Debauve & Gallais
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|Privately held company|
|Paule Cuvelier (CEO)|
Debauve & Gallais is a French chocolate manufacturer founded by Sulpice Debauve in 1800. After his nephew Antoine Gallais joined the company in 1823, the company adopted their current name. In 1819 the company received the royal warrant as purveyors to the French court, and was the official chocolate supplier for Emperor Napoleon and of kings Louis XVIII, Charles X and Louis Philippe.
Sulpice Debauve (1757-1836), former chemist to French king Louis XVI, devised "the novel combination of cocoa, cane sugar, and medicine after Marie Antoinette complained to him about the unpleasant taste of the medicines she had to take." The queen was so pleased that she named those exquisite coin-shaped chocolates Pistoles. Debauve continued to create a variety of flavored Pistoles for the queen. Finally in 1800, Debauve opened his first chocolate shop on the Rive Gauche of Paris, at Faubourg Saint-Germain.
In 1816, Debauve was appointed as the sole chocolate supplier to the French royal families. In 1819, Napoleon's official architects Percier and Fontaine designed the new shop, which is now classified as a historical monument, located at 30 Rue des Saints-Pères. In 1823, Debauve took in his nephew Jean-Baptiste Auguste Gallais (1787-1838), also a chemist, as an associate in order to create and distribute his dietary chocolates; known then as "healthy chocolates" they were made with almond milk, vanilla and orange blossom water. Gallais published four years later in 1827 his Monographie du cacao ou manuel de l'amateur de chocolat which offered a scientific approach to chocolate.
In contemporary times
Debauve & Gallais claims to be one of the few former royal suppliers in France who retain their independence, and are family owned and operated till today. In 1989, Madame Paule Cuvelier took over the Debauve & Gallais establishment. With the help of her son, Bernard Poussin, Debauve & Gallais have now expanded their business worldwide and have offices in New York, Seoul, Dubai, Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Bucharest, Taipei, Hong Kong, Beijing, Nanjing, Shanghai, and Chengdu. The New York branch was run by Yoo Byung-eun's son Keith H. Yoo.
Debauve & Gallais offer a wide range of dark chocolates whose cocoa percentage comes as high as 99%. Over time they have built a cult following among gourmands, aristocrats, artists, writers and celebrities. Anatole France, author of Le Petit Pierre, described the shop as "lovely".
- Auguste Gallais (1827). Monographie du cacao ou manuel de l'amateur de chocolat (in French). Deboeuve et Gallais.
- Pierre-Joseph Buc'hoz (1812). Traité usuel du chocolat: contenant la description et la culture du cacaotier ou cacaoïer, arbre qui produit le fruit avec lequel on fabrique le chocolat, celles de la canelle, de la vanille, du salep de Perse, de l'ambre gris, du sucre, et autres substances que l'on fait entrer dans la fabrication du chocolat, les différentes façons de préparer ce commestible pour en faire un aliment recherché et propre à flatter le goût ... (in French). Chambon, libraire.
- Jean-Louis Alibert (1814). Nouveaux éléments de thérapeutique et de matière médicale (in French). Caille et Ravier.
- Brillat-Savarin (1826). Physiologie du goût: ou Méditations de gastronomie transcendante : ouvrage théorique, historique et à l'ordre du jour (in French). A. Sautelet et Cie libraires.
- A. K. Crump (1 November 2003). Chocolate French: Recipes, Language, and Directions to Francais Au Chocolat. TCB-Cafe Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9674898-4-1.
- Diana Reid Haig (2004). Walks Through Napoleon and Josephine's Paris. Little Bookroom. ISBN 978-1-892145-25-3.
- Diana Reid Haig (2006). Walks Through Marie Antoinette's Paris. Ravenhall Books. ISBN 978-1-905043-08-8.