Like several of his well-known competitors in British chocolate, Marc Demarquette was born in 1972. Marc, however, had roots that were distinctly different than any other British chocolatiers. Marc, though born and raised in London, has roots in the far East . His mother, in fact, was a native of China, while his father is French. He obtained his early education in Bath. From a very young age, Demarquette reports he had a fascination and love for chocolate confections. In fact, his French grandmother rarely visited his London home without bringing a new chocolate treat for the young boy to try. She was particularly fond of Gaston LeNotre chocolates, giving Demarquette a sophisticated appreciation for the confection at a very young age.
Marc began his formal education in 1991 at the University of Brighton. He studied Tourism and Aviation Management, obtaining a four-year degree and exiting the institution in 1995. From there, he entered one year of post-graduate study at the University of Westminster. Marc’s first career path led him to British Airways in 1999 where he worked as a cargo manager for one year. For another five years, Demarquette was employed at the food production company Capgemini doing consulting work.
A unappling incident actually became the catalyst to catapult Dermarquette out of marketing and consulting and into what would become his true passion. A serious accident gave Marc plenty of time to stop and reassess his priorities. Instead of spending his life in the corporate pressure-cooker, Marc Demarquette stepped out and pursued a career as a chocolatier. He moved to Paris and studied at the Maison LeNotre. He trained with masters and artisan chocolatiers and even met his childhood idol of chocolate, Gaston LeNotre. Demarquette took this experience in small-batch, handmade artisan chocolate back to London, founding Demarquette Fine Chocolates in 2006.
To open the doors of his new chocolate company, Marc obtained a forty thousand pound bank loan, allowing him to establish his first shop location in Fulham and open a production facility close-by. He also took on another chocolatier to help with the production side of the business. While the forty thousand pounds got him quickly up and running, it only took Marc six months to exhaust this capital. By that time, however, his chocolates were selling well enough that enough cash was pouring in to keep it all going strong. This cashflow was generated from his shop location, as well as by a savvy marketing plan that put Demarquette Fine Chocolates in front of hotel and business clients. These important clients used the chocolates as complementary gifts for their own clients and customers. Demarquette also appealed to the public-at-large by opening his chocolate shop for tasting events that drew steady interest.
By the end of 2007, the company was booming. Marc had enough business and revenue coming into the coffers that he planned on launching a second retail location for Demarquette Fine Chocolates. Instead, the growth of the business took an entirely new direction. Marc was approached by the renowned British department store Fortnum & Mason. With its strong grocery store roots that focus on the high-quality and exotic, Fortnum & Mason contracted with Demarquette to create a line of 16 custom-made chocolates with the house label. This venture was launched in September of 2007 and overshadowed the plan to open a second shop. Instead, the energy and capital was poured into the exposure the company received at Fortnum’s. The success at Fortnum’s also intrigued other partners, who quickly queried about having Demarquette produce their own house-label custom chocolate lines. Several other companies besides Fortnum & Mason convinced Marc to work with them, including the Royal Opera House and the Tregothnan private estate.
From the beginning of his venture, Marc has maintained a distinctive quality and flavor to his chocolates. His cultural roots shine forth in the many combinations that appear on the shelves of his Fulham shop and online chocolate store. The company has a strong ethic, which includes taking care of their producers and growers and promoting good living standards for all workers. Demarquette shuns suppliers who use child labor in the fields, for example. The company uses no artificial flavors or fillers to create the confections.
The Demarquette online shop I believe sells everything that you can buy in his Fulham Road store – nothing springs to mind that’s missing. Online you can buy a selection of classic assortments which range from £7.50 for a ‘pocket box’ of six chocolates to a prestige gift box of eighty-four for £75 and comes with the option to add a gift message up to twenty words. Marc also offers a wide range of ganaches. Some are blends but there are also single origin ones in the ‘Pure Collection’ such as Peru (Single Estate), Papua New Guinea, Mexico, Costa Rica, Uganda, Sao Tome, Wild (Bolivia), Araguani Venezuela (2 Star Gold award-winner), Trinidad, Porcelana , Ecuador, Madagascar Milk, Madagascar Dark and the Dominican Republic.
You can also get an Oriental selection box with a variety of flavours including Ginger & Galangal, Mixed Citrus, Pure Ben Tre, Szechuan Pepper, Jasmine and Matcha Green Tea.
And Marc doesn’t stop there. He also does a wide range of chocolate gifts aimed at the romantic chocolate gift market with heart-shaped chocolates. You can also find ‘The Nutkeeper’s Caramel Collection’ if you prefer nutty chocolate. There’s also a variety of caramel creams, Champagne Truffles and a huge range of single origin and couverture chocolate bars.