Standing proudly on a corner of the Place de la Visitation on the Rock is an establishment that is more than 100 years in the making. This is the tale of the Chocolaterie de Monaco, an iconic Monegasque enterprise that has its roots in the terrors of World War I, but rose through grief thanks to an inspiring dream shared by two perhaps unlikely friends.
It all started with two young men and a dream they had of a more beautiful life as they waded through the trenches of World War I. Pierre Maurin, a young engineer, and François Riquier, a passionate chocolate-maker, may seem a surprising duo at first glance, but this friendship forged during the horror would later form the impetus for the creation of Monaco’s only handmade chocolate house: the Chocolaterie de Monaco.
Riquier was killed in action in 1918 and sadly never made it back from the front, but Maurin was determined not to let the dream he shared with his friend die too. In 1920, he brought together a team of “talented and enthusiastic” chocolatiers to found a business that thrives to this day on the Rock of Monaco.
Over the years, Maurin and his team honed their craft until their reputation shone so brightly that the Chocolaterie de Monaco was granted the seal bestowed on prized businesses who officially supply the Princely Family.
This connection has proved enduring and there is even a selection of chocolates made here in the shape of tiny crowns. Other delights include treats made specifically for birthdays, weddings and baby showers that sit alongside long-time favourites such as truffles and solid tablets of milk and dark chocolate enriched with nuts.
“Chocolate making in the pure tradition requires a careful selection of the origins, a skillful quest for the most noble of aromas and a subtle conciliation of all the elements thus leading to the most elegant and generous of chocolates…” Maurin is quoted as having said, “a secret and delicate process, a true alchemy.”
The customer service of this establishment has stood the test of time too and you will always be welcomed warmly into the boutique and tea room, which serves up the Chocolaterie de Monaco’s own delicious brand of tea. Free delivery is offered on all local orders of over €150 and many items can personalised for an extra special gift.
The Chocolaterie de Monaco is located on Place de la Visitation, steps from the Prince’s Palace and the Oceanographic Museum. It is open every day from 9.45am to 6pm except for Sundays.
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Photo source: Chocolaterie de Monaco, Facebook