Which countries produce cacao beans and where do the beans chosen by La Maison du Chocolat come from?
At the moment, the biggest cacao producers are Brazil and The Ivory Coast. Most connoisseurs agree that the best beans and appellations, known for their subtle flavors and their finesse, come from South and Central America. Our chocolate couvertures, made by Valrhona, are the result of blending beans from different origins. The Valrhona Company creates special blends custom-made for us. Our preference of course is for the Criollo beans, which produce fine, delicate chocolate. We use beans from Central America, Trinidad, Ecuador and Venezuela but also from Madagascar, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, as well as Sumatra (they have good acidity) and some Forasteros from the Ivory Coast.
Do you engage in ethical business practices to obtain your raw materials for chocolate couverture?
We work almost exclusively with the Valrhona Company that for the last 20 years has pursued an approach offering social and economic support for the producers and also protection of the environment of the plantations. Respect for recognized international standards such as the International Labor Organization (minimum salaries, right to organize etc…), research and technical assistance programs, fixed prices and guaranteed volumes are part of the strategy of long-term partnerships with the producers.
How does La Maison du Chocolat guarantee the taste and the quality of raw materials used?
All our suppliers are committed to stringent requirements set forth by us, and adhere to the required quality standards.
Do you use “organic” raw materials?
We have very strict product requirement specifications for our raw materials. The appellation “organic” is not a standard that we necessarily take into account because we seek first and foremost products that possess the best organoleptic qualities. Our Creative Director travels extensively across the globe to search for the best products (cacao vintages, spices, fruits etc.).
Where and how are your chocolates made?
All of our chocolates are made by hand, with exceptional expertise and in small quantities in our Atelier located in Ile de France. They are then sold and shipped worldwide. All the chocolatiers of La Maison du Chocolat have a chocolatier degree and all of them were trained to fill a specific position because each step of the production requires a savoir-faire that can only be acquired through experience. Each chocolatier is individually and collectively engaged in the production of an exceptional product.
Where and how are your pastries made?
The team of pastry chefs, who are in an atelier next to our chocolatiers, prepare and bake each day the pastries for the boutiques in Paris. The boutiques abroad have their own local atelier with qualified pastry chefs who are trained in France in our ateliers.
How are your products shipped to your international subsidiaries?
All our products are shipped in temperature-controlled containers to preserve freshness and reassure our international clientele that they are purchasing the highest quality products no matter where the boutique is located.
II. QUESTIONS ABOUT MAISON PRODUCTS
Do you have chocolates that contain peanuts?
We do not have chocolates that contain peanuts and we do not have peanuts in our ateliers. However our suppliers of nuts cannot guarantee the absence of peanuts in their own facilities, therefore we mention that all our products may contain traces amount of peanuts.
How can we find out if there are allergens contained in your products?
Our products are labeled with a list of ingredients and our Sales Associates may also provide information about possible allergens contained in our recipes. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Service.
Do you have chocolates for diabetics?
The only product that can be consumed by diabetics is our Coro Bar, 100% cocoa, which contains no sugar at all.
Do you use soy lecithin in your chocolates?
Soy lecithin is used in the manufacture of the chocolate coatings that we use. It is an emulsifier, which improves the mixture of ingredients (cocoa paste, cocoa butter, sugar…) at the time of conching. Present in an amount of less than 0.3% of the total mass, it does not affect the taste. Our suppliers guarantee us a non-GMO soy lecithin.
III. TASTING AND STORAGE RECOMMENDATIONS
How long will the chocolates last and how do I store them?
Each product has a label with a best before date (best if used by date). Our chocolates have a shelf life of 2 to 8 weeks depending on the type of chocolate. We recommend storing them in a cool place (between 14°C/57F and 18°C/64F) away from direct sunlight. You may place them in a cool area or in the vegetable compartment of your refrigerator, provided you keep them in their original packaging, wrapped carefully in a tightly sealed plastic bag. The chocolates should be removed from the refrigerator about two hours before tasting to enjoy their full flavor.
What tasting rules must be observed in order to fully appreciate your chocolates?
Our chocolates are best appreciated at a temperature of 20°C/68F. We advise that you cut your chocolate in two and let it melt in your mouth to allow time for the flavors to develop. When you are tasting several chocolates, it is best to start with a plain chocolate, then move on to flavored varieties: first those with fruits, then spices, then alcohol.
IV. SALE ONLINE
Are the products of La Maison du Chocolat available online?
The online boutique features almost the entire range of the chocolates and pastries of La Maison du Chocolat. However, only the chocolate products can currently be shipped. Pastries may be purchased in our boutiques. Some pastry products, such as macarons and shortbread cookies, may be delivered by messenger in Manhattan.
How do you place an order on the website?
To place your order, please follow the following steps:
Select your item(s): on the main homepage menu or with the Search tab you can access all the products sold online. On each product page, the shipping method associated with the product is indicated.
Validation of the “Basket”:
On the “Basket” page, you can choose to add one or more shopping bags (at no charge). You can also calculate the delivery charges for your order depending on the shipping method selected. If you received an advantage code for a delivery promotion, please indicate it in the “Basket Summary”. The discount will be automatically calculated.
Validation of the order in three phases:
1. Identification: create your account or log in with your existing account. You can also order without creating an account (express check out).
2. Ordering Information:
- enter the billing address
- enter the delivery address
- select the delivery mode and the delivery date
- you may write a personal message which will be included with your order
- select the payment method
- accept the General Terms and Conditions of Sale
3. Payment of the order:
- enter your credit card information
Once your payment is accepted, you will receive an email with your order confirmation. This is your purchase order; print it for your records. At the time of shipment, you will receive a shipping confirmation by email with your tracking information.
Your invoice will be available in your “My Account” space (if you have created an account) at the time of shipment of the order. If you have not created an account, please contact our Customer Service to receive a copy of the invoice by email.
How may I pay for my order?
The payment for your purchases is made by credit card only after your order is confirmed (Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover). Purchases made on lamaisonduchocolat.us are processed in a secure environment (SSL encoding system). The credit card numbers are not stored on the online boutique of La Maison du Chocolat but on the secure website of a banking institution. La Maison du Chocolat retains ownership of items sold until full payment for the products, sales tax, and shipping costs is received.
Why should you create an account?
Creating an account on La Maison du Chocolat online boutique, will allow you to:
- Place your orders online without having to re-enter your personal information
- Track your orders
- Receive a subscription to our Newsletter
- Modify your personal information
- Manage your password
- Enter and save alternate shipping addresses
How can I change a product on my order?
Once you have placed your order, the order is recorded and cannot be modified. We request that you review the contents of your order on the page "My Basket", before proceeding to the payment section. If the payment has already been processed, kindly contact our Customer Service at (718) 361-9161 and we will do our best to accommodate your request.
Can I modify the address and/or the delivery date once my order has been validated?
Any change is possible as long as the order has not yet been given to the shipping company. If you need to make a change, please contact our Customer Service as soon as possible. They will make any changes requested, if there is sufficient time.
V. I AM A “CHOCOLATE CIRCLE” MEMBER
Can I check my loyalty points online?
By creating an account on lamaisonduchocolat.us and saving your Loyalty Card number, you can track your point balance daily and the expiration date of your points.
Can I order my Chocolate Circle complimentary gifts online?
Not at the moment. The gifts may be picked up at our La Maison du Chocolat US boutiques for holders of US loyalty cards. However, you may ask our team to have your gifts delivered (the delivery charges will be extra). Please contact our Customer Service.
What are the shipping offers?
As a member of our Loyalty Club, the Chocolate Circle, you can benefit from the following advantages throughout the year:
- 50% off of shipping fees for orders over $75 (applies per delivery address)
- Complimentary shipping on online orders over $120 (applies per delivery address)
These offers apply for delivery within the US only.