Christelle Auzou, is preparing to take over from her father, chocolate maker Jean-Marie Auzou: a transfer of power to be noted on the shelves, as the house celebrates its 50th anniversary. His future boss too.
Rouennais who have a fondness for chocolate know this leaning building, at the intersection of rue de la Vicomté and rue du Gros-Horloge. The showcase for Jean-Marie Auzou’s products belongs to the Historical Monuments family and the brand’s new ambassador, Christelle Auzou, is not a little proud of it. “It is one of the five oldest houses in the city”, argues the eldest daughter of the founder. She feels like a fish in the water in the noble building, having evolved there from her childhood.
“I came into the world two and a half months after my parents moved to Évreux, where they had found the pastry-chocolate factory of their dreams. I was nine when their first store opened in Rouen, within these same walls. . I was happy to get into my father’s van to accompany him here. As a pre-teenager, I enjoyed serving customers in the tearoom, set up downstairs, in the superb crypt now dedicated to storage and preparation.” Later, while studying in the city (BTS Commercial Action), she lived above the store.
“I worked there every Saturday morning and Wednesday afternoon to lend a hand.” Christelle Auzou was going to choose her cradle, Évreux, to fulfill herself professionally. She became her own boss at the age of 22 with the Soho franchise. From gifts and gadgets to decoration, there is only one step: she crosses it after a decade by launching the store Un Coin à part in parallel. Before switching to the world of food shops (manager of Dînette & Chouquette, between sandwiches and pastries). Christelle Auzou has sales and management in her skin. So the day her parents ask her to join them, she lets herself be overtaken by the scent of cocoa and the memory of Rouen.
“It was an emotional return. Chocolate is the magic word. A pure pleasure product that sends a smile.” So here she is associated with her father; the commander of the chocolate makers of France gives himself two or three years to hand over the reins of the house to the heir to its success story. The protege of Jean-Marie Auzou has already completed a good third of the way. “I am helped by my partner Alexandre Vatinel, director of manufacturing. I exchange a lot of ideas with him.” Christelle Auzou divides her time between the Val-de-Reuil laboratory, the store on rue du Gros-Horloge and the shop on rue des Carmes.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the brand, and incidentally the 50 years of the lady who embodies her near future, Maître Auzou has created Le Jubilé ganache. Her eldest daughter describes the treat as “a slightly vanilla chocolate, a little full-bodied but not too much, with a touch of Aztec inspiration (a little taste kept secret) as a homecoming and an iridescent Ecuadorian chocolate coating on the top.” A ganache that does not lack panache.