The Chocolate Life

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As I review chocolate bars I make note of whether a company is a "bean to bar" company or a "fondeur". I'd like to use this thread to ask whether certain companies are fondeurs or b2b. I want to be clear the I use the term "fondeur" as purely a descriptive term that Clay suggested to differentiated these companies from bean to bar makers. I don't intend this term to have any derogatory connotations; it is meant to be descriptive not qualitative.

It would help if we do a little homework first, though. First, check the TCL "Chocolate Maker" database to see if the company is bean to bar. There are a few fondeurs listed there too. Second, check any websites for information about the company in question.

I've attached my list of Bean to bar makers and Fondeurs as it has more listed than the database at TCL.

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Andrea Stainer.

An Italian company. Here's a list of their products.

Are they a fondeur? I suspect so because I can't find any information about the chocolate itself. They have beautiful packaging and a very wide range of products.

From their website: "Debelis Corp., headquartered in Kenosha, Wisconsin (USA) is a dedicated producer of chocolate ingredients for professional users."

A line of couverture. Connected with Belcolade. From their website: "Debelis is the brand for all chocolate products manufactured by one of our 2 other dedicated factories and supplied directly to the industry."

So who makes the chocolate? It seems like Belcolade. If so, does that qualify Debelis as a fondeur? I doubt that Debelis is making any chocolate b2b in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Debelis and Belcolade are both owned by the Puratos Group, which makes more than just chocolate. Belcolade is their European (Belgium) chocolate maker and Debelis is their US chocolate maker. Debelis makes chocolate from the bean and sells it only wholesale. They are "bean-to-bar" but not "bean-to-mouth."

They make and sell all kinds of chocolate and cocoa products - but only wholesale.

That is one nuance/issue that I think might be at the heart of Alan McClure's (Patric) trying to distinguish between chocolate manufacturers and chocolate makers. I think he's talking about scale. From my perspective it's the "do they make and distribute bars for retail sale under their own or some other label" or "do they only sell wholesale to companies who turn around and work with it?"


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