New Zealand’s de Spa Chocolatier combines Old World culinary traditions with the best New World ingredients to make premium chocolates with intense flavor, superior smoothness and a rich lingering after taste.
An immigrant to New Zealand from Belgium, John de Spa along with his wife Aliman established a business in Christchurch to sell premium Belgian style chocolates in 1991. Dissatisfied with the limited range available, they decided to make their own.
To achieve the quality John de Spa desired, he went to Belgium to find a chocolatier who could help him to achieve the quality product he wanted to make. In Liege, he met Jean-Maire Bara a patisserie chef and chocolatier who has 30 years of experience included making chocolates for the Belgian royal family
In 1992, together John, Aliman and Jean-Maire established the de Spa Chocoaltier factory in the Christchurch suburb of Ferrymead. In 1997, John de Spa unfortunately passed away unexpectedly. In 1999, John’s brother Philippe who has help the business for many years, officially joined the business as a shareholder and director, becoming fully involved with all aspects of the business.
To work his magic, Jean-Maire begins with chocolate paste by BARRY Callebaut of Belgium, renowned as the world's finest. He combines this with the finest New Zealand butter, milk and fruit fillings. Jean-Maire and his staff make over 75 varieties of dark, milk and white chocolates. All are hand-made and the range includes moulded and enrobed creme filled chocolates and chocolate truffles.
Jean-Maire also makes gateaux and petit fours and de Spa Chocolatier has gained a reputation for its wedding cakes and wedding chocolates.
de Spa Chocolatier also produces premier and sugar-free chocolates. Novelty chocolates in the company’s range include rum- and whiskey-flavoured chocolate cigars, champagne chocolates in the shape of champagne corks, and chocolates shaped as golf balls, cars and wine grapes.
Stylish presentation is the hallmark of de Spa. Gift boxes are elegantly designed, and businesses that want to thank or show appreciation to their clients, staff or associates can use de Spa chocolates as corporate gift packages.
Air New Zealand, Telecom, and AMI Insurance are among the large businesses that have made use of de Spas chocolates as corporate gifts. Some companies, such as Mike Pero Mortgages and Ray White Real Estate, use boxes of de Spa chocolate branded with their logos as ‘Thank You’ gifts for their clients. de Spa can organise all the branding and packaging of corporate gift boxes or simply supply the top-quality contents.
In addition to its own products, de Spa imports Jules Destrooper fine Belgian biscuits and Vanparys almond and chocolate dragees.
There are now de Spa shops in downtown Christchurch, Wellington, and Invercargill. de Spa also supplies chocolates to more than 30 stores throughout New Zealand and Australia. Visitors are welcome to visit the de Spa factory and display room in Ferrymead, and observe the chocolatier at work.
The fastest growing part of de Spa Chocolatier’s business is its Internet store. The company regularly sends chocolate ordered over the Internet to the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and other countries.
Through this website you can keep up with the latest developments at de Spa Chocolatier or order chocolate and have it sent anywhere in the world.