Prestat: England’s Oldest and Most Revered Chocolate Shop
Posted: Mar 21, 2017
London-based chocolate shop Prestat is held in very high regard in the UK and is proud of its titles as purveyor of delicious treats to many of Britain’s finest, including Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, and Queen Elizabeth II. Despite being viewed as a quintessentially English business, Prestat actually has roots in France.
In Chambery in 1895, the Dufour family made history by creating the very first chocolate truffles (something we are very appreciative of!). Just 7 years later, Antoine Dufour would set up a shop selling these wonderful creations in central London on South Molton Street. Before long, another two stores popped up in the capital – one on Oxford Street and the other on St. Swithin’s Lane. Perfectly situated, word very quickly caught on of Duffour’s spectacular chocolate truffles and Britain (and the world) has never looked back.
Prestat has a long history of supplying their goods to the rich and the famous. This includes actress Sarah Bernhardt in the 1910s, Sir John Gielgud, Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Princess Diana, Stephen Fry, Adrian Lester and Peter Mandelson.
Most notable, however, is the fact that Prestat has twice been awarded Royal Warrants as purveyors of chocolates: once to Queen Elizabeth II in 1975, and then to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in 1999. With such impressive clientele, it is easy to see why this brand has a reputation as a premium, high-quality chocolatier.
Although two of the stores were closed and the business was sold by Antoine Dufour’s son to Neville and Maxwell Croft following the difficulty of operating during WWII, Prestat has enjoyed immense success selling their chocolate truffles and other goods. They were named one of the top three chocolate shops in the entire world in 2003 by The Economist, whilst their products are sold in leading stores such as Harrods, John Lewis and Selfridges, as well as their flagship store in Piccadilly. Prestat has also stretched globally and exports to Australia, Japan, Switzerland, Dubai, Holland and Germany.
In addition to their heritage of being the pioneers of chocolate truffles, one of the reasons that Prestat has enjoyed great success is the ability to adapt. They have introduced dozens of rare and daring flavour combinations in recent years, showing that they are very much a modern company who understands the evolving market. Another reason that they stand out from the crowd is their lovely boxes, which feature an array of vibrant colours that always catch the eye of a consumer in store.
Prestat is a terrific brand to stock as they have a remarkably strong reputation, a rich and royal history and have managed to stay current. Their unique, bold and tantalising truffles will dazzle any customer, matched by their striking packaging that will brighten any store.
Angelina Moufftard works for hf Chocolates, established wholesale confectionery suppliers with decades of experience supplying sweets and high-end delicacies from chocolate truffles to Turkish Delight to retailers across the UK. Working with the most dedicated suppliers from France, Spain, Germany, Holland, Belgium, the USA and the UK, hf Chocolates' great tasting and beautifully packaged products add panache to any sweet display.
Writer and Online Marketing Manager in London.