The history of VALRHONA is closely bound to the traditional craft exercised by the artisans of the food trade. In pursuing its ambition, it is fulfilling that of the artisan pastry chef who founded the company in 1922 to make and promote authentic, distinctive chocolate that is acknowledged throughout the world by professionals and connoisseurs.
To make superior chocolate, only the best cocoa will do. For many years, VALRHONA has been working to seek out, identify and select the best varieties of cocoa tree in all the regions of the world.
By building partnerships with planters and certain cocoa-producting countries, and by creating new plantations where it grows rare species –some of which were in danger of extinction- VALRHONA has built up an invaluable patrimony.
Today, the range of superior chocolate produced by VALRHONA –to which new creations are continually being added- is the fruit of patient, painstaking work and unfailing fidelity to tradition.
Working at the service of professionals, VALRHONA promotes initiatives, rewards talent, and develop exchanges: partneship with Chefs, co-founder and partner of the Pastry World Cup.
Its « laboratoire » line offers professionals more than 80 different productions for making chocolate candies and pastries. Adding diversity to its portfolio of products, the “consommateur” line of chocolates for the general public is also helping to spread the reputation of the VALRHONA brand, which today is synonimous with excellence throughout the five continents.
L’Ecole du Grand Chocolat
L’Ecole is a prestigious centre of training in chocolate making with Grand Chocolat. L’ECOLE du GRAND CHOCOLAT welcomes more than 600 professionnals from all countries. It contributes to the reputation of VALRHONA and is a welcoming place where people come to share their experiences, meet the chocolate factory technicians and take advantage of the knowledge that VALRHONA has acquired through its presence on all continents.
The trainees and the intructors both work together towards a single goal: to seek out new ways of serving and delighting the customer… Chefs come to find new ideas at l’ECOLE DU GRAND CHOCOLAT, during courses on sweet or salt recipes.
Valrhona is a French chocolate manufacturer based in the small town of Tain L’Hermitage in Hermitage which is a wine-growing district near Lyon. In 1922 Monsieur Guironnet, a French pastry chef from the Rhône valley opened La Chocolaterie du Vivarais which was his first chocolate factory.
In 1939 messieurs Bourget and Gonnet bought Guironnet’s chocolate factory on his death and renamed it Etablissements Gonnet, after Albert Gonnet, master confectioner and the company’s new director. He is quickly joined by his son-in-law, Louis Gelet and then by Guy de Loisy, son in law of Bourgeat.
The company was renamed Gonnet-deLoisy after the death of Albert Gonnet.
The trademark of Valrhona was first adopted at the beginning of the 1960’s
In 1975 Luois Gelet retired and Guy de Loisy is succeeded by his son, Oliver.
In 1984 the company was bought by a family-owned French group.
Valrhona is today one of the leading producers of high-quality chocolate in the world with 5 subsidiaries and 60 local distributors across the globe. The company also maintains the Ecole du Grand Chocolat, a school for professional chefs with a focus on chocolate-based dishes and pastries. To make superior chocolate, only the best cocoa will do.
For many years as part of its mission:
• Valrhona has been working to seek out, identify and select the best varieties of cocoa tree in all the regions of the world.
• Building partnerships with planters in carefully selected cocoa-producing countries.
• Creating new plantations where it grows rare species – some of which were in danger of extinction.