After beginning operations in 1987, DeBrand Fine Chocolates celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. That’s a quarter century of debuts such as raspberry creams and hot chocolates, gelato and berry marshmallows.
Cathy Brand-Beere, president and founder of the company, shared 25 DeBrand facts to commemorate the milestone.
DeBrand offers three collections of chocolates – Classic, Truffle and Connoisseur – with the Classic Collection being the most popular. The five best-selling candies from that collection:
Dark Chocolate Raspberries & Cream
Milk Chocolate DeBrand Caramel
Chocolate Lover’s Cheesecake
Thank you Chocolate Thoughts bars
Milk chocolate tasting bar
Diane Lampe (23 years) started as a chocolate maker and shop employee in 1989. Today, she is the operation manager in the kitchen.
Charlene White (18 years) started as a chocolate maker and is still a chocolate maker today. White began at DeBrand in 1994.
Sally Yashewski (18 years) started in 1994, too, and Brand-Beere calls her the most recognizable DeBrand face. She started at the Jefferson Pointe location when it opened and is still there.
Joie Nelson (17 years) started at DeBrand doing part-time general office work in 1995. Today, she is in charge of accounting and store operations.
Cathie Williams (16 years) started in 1996 working in the shop part time and now works in the kitchen in the Jefferson Pointe location.
Caramel Apple season or the fall, when DeBrand sells its giant caramel apples
Most memorable customers
Donald Trump. DeBrand chocolates are found on nearly all Trump properties, she says, and DeBrand even offers Trump Gold Bullion Chocolate Bars.
A local warehouse cashier. My husband told me that as he was making a purchase, the cashier saw that he was from DeBrand and told him that every time she receives her paycheck, the first thing that she does is go to DeBrand and sit to relax and indulge in two Connoisseur chocolates and a cup of coffee, Brand-Beere says. I was touched that someone who does not make a great deal of money would choose to establish a special tradition of treating herself to our chocolates.
The Princess of Dubai. I was humbled that someone from so far away who has the means to purchase anything from anywhere chose to celebrate the birth of her baby by giving away 500 12-piece boxes of DeBrand Truffles that were topped with Thank You chocolate bars. On a later occasion, she ordered 70 Chocolate Art Boxes (filed with the Classic Collection) that she used as table favors at a dinner party.
A man whose mother was dying. I happened to be in the shop when a gentleman came in to purchase a box of Orange Creams for his beloved mother who was dying and requested being able to enjoy her favorite chocolates.
Actress Dyan Cannon. When she was the keynote speaker at Tapestry, she came to an event at our store. I appreciate that she was enthusiastic enough about DeBrand to call me after she returned to L.A. At a later date, we enjoyed meeting her for lunch in Beverly Hills.