Debauve & Gallais.

Our House

Artisan chocolatiers, more than 210 years of innovation and tradition
Ganache-filled pastilles, Truffles, Almond crunches, the Queen’s Coins, Frivolities, Unbelievables… Prior to delighting your tastebuds, our artisan chocolatiers’ creations have been the choice of the queens and kings of France, great writers and celebrated gourmets such as Brillat-Savarin, Simone de Beauvoir or, more recently, Sonia Rykiel. For more than 210 years, Debauve et Gallais has been expressing its passion for chocolate through its unique creations whose subtle flavours are constantly praised. Learn more about the history of our artisan chocolatiers below…

  • Sulpice Debauve 1757 - 1836

    Sulpice Debauve, child of the Age of Light, was born on 6th December 1757. It was his sincere belief that Science could, and should, relieve all the ills of Humanity! Thanks to this scientific mind, he became interested in pharmacopoeiaand in 1778, at Saint Germain, became ordinary physician to the king.

  • 1779

    As a pharmacist, Sulpice Debauve perfected the first individual chocolates in which he blended a headache remedy with cocoa butter. Queen Marie-Antoinette fell in love with these chocolate drops, which she dubbed 4The Queen’s Coins”

  • 1800

    Having been granted the title of official chocolatier to Louis XVI, Sulpice Debauve obtained the status of Chocolatier to First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte. He was then joined by his nephew, Jean-Baptiste Auguste Gallais, to create the Firm which bears both their names. The firstchocolate boutique opened its doors in May in rue Saint-Dominique (Paris 7e).

  • 1807

    Launch of the Almond Crunches which were to become one of the favourite sweets of Emperor Napoleon I. First the first time, dried fruits and nuts, in this case almonds, were blended with chocolate.

  • 1817

    Maison Debauve et Gallais establishes its premises in rue des Saints-Pères (Paris 7e)… and is never to move out again! The new premises include vast workshops and a boutique whose decoration was undertaken by architects Percier et Fontaine.

  • 1820

    Jean-Baptiste Auguste Gallais travels through the Americas to map the cocoa plantations. This document, of primary importance and unrivalled precision, has continually been updated by the Firm’s artisan chocolatiers.

  • 1825

    The story of the creation of the Debauve et Gallais Fleur de Lys chocolate goes back to the coronation of Charles X in Reims in 1825, and a special request from the Royal Household. This chocolate comprises an exclusive caramel ganache encased in 60% cocoa solids chocolate.

  • 1835

    Jean-Baptiste patents “lactoline”, a precursor to dried milk. This was a veritable revolution in modern sweet-making! This invention enabled Maison Debauve et Gallais to produce ganaches that could be kept longer.

  • 1836

    Sulpice Debauve dies and is buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery. Two years later, his nephew also passed away. Their respective descendants were, one after the other, to head up the Firm. While preserving the savoir-faire of the two founders, their successors expanded the range of chocolates and developed Debauve et Gallais into an international business.

  • 1865

    In homage to Marcel Proust, one of the firm’s most fervent customers, the chocolatiers decide to launch, in 1865, its own version of Proust’s famous madeleines.

  • 1878

    1878, 1889 & 1900 : three World’s Fairs in Paris, three gold medals for Debauve et Gallais chocolates.

  • 1890

    Sulpice Hugon heads the chocolatier’s production at Ségur.

  • 14-18

    Cocoa supplies were interrupted, raw materials increased in price, artisans took action… The two World Wars also took a dramatic toll upon the chocolate-making sector. Many firms went out of business, but Debauve et Gallais managed to hold on.

  • 1955

    After the liberation of Paris, Gaston Cuvelier, assisted by a handful of dedicated and passionate artisans, gradually succeeds in recreating a solid team. The chocolates and sweets that has brought the Firms its fame during the 19th century once again tempt the Parisian elite.

  • 2014

    Arrival of the 9th generation of descendants of Maison Debauve et Gallais, headed by Bernard Poussin and Diane Junique (Commercial Director). The objective remains the same: to perpetuate the tradition of culinary savoir faire that stretches back for more than 210 years and to maintain draconian standards when it comes to selecting quality ingredients.

Chocolat de luxe - fèves

Unique chocolate-making savoir-faire for a unique taste

Have you noticed that the Debauve et Gallais pastille to which you treated yourself a month ago had the same exquisite flavours as the one you enjoyed yesterday ? In fact, as well as being exceptionally delicious, the taste of Debauve et Gallais remains the same over time.

The origins of this delicious achievement lie in our unique savoir-faire: that of blending cocoa beans. Since Jean-Baptiste Auguste Gallais’ cartographic expedition in 1820, the Firm has developed a vast network of contacts (nowadays, they are more than 2000!) in order to access the finest cocoa plantations.

Consequently, thousands of beans, sourced from throughout Latin America, are delivered around twice a yearto our workshops in rue des Saint-Pères. The“noses” (or, as our Firm calls them, the “mouths”) then go into action. These artisans, who have learned to appraise cocoa beans in the same way as oenologists judge wine, skilfully create a subtle blend. They manage to balance the cocoa beans’ sweet, bitter and acidic notes in a way that sets chocolate lovers tastebuds tingling.

Our “couverture” chocolate, which is the basic ingredient for all the sweet treats made by Maison Debauve et Gallais, is created from this blend of beans.

Finest ingredients for exquisite chocolates

At Debauve et Gallais, the quest for exquisite flavours is not limited to selecting the finest cocoa beans. Throughout the year, the “mouths” of our Firm seek out ingredients that taste exceptional in order to magnify the taste of the chocolate and create simply sensational sweetmeats.

  • Forastero
  • Trinitario
  • Criollo

Forastero alone represents 70% of world production! Planted in Brazil, Ecuador, in the north of South America and in Central America, as well as in West Africa, this is a cocoa with bitter notes and is acid-scented. The cocoa pods vary from green to yellow, once ripe. The beans within, flat and a beautiful, deep violet in colour, have a high tannin content which delays any fermentation. Forastero represents 80% of the world’s cocoa production originating from Brazil and West Africa. Nacional, a Forastero produced in Ecuador, is reputedly better than the common Forastero in terms of its aromas. As these Amazonian hybrids are sturdy and productive, they hold first place in terms of value for money and are likely to do so for several years to come.


Trinitario represents 15 % of world production. Planted principally in Cameroon but also in Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Africa, this variety is a hybrid of Amazonian Forastero and Criollo. It produces pods of various shapes and colours. Its beans are also varied in size and colour, but all are delicately flavoured and have a significantly high fat content.


Criollo represents only 5 % of world production. It produces an aromatic cocoa with a subtle taste with little bitterness, which is why it is exclusively used for luxury products. When immature, the pods are red or green and noticeable for their elongated shape with a distinctive point at their base. The majority are deeply striated and produce rounded beans with fresh white buds, unlike other species. They ferment easily, due to their low tannin content, but are not widely grown as Criollo is not as robust as its two sister species.


The intuition of Sulpice

Sulpice Debauve understood, way back in the 18th century, that chocolate can do us good. He made use of his expertise as a pharmacist to create “Healthy chocolates”, with a high cocoa content, such as the Queen’s Coins, so dear to Marie-Antoinette. The intuition of the founder of Debauve et Gallais is now scientifically confirmed: the benefits of chocolate are many and varied !

  • An ally to digestion

    Cocoa contains fibres that trigger digestion. It also includes phytosterols which reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the small intestine.

  • A powerful antioxidant

    Cocoa powder is rich in flavonoids, organic molecules that help to slow down cells’ ageing and which contribute to the prevention of certain illnesses, such as cancer.

  • An effective stimulant

    Thanks to theobromine, an alkaloid similar to caffeine.

  • A source of comfort and pleasure

    Thanks to its high concentration of magnesium, cocoa can help us to ward off tiredness, stress and anxiety. What’s more, it has an instant feel-good factor! Oh yes, among all the molecules that make up cocoa are phenyl ethylamineand tyramine, pleasure neurotransmitters.

« Utile dulci »

To make the best chocolate, the house Debauve and Gallais creates sweets with a very high content of cocoa and thus perpetuates the design of its founder “Utile dulci” (to join the useful to the pleasant).