-Master Foods Corp to handle our imports to hotel. . . across Canada and U.S. and Swiss-Master Chocolatier. . . When a customer walks out of the shop we make sure he or she feels like they just bought a taste of the very best that life has to offer, and that they were pampered as one would expect to be when shopping in the best of shops in Europe. It is this philosophy that separates the store from the competition and gets customers on busy days to actually line up outside the door...

Shop Caters To Exclusive Sweet Tooth - Cindy Kleiman
Toronto Star
August 11, 1987

The store is a chocolate-lover's dream come true. . .There are chocolates in the shape of gold ingots, chocolate greeting cards, chocolate bars bearing messages from happy birthday to congratulations to thank you and sweet dreams. There are even chocolate bugs and chocolate flower plants...

3rd Annual Gift Guide For Chocolate Lovers
ChocolatierMagazine (USA)
December 1987

... offers credit-card thin bars of fine Swiss chocolate. Atop each stands a minuscule sprite or creature, called Smidgen, who will stand guard against interlopers . . . until you are ready to devour the delicious platform and keep the figure as a sweet souvenir . . . 2538 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Swiss Master Chocolatier a Fantasyland for Chocoholics
Deutsche Presse
Dec 6, 1989

The first thought as you enter this fun Chocolate Boutique is overwhelming. . . To begin to describe this boutique is not an easy task . . . each piece is a true masterpiece. . . lovingly wrapped - red and gold are the house colours - you get the feeling that you really are getting something quite exquisite. . . This store has such a wonderful ambience which truly transfers to the customer... (translation) - Monika Lang

Swiss-Master Chocolatier.........(translation)
Kanada Kurier
June 27, 1991

...Even the die-hard Swiss feel at home here. One beautiful aroma brings forth images of bygone days where one would stop off in Zurich or Geneva to indulge in this bit of heaven . . . Ingrid goes all out to make sure that the customer is number one and thatonly the very best is good enough.

Paul Schneider
March 6, 1990

It was quite by accident that I came across this boutique when I read about it . . . I called and was able to talk to the owner, a charming lady called Ingrid Läderach Steven, who invited me to come in and see the store. So I did, and I can tell you that I was really overwhelmed. This is not a store but a most charming beautiful boutique filled with chocolates - the very best of chocolates from Switzerland . . . I was impressed by the luscious, sweet, most beautiful atmosphere...

Astronauts Have a Sweet Tooth, Too....- Monika Lang
Deutsche Presse
Feb. 12, 1992

The beautifully decorated shop . . . has a prominent clientele. . . Dr. Roberta Bondar was the Canadian female astronaut who went into space aboard the Discovery . . . she and her colleague astronauts enjoyed. . . the truffles one day before the launch...

Our Toronto
March 1993

Nestled. . . in the Bayview and Post Road area . . . a tiny boutique that caters to some of Canada's most high profile (and most affluent) clientele. . .

Only the Best in Chocolates
Town Crier
April 1993

In a tiny shopping centre just north of The Bridle Path area... The shop prides itself on offering some of the world's very best truffles while keeping prices in line with locally made products...

"World Class Truffles" at our Door Steps - Reasonable Prices
North York Mirror
May 17, 1992

Ingrid strongly believes in making sure that customers walking into the shop are pampered as they would be when shopping in the best shops in Europe... Ingrid has been selling chocolates since she could barely see over the sales counter. Her parents owned tourist businesses high up in the Swiss Alps and on the Italian Riviera...

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