Peoples Jewellers makes a one-off necklace for endangered African penguin couple

The Toronto Zoo recently posted a video about a bonded pair of endangered African penguins, Chupa and Ellie, showing how penguins court each other with gifts.

Peoples Jewellers took notice and decided to make them a one-of-a-kind necklace. Working with Toronto-based creative shop Juliet, they quickly jumped into action and researched what African penguins love to eat. Turns out it’s horse mackerel, squid and crustaceans, anchovies, pilchards, and round herrings. 

Juliet’s creative team then paired one of Peoples’ jewellery designers with Kazuki Uchigoshi, the famed sushi chef at Toronto restaurant Miku, to start work on a one-of-a-kind piece for Chupa and Ellie.

“When we saw the post about the penguins we instantly knew we wanted to create something unique for these two lovebirds,” says John McNamara, Vice-President, Marketing, at Peoples Jewellers. “Our company’s mission is to celebrate life and express love — all types of love.”

The result is the stunning piece – at least in the eyes of a penguin.

“It’s definitely one of the more fun calls I’ve received,” said Kim Haider, Marketing Manager at the Toronto Zoo. 

“We loved the idea of showcasing the courtship behaviour that exists between bonded penguin couples like Chupa and Ellie, and sharing a moment people can connect with. The wild population of African penguins continues to be at risk, so anytime we have the opportunity to raise awareness about endangered species like African penguins, and our ongoing conservation efforts, it’s a very good thing.”

“At Juliet, we’re big fans of responding to things that are taking place in the real world,” say Ryan Spelliscy, Co-Founder, Chief Creative Officer, Juliet. “The response doesn’t need to be supported by a massive media spend, sometimes it’s just about joining a conversation in a smart, fun way. That’s what this piece does. It’s a quick little fun reply to two penguins in love from a company, Peoples, that’s all about celebrating all types of love.”

In addition to the one-of-a-kind necklace, Peoples Jewellers and Miku Restaurant are making donations to the Toronto Zoo’s African penguin program. They invite others to do the same at:


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