Prince Albert’s Toffifee obsession takes a bite out of hospice fundraising total

Over $28,000 — one dollar for each box of Toffifee sold by Canadian Tire this Christmas — donated to Rose Garden Hospice Wednesday

Ralph Boychuk and Marina Mitchell of the Rose Garden Hospice pose for a photo with Malcolm Jenkins and a few boxes of Toffifee Wednesday. Prince Albert bought 28,600 boxes this year and $1 from each box was donated to the hospice. (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

If there’s an alternate universe where buildings are constructed out of boxes of Toffifee instead of bricks, it might look a lot like Prince Albert.

Wednesday, the Rose Garden Hospice became the latest organization to benefit from the city’s obsession with caramel, chocolate, nougat and hazelnut as Malcolm Jenkins and Canadian Tire presented a donation of $28,600 to the hospice — one dollar from each box of Toffifee sold in 2019.

 “It seems to work better than bricks actually,” Jenkins said with a laugh Wednesday.

“It feels very, very good. Kudos to the population of P.A. for devouring 28,600 boxes. We made the pledge back in October that we’d pitch in a dollar to the hospice, which is a great cause, for every box that was sold. People bought them all. It’s wonderful.”

The hospice isn’t the first cause to benefit from a Toffifee-related promotion. The candy has also helped build the field house, skatepark and Jumpstart accessible park.

“People love the stuff, so it’s not like you’re forcing them to eat kibble,” Jenkins said.

How much does Prince Albert love its Toffifee? Enough for Jenkins to sell more than anywhere else. This year’s 28,600 boxes, multiplied by 15 pieces per box, is 429,000 pieces of Toffifee, enough to give each Prince Albert resident 11 pieces of Toffifee and still have more left over.

“It’s not most in the world, it’s most in the charted universe,” he said.

“There’s not one single store that sells more than we do. Up on that wall, there’s a trophy saying we’re world number one in Toffifee.”

That trophy sits on a shelf behind Jenkins’ desk, upstairs at Canadian Tire. Sitting, appropriately, beside a box of Toffifee, the trophy reads:

“Toffifee Lifetime Achievement Award. Presented to Malcolm Jenkins. Going above and beyond in the promotion of hazelnut caramel, nougat cream and chocolate.”

Canadian Tire also held a Toffifee eating contest this year, which included Prince Albert Raiders head coach Marc Habscheid.

“It’s gone viral and gets more virulent every year. The sky’s the limit.”

Jenkins’ Toffifee promotion started with just 2,000 boxes when the store would normally sell a few hundred. Then, he bought five, 10 and 15,000 up to the 28,600 he brought in this year.

“What I think I’m going to do next year is force myself — I’ll probably buy 40,0000 — then I have to figure out ways. That motivates me to come up with marketing ideas on how to sell it. Also, I get such praise from the dentists,” he laughed.

It’s all part of Jenkins’ commitment that for five years, Canadian Tire will support the Hospice.

“This is part of redeeming our pledge to them, plus it’s a great promotion,” he said.

“Toffifee is a couple of bucks a box and we pay, I think, a dollar-ninety. It’s not like we’re making money on it. The advertising and word of mouth that the hospice gets are multiplied by a factor of 10, 20, 30,” he said.

“The nice thing is they go home and eat a terrific treat as well. It’s a very positive thought. You think of the hospice, you think of yummy candy, it’s a good pair of thoughts to have in your head.”

For their part, the hospice was glad to benefit from Prince Albert’s minor obsession with Toffifee.

“I think it’s amazing. It’s something different for the hospice,” said fundraising committee chair Marina Mitchell.

“It’s neat to be a part of the challenge and part of Malcolm being the greatest seller in the universe of Toffifee.”