The Weiss chocolate factory in Saint-Etienne has opened its doors to visitors to show off its creations in a venue combining culture, history and gastronomy.
On October 6 2016 in Saint-Etienne, Weiss opened the Ateliers, an area of more than 500 m2 on two levels, which shows off the brand’s expertise and entices people to come and discover chocolate in all its forms.
Showcasing the art of Weiss
The project, started in 2015, has focused on the creation of a modern, sleek, aesthetic venue. The new building is constructed in steel and glass and the architecture features curves and waves.
Inside, visitors can enjoy a fluid, light-filled space to journey through the Weiss universe and take part in the activities on offer. The reception, shop and restaurant are all on the ground floor but the more curious can go up a ramp to the first floor for a unique spectacle.
On the first floor a look-out post has been installed, and through the windows visitors can see the workers in action and follow the preparation of the chocolates as it happens. Weiss wants to reward loyal customers and plays on the idea of transparency with a focus on proximity and two-way contact.
The company also wants to highlight its heritage and focuses on its position as a luxury chocolatier. By combining great taste and great aesthetics, the Ateliers offer an experience which is both visual and culinary.
Sharing and discovering a unique experience
Weiss has invested in activities which favour dialogue and interaction with visitors.
The free, permanent exhibition is centred on three axes: the Art of Assembly, Weiss pralines and the Weiss style. Each theme gives people the possibility of trying the master chocolatier’s recipes with tutorials on the subject available. Tasting sessions are also organised.
The temporary exhibition can be accessed for under 8 euros, and showcases the territory and artists of the region, in partnership with local institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art in Saint-Etienne.
Explanatory diagrams and signage are supplemented by commentaries from a Weiss employee, working as a voluntary guide. This tour can be carried out by any member of staff, from a basic worker to the master chocolatier.
The shop area then offers people the chance to leave with a ‘My Creation’ custom-made chocolate bar, using their favourite chocolate and personally chosen ingredients.
The shop also offers the wide range of the chocolatier, from the most iconic established lines to the latest creations.
Meeting the most varied needs
This historic venue, where Weiss chocolates were first conceived and are still produced, offers with its Ateliers a wide variety of activities, appealing to all the senses and aiming to attract a wider audience.
Children and parents who want to learn can follow the museum guide which details all the stages of production.
Lovers of fine dining can savour the restaurant menu which was designed by chef Christophe Roure, a two-star Michelin Chef and recognised French chocolatier.
With its Ateliers, Weiss has opened an iconic venue to convey the culture of its brand and get closer to customers. By developing its ties with the area, it shows the value of hand-made manufacturing which leans on ancestral knowledge. Through the creation and communication of a unique experience, the master chocolatier showcases his art with taste and originality.
Les Ateliers Weiss
1 Rue Eugène Weiss,
42000 Saint-Étienne, France