The Duke of York Visits Demarquette Fine Chocolates
His Royal Highness was welcomed by founders Marc Demarquette, François Demarquette and Kim Sauer. The Duke of York visited Demarquette as part of his ongoing effort to recognise and support small businesses and entrepreneurs.
His Royal Highness was briefed and updated on the company's success and humanitarian work with cocoa growers in Vietnam, as well as its many initiatives to promote British luxury manufacturing at home and abroad. Demarquette was named a 'British Luxury Brand of Tomorrow' by The Walpole organisation in 2012 and also represents the British Chocolate Industry as UK Ambassador for the International 'Salon du Chocolat'.
The Duke of York went on to meet Demarquette staff members and special guests from Fortnum & Mason, The Westway Development Trust and The Walpole. During a tour of the production facility he was shown the meticulous artisanal processes applied by Demarquette to make the finest award winning chocolates.
Since launching the company in 2006, Demarquette has been a pioneer in the introduction of unique and rare cocoas to the UK market. In early 2010 Demarquette became the first British chocolate company to introduce Vietnamese cocoa from the Ben Tre region to the UK and the first chocolatier to be awarded two triple gold star awards from the Guild of Fine Food for the chocolate's superior quality. His Royal Highness was particularly interested in learning how Demarquette's investment in buying cocoa beans from the Vietnamese Cocoa Cooperative (Vietcacao) has so far financed the first phase of the establishment of a long term vocational rehabilitation centre at a school for handicapped children in Ben Tre through the construction of a brand new building on the school's premises.
Chocolatier Demarquette said: 'I am delighted to have had the privilege to personally welcome His Royal Highness to our production lab and to introduce him to my team. To have had the opportunity to discuss our journey so far with him, in particular our involvement in important humanitarian projects and our efforts in promoting luxury British manufacturing internationally, has been a great recognition of our work for which I am very proud.'