This family saying, a favorite for over 100 years, perfectly embodies the spirit of Bonnat. Bonnat (pronounced boh-NAH) is an astonishing fourth-generation, family-run chocolate and pastry establishment in Voiron, France, a small town near Grenoble, not far from the French alps.
Bonnat et Chocolat
Established in 1874 by the great-grandfather of the current master chocolatier, Stéphane Bonnat, Bonnat is an exceptional chocolatier. They have produced bean-to-bar chocolate from their establishment in 1884, and they have not stopped. Today, they are one of only five chocolate-makers in France to do so - that is, to purchase raw cacao beans and grind, roast, and blend them into chocolate. (The vast majority of chocolate makers purchase their base chocolate, or couverture, already made.)
Bonnat has also been a pioneer of single-origin chocolates. While most chocolate is made from a blend of beans from many different places, single-origin chocolate consists of just one kind of bean from one country or plantation, thus highlighting the flavor notes of that particular bean and its terroir - the specific nuances stemming from the location where it's grown - and allowing the differences in beans to shine through, just as with fine wine. Today, more and more establishments are hopping onto the single-origin bandwagon, but Bonnat was at the forefront.
Many small-town factories have relocated to the industrial outskirts in recent years, but not Bonnat. Still located right in the center of Voiron, across from the cathedral (pictured on the Bonnat label), Bonnat has not only retained and expanded its original location, but it has also grown successfully into modernity without losing one bit of its commitment to authenticity and best practices. Madame Bonnat, Stéphane's mother, who worked together with her late husband to grow the business for many years, remains very involved, as are two of Stéphane's sisters, Flavie and Cécile.
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