Florence Paquin-Mallette and Ludovic Fresse
A classic range of artisanal chocolates offered online and through certain retail outlets.
Thanks to their know-how and cutting-edge technology, which allows customers to completely personalize the product, from the surface of the chocolate to the packaging and flavour, Chocolat Montréal stands out in the corporate gift sector and on the local gastronomy scene.
Just over a year ago, Florence Paquin-Mallette and Ludovic Fresse founded Chocolat Montréal. As partners in life and the proud parents of little Claire and little Édouard, they had both reached a turning point in their careers. Florence, a graduate in French literature and a textile artisan, looked after the little one. For his part, Ludovic wanted to realize one of his dreams: create a workshop to make artisanal-quality chocolate with production optimized to meet the needs of a corporate clientele. This seasoned entrepreneur and chocolate maker, well known in the artisanal chocolate sector (he has 20 years of experience with Chocolats Privilège, which he co-owned and whose current success he largely contributed to), needed a new challenge: to become a “businessman-chocolatier.”
The time was right for this couple of “entrepreneur parents with kids” to create a business in their image. “We wanted to embark on a different business model, which would not have a storefront. This would allow us to focus on production.” Living in Pointe-Saint-Charles, they went on a search for a workshop near their home, and found one in Côte-Saint-Paul. The children have their own little corner, with their own toys.
The workshop was a success. Thanks to highly innovative technologies, production capacity has reached the level that Ludovic dreamed of. Running at full capacity, Chocolat Montréal could turn out between 300 and 350 kilos of finished products each day.
But while production is now optimized, they have made no compromise in terms of manufacturing quality and raw materials.
“Chocolate making is an expensive and very sophisticated activity. It cannot be improvised, it requires know-how,” Florence says. Ludovic Fresse, a native of France, is a master chocolatier. He has worked in Europe, notably in France and Luxembourg, in the United States and finally in Quebec, where he has lived for more than 20 years.
“Our initial motivation was to find a way to work together while balancing our family life.”
“… And that’s precisely our biggest challenge: running a family business and finding a balance! People often say we have created a company based on work-life balance,” Florence explains. “Our schedules are flexible. We live within walking or cycling distance of the workshop. We have put all the odds on our side.”
She adds that another major challenge is to separate work and personal life. “When you are a business couple, it’s not always easy to ‘stop the machine’ and talk about something else!”
“The quality of our customers, without any hesitation. It’s very comforting to see how Ludovic’s network of contacts, whether they are suppliers or customers, was there to help us when we started out. It’s a trust that goes far beyond the company, a trust that has a really touching human side.”
“The great Parisian chocolate makers, for example DUCASSE Paris, created by Alain Ducasse. The quality of their products, the respect for tradition and the creativity of this company, which maintains its artisanal authenticity, are a great inspiration to us.”
“That our company becomes autonomous while preserving our values. That the team becomes synonymous with Chocolat Montréal, and no longer just Florence and Ludovic!”
“We are also big admirers of companies whose missions go beyond their business goals, such as the goal of promoting local products. That is what we aspire to.”
Chocolat Montréal was selected among a large number of candidates to be included in CODE SOUVENIR MONTRÉAL, a catalogue created by Design Montréal and an initiative of the Bureau du design to promote Montréal’s creativity.
The company was one of the laureates of Fondation Montréal Inc. in 2018, winning a grant and entrepreneurial support.
Publication of an article in the gastronomy magazine Exquis.
Unlike Ludovic, who never seems to get away from chocolate (his favorite dish is chocolate mousse!), Florence has a salty tooth (not a sweet one). It seems that opposites attract. Her favourite dish is Caesar salad, the real deal, with the works: parmesan, anchovies, croutons, etc.
ENFANT TERRIBLE SINCE 2018
Each month, we feature one of our suppliers, a local producer with whom we are proud and happy to work with.
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