‘I do, so adore chocolate truffles as Prestat makes them,’ said the late, great Roald Dahl, author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Indeed, in 1895.
Prestat’s founders created the world’s first recipe or a chocolate truffle, consisting of butter, cream, a touch of sugar, tropical dark chocolate and a secret essence. That original recipe
has remained Prestat’s inspiration, winning it global fans and earning it a Royal Warrant from HM the Queen in 1975, a further one from HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and prompting the Sunday Telegraph to coin the phrase, ‘On Her Majesty’s chocolate service’.
Prestat Rose and Violet Crèmes were handed out at the memorial service of the great fashionista Issy Blow, and its chocolates have featured in a Mario Testino shoot for Vogue and have travelled all the way to the South Pole with Prince Harry on his expedition for Walking With The Wounded. Prestat has been established in London since 1902 and is owned by two brothers, Nick Crean and Bill Keeling. With its hand-crafted chocolates in highly distinctive, jewel-coloured, hand-drawn boxes, Prestat chocolates continue to delight discerning chocolate lovers globally.
The company makes more than 670 chocolate recipes, working with nearly 300 tonnes of chocolate a year. In 2017 it delivered 20 tonnes of chocolates to Trader Joe’s in the USA, and is proud of its ability to help build the reputation of Britain’s greatest chocolate brands.
Though the core product remains largely the same, Prestat has always innovated, being the first to produce sea salt caramel truffles, London gin truffles, yuzu sake and red velvet truffles, which were inspired by the Shakespearean actor Adrian Lester and his wife the playwright Lolita Chakrabarti.
They are constantly monitoring food trends, like the growing move towards vegan recipes and chocolate with perceived additional ‘health food’ benefits. ‘We are obsessive about the quality of our ingredients and we only source the best,’ says Nick Crean. ‘On our team are some of the greatest chocolate innovators and recipe creators, all collaborating to produce superb chocolates.’
Prestat’s focus remains firmly on its beautiful sharing boxes. ‘Chocolates have always been about sharing and inspiring memories, and we like to think of Prestat as a brand that provokes memories of your childhood,’ says Nick. ‘I love it when people tell me our chocolates remind them of their childhoods; of family occasions, birthdays or Christmas –times that are full of love and mischief.’
Prestat’s cocoa is scrupulously sourced. Ninety-five per cent comes from Africa and the brand is committed to working with African farmers under its bespoke Traded Fairly initiative. Prestat is also constantly on the look out for small, interesting producers, such as the St Vincent Cocoa Company on the Caribbean island of St Vincent. Having previously worked as the Financial Times’ correspondent in West Africa, Bill Keeling is currently visiting the plantations there and Nick says, ‘We take our concern for sourcing very seriously. What really matters is helping to build better communities at the growing end, which can only lead to better products and greater enjoyment of the pleasures and delights which only the finest chocolate brings.’
PRESTAT 14–16 PRINCES ARCADE, LONDON, SW1Y 6DS +44 (0)20 8961 3399