Montreal teenager spreads warmth by donating hot chocolate bombs to hospital workers

·3 min read
Montreal teenager spreads warmth by donating hot chocolate bombs to hospital workers
Vanessa Sebbag, 15, started her own business making hot chocolate bombs. She's been donating sweets and proceeds to Montreal frontline workers and charities. (CBC - image credit)
Vanessa Sebbag, 15, started her own business making hot chocolate bombs. She's been donating sweets and proceeds to Montreal frontline workers and charities. (CBC - image credit)

As a 15-year-old student, Vanessa Sebbag already has a lot on her plate. But late last year, she decided to take on a new project — starting her own business.

At her home in the borough of Saint-Laurent, Vanessa has been making hot chocolate bombs which dissolve in warm milk.

She's been selling them through Instagram, and donating batches to employees at Notre-Dame and Jewish General hospitals to help boost morale.

"Chocolate bombs put a smile on people's faces. Adults and children can both enjoy it," she said. "Frontline workers are doing amazing work and they are not obligated to do it. They want to give back to their country. That's another reason why I started to give back to them and put smiles on their faces as a thank you."

Around Christmas time, Vanessa was seeing chocolate bomb videos all over her social media, so she begged her mom to team up with her for a new business venture called Chocolate Heaven.

Vanessa said she's happy to provide people with something to smile about.

WATCH | Vanessa Sebbag explains how a chocolate bomb works:

"My principle is to always give back before getting," she said. "I know that I am just a 15-year-old kid that goes to school everyday, but just in my mind, to think that I helped makes me feel so good."

Her mom, Nathalie Sebbag, joked that her daughter's business has taken over the house.

"You open cupboards, there's chocolate. You open where my washer is, there's molds everywhere. Open my fridge, there's chocolate bombs everywhere!"

Although Chocolate Heaven is taking over Vanessa's life and her parents' kitchen, the family is happy to help out with the initiative.

"I'm proud to be a mom of a girl with such energy, such devotion," said Sebbag. "As a mom, my job is to encourage my kids to be the best of themselves."

For her part, Vanessa said she wouldn't have been able to get her initiative off the ground if it weren't for the help of her family.

"They are very supportive. My mom stays up with me until two, three in the morning to make sure I am keeping on track," said Vanessa.

She's now working with Esther Levy, founder of Esther's Angels, a non-profit organization that provides essential services and items to families in need.

Esther Levy runs a non-profit that helps families in need. She has partnered with Vanessa Sebbag to provide chocolate bombs and birthday cakes to clients for free.
Esther Levy runs a non-profit that helps families in need. She has partnered with Vanessa Sebbag to provide chocolate bombs and birthday cakes to clients for free.(CBC)

Levy recalled that one day, Vanessa contacted her offering to make 90 chocolate bombs to donate to families in need.

"She's my angel and I love her," said Levy. "I was so flattered, I was honoured because I don't have that many teenagers reaching out to me."

Beyond that, Levy said, Vanessa has been helping out by providing birthday cakes and and other treats to families who rely on the non-profit.

"She's really an amazing girl," said Levy. "I'm so happy, you can see the tears in my eyes."