Founded in 1902 by Antoine Dufour, the inventor of the chocolate truffle, Prestat is the only sizeable artisan chocolatier in the UK to have complete control of the chocolate-making process from tree to truffle or bean to bar. The company is also one of only a handful of British chocolatiers to have been awarded two royal warrants.
Last year saw the appointment of Micaela Illy to the role of COO and the focus for the years ahead is fixed on two pillars: first, to foster and enliven the Prestat brand, leveraging its London-based history and masterful craftsmanship of chocolate truffles; and second, to uplift the company’s commitment to social responsibility and improve its environmental impact.
‘Sustainability is an integral part of Prestat’s business principles and plays a key role in ensuring our long-term business success,’ says Micaela. ‘We believe that our legacy is defined by our commitment to responsible operations, from how we set the bar for ingredients standards to the way we tackle food waste.’
The brand utilises only the finest cocoa provided by its sister company, Domori. Domori’s controlled supply chain works closely with farmers in Colombia, Ecuador to Ivory Coast to select only the best beans and with a network of NGOs, cooperatives and local authorities to guarantee the best working conditions and quality throughout the supply chain.
Prestat is also working on minimising its environmental footprint along the entire value chain. ‘We continue to challenge ourselves and try to re-think areas of our business where we can reduce our impact on the environment,’ says Micaela. ‘We are excited to announce changes to our packaging components, which will enable us to remove single-use plastic from most of our products by the end of 2022. Furthermore, we are planning a major investment in our manufacturing facility with a focus on energy efficiency and the use of low impact materials. It is a long, continuous journey of change to which we are fully committed.’
Another top priority for the brand is working with the community to extend its philosophy outside the factory. For example, it has long supported the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust and its mission to foster British craftsmanship. Whether it is treating farmers fairly, taking care of our environment or supporting worthwhile causes, the company is always looking for ways to do more. Last year alone it supported more than 20 different charities around the globe – including Plan Zheroes, City Harvest London, The October Club and Cancer Research.
‘We recognise that food waste is a worldwide issue,’ says Micaela, ‘so we decided to partner up with Too Good To Go, which connects businesses who have surplus food with consumers who want to buy it via an app. From helping alleviate food poverty to supporting children living with cancer in developing countries, giving something back is integral to our values.’
And Prestat is in no doubt about its continuing mission: ‘Our aim, as always, is to enrich human connections by creating premium uplifting chocolates for moments of shared joy, in an authentic, spirited, and ethical manner, safeguarding our British heritage of truffle making since 1902.’