Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse
Chocolate heaven has arrived in London with the opening of a permanent store for Ducasse Paris’ signature chocolate brand, Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse, at Coal Drops Yard, the new retail district in London’s King’s Cross.
Offering single-origin and flavoured ganaches, pralinés “à l’ancienne”, chocolate bars and more, created and manufactured in Paris, the shop is Le Chocolat’s first opening in London.
Interior designers for the scheme were Ciguë; Oracle Interiors were the main contractor.
Hugo Haas, founder of Ciguë said: “We carried out consulting work for Alain Ducasse’s first chocolate factory constructed in Paris in 2014 and subsequently for two more shops in the city – as well as a further factory and shop in Tokyo last year.
“We developed an architectural language and style for the brand and also a knowledge of chocolate manufacture, including key elements of the process such as maintaining the quality, colour and texture of the product.”
The main chocolate displays are located in the centre of the shop and there is also a workshop which specialises in craft pieces. The cold storage unit and staff facilities are situated to the rear of the interior.
Guillem Renard of Ciguë said: “One of the most challenging elements of the project was adapting the shape of the cold storage unit to fit the building. We also wanted to showcase the manufacturing process. Another key challenge was to maximise the chocolate displays within the space.”
The project commenced in August 2018 and has just been completed.
Located in a reimagined set of coal drops adjacent to Granary Square and Regent’s Canal, Coal Drops Yard houses over 50 independent stores from a unique mix of established and emerging brands, along with cafés, bars, top independent restaurants and new public spaces.
Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse is born from the desire to return to the source, the very essence of what chocolate is made of: precise, meticulous and creative work, a craft that works with bespoke machinery and a drawn-out process.
The chocolates are made traditionally in Paris, in a workshop at the back of a small cobbled courtyard at 40 rue de la Roquette, with each step of the confection process mastered and controlled by Ducasse’s trusted artisan chocolate specialists.
Passionate about the quest for the essential, Alain Ducasse and his team select cocoa beans from around the world based on their purity as much as on their personality. Alain Ducasse acts as artistic director, defining flavours, while the chocolate maker adjusts, adapts, and then works each day, with expertise and ingenuity.
Together, they taste and fine-tune to create chocolates that best express their origins and character, rediscovering the precise and laborious process required for making chocolate.