His Excellence Valrhona

Interview with Eric Marchisio, Global Sales Director of the French brand, one of Identità Expo’s partners

15-07-2015
«You can only make high quality chocolate with hi

«You can only make high quality chocolate with high quality cocoa»: with these words, Eric Marchisio, Global Marketing & Sales Director of Valrhona and one of the international development managers of the French brand explains one of the essential elements in this quest for excellence

During these months, we’re inviting you every day at Identità Expo S.Pellegrino, inside the World Fair, for lunch and dinner events of the highest quality thanks to the many, prestigious chefs working in our kitchen (here’s the programme of the next events). Many precious partners have collaborated in making of our temporary restaurant even more delicious and cosy. We are presenting them with great pleasure.

Today we present Valrhona, a historic partner of Identità, working with us with great and mutual happiness for many years. Since it was founded in 1922 in Tain l’Hermitage, near Lyon, this partner represents chocolate excellence around the world. The company goes under this name since 1947, yet it all began 25 earlier thanks to pastry-chef Albéric Guironnet who opened Chocolaterie du Vivarais.

Today this brand means excellence in chocolate all around the world, thanks to its international expansion over the years. Among the makers of this development there’s also Eric Marchisio, Global Marketing & Sales Director, who – as he tells us himself – started to work for this company in 2002, at first in the development of the Italian market, opened a few months earlier. First of all, we asked him what he knew about Valrhona before starting his career for the French brand and what he discovered, once he arrived.

[[ ima2 ]]«I had previously worked for the Bongrain group, in particular in the cheese sector, without working in the marketing field. Bongrain is also the sole shareholder of Valrhona, but I didn’t know this brand very well, in fact. I knew of course that the greatest restaurateurs, chefs and pastry chefs were among its clients. However, for example, I thought the activity would be more focused on the public. Instead, while working here, I realised the business to business element is the dominating one».

What kind of work did you do to develop Valrhona in Italy?
Of course we started from a very detailed analysis of this market, trying to understand habits, needs, in order to answer them in the best possible way. The goal was to build an intense and productive relationship with high quality restaurants and pastry-shops. Over they years we have managed to reach this goal and today Italy is the fourth most important market for our brand.

[[ ima3 ]]During these 13 years in which you worked for Valrhona, what were the main evolutions you noticed?
Our company works constantly to innovate products continually and to always stand beside our clients thanks to activities such as the Pastry-Making Schools: from this point of view we have grown significantly during these years. After all, the international expansion was extraordinary, just like the effort, in every country in which we work, to make the high end of the market in which we operate grow. In Italy I saw a very significant development of the top range both in restaurants and pastry-shops and Identità Golose, with its constant growth during the last ten years, had an essential role for us.

What are your goals for the future? What are the main challenges Valrhona is taking?
Our main goal is to continue in our Corporate Social Responsibility commitment, guaranteeing that high quality chocolate is made with high quality cocoa. We work with almost 95% cocoa sourced directly from plantations, creating healthy and sustainable relationships with our partners. It is very important for us to continue our work in reducing the social impact of all aspects of our production and distribution, promoting chocolate artisanal know-how around the world. Finally, we want to continue to innovate, both improving our customer service through digital platforms and renewing our products constantly.

The beautiful

The beautiful "birthday cake" that Gianluca Fusto, Andrea Besuschio and the École du Grand Chocolat Valrhona gave to Claudio Ceroni and Paolo Marchi to celebrate, in February 2014, the tenth anniversary of our Congress


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Identità Expo

Activities, ideas and protagonists in Identità Golose's location inside the 2015 World Fair