Press release – For immediate distribution
Three generations of women, an exceptional artisanal approach
Montreal, October 16, 2014 – A true Montreal institution, Chocolats Andrée is celebrating the 75th anniversary of its founding this fall with the announcement that…nothing is going to change! Since 1940, Chocolats Andrée has offered a range of chocolaty bites entirely made by hand, with the same technique and the same artisanal tools used in the middle of the past century. This is one of the few addresses in the country to hand-dip every one of its chocolates, a signature and a savoir-faire almost impossible to perpetuate – but a source of delight for several generations of Montrealers and visitors on the lookout for authentic destinations.
When Madeleine settled in Mile End
Stéphanie Saint-Denis is the granddaughter of Madeleine Daigneault, the founder. She took up the family torch in 2007, ensuring the presence of a third generation of women at the helm of the artisanal-chocolate workshop-boutique, doing business under the same sign on Avenue du Parc in Mile End. “A woman heading her own concern in 1940 was really unusual,” relates Saint-Denis. “During the war, with everything being rationed, the customers themselves found a way of supplying the missing ingredients. My grandmother helped in the incredible transformation of Montreal and the neighborhood between 1940 and the beginning of this decade. She was a woman who inspired so many others.”
The Madeleine: the Boa Sentença anniversary truffle
“People tell us that Chocolats Andrée is one of the few Montreal businesses that’s become timeless, something like Schwartz’s or Birks,” Stéphanie Saint-Denis goes on. “At our level, we rely on consistency, product quality and a warm welcome. Some customers have been ordering with us for over 50 years, often for Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, Mothers’ Day or birthdays.” To celebrate these 75 years, master confectioner Michel Hadd has conceived the Madeleine, a truffle crafted in limited quantities. It’s made from a dark Brazilian chocolate with 68 percent cocoa content and a fruity aroma – Boa Sentença, an extremely rare variety, with less than five tons distributed worldwide.
The name Chocolats Andrée? Same marketing as in 1940
Rooted in the purest French tradition, Chocolats Andrée’s bites are made in the workshop at the back of the boutique, among the water-cooled marble tables and the original gas stoves looking like old wood-burners. This local production and the use of fresh high-quality ingredients is like a trip back in time, to the heart of a savoir-faire of days gone by. The name Chocolats Andrée came from the imagination of its founder. “In 1940 my grandmother felt that Andrée was a first name with a modern feel to it,” explains Stéphanie Saint-Denis, “and that it held an appeal for both francophones and anglophones – and also both for men and women!”
Success story, women’s story
Chocolats Andrée is a story about women, then, about a local shop doing business for 75 years, about the evolution of a neighborhood, a clientele and a very special knowhow. “Preservation of the family roots is truly precious,” Saint-Denis stresses. “We’re well into the third generation, and my daughter Corinne is always willing to lend a hand.” The chocolate shop website features photos and accounts, at www.chocolatsandree.com.
Chocolats Andrée offers a collection of some 50 bites, classified as Classics, Little-Creams, Choco-Fruits, Nutty Delights, Authentics, Reclaimed Flavors, Delicacies of Yesteryear, Sophisticated Bunch and Little Seasonal Treats. Premium customized boxes as well as a delivery service are available.