Chantal Coady OBE makes major return to Rococo and Prestat as creative director

Confectionery Production board member, Chantal Coady OBE, has been named as creative director and brand ambassador at Prestat and Rococo luxury chocolate brands, writes Neill Barston.

The British-based businesses, which are now part of Gruppo Illy, are reportedly continuing to deliver against a comparatively challenging market backdrop.

As its new creative director, Coady, who is widely regarded as among the world’s leading industry experts for her position with the Academy of Chocolate, is also set to join the board of directors for the group.

She is set to assist senior management teams with new strategies for both brands – making a notable return to Rococo, which she had originally founded in the 1980s before stepping away from the business several years ago after a turbulent acquisition period from a previous individual investor.

According to the company, she will be spearheading the opening of new UK stores and lead an ambitious international expansion. This includes notable key markets targets within North America and Asia.

Furthermore, Coady will support the international board in continuing the delivery of the highest quality chocolate across both brands and in maintaining the position as world leaders in the areas of environmental sustainability and ethical supply chain practices.

In her new roles, she is also tasked with re-invigorating Rococo with the flare for iconic creations that has made it the chocolate of choice for the Hollywood A-list and royalty for the past forty years, which she is relishing the opportunity to drive forward once again.

She will also bring her unrivalled experience to Prestat, the Piccadilly chocolaterie that was founded in 1902 and has held a Royal Warrant since 1975. Prestat continues to supply its legendary truffles and Easter eggs to the British royal family.

Riccardo Illy, who manages the premium gourmet brands for the Illy family, said: ‘I have always greatly admired Chantal’s work, so I am delighted to welcome her to Gruppo Illy. She has been a true pioneer and a force for good in the chocolate world and when it comes to understanding chocolate and our customers, Chantal is second to none.

‘Prestat and Rococo share a rich heritage going back many decades. We are proud of their histories and have great plans for the future – without ever forgetting the past. I know that Chantal will be an inspiring influence who will work brilliantly with our board and UK staff to create exciting new chapters for both brands.’

Coady, who is the only person to be awarded an OBE by the late Queen for “Services to chocolate making”, said: ‘I am incredibly excited to be joining the Illy Group to work with Prestat and Rococo. My aim is to help build on what are already well-loved, respected and diverse brands, which have fantastic products and deeply loyal customers.

‘It is a particular joy for me to be returning to Rococo, four years after losing the company in difficult circumstances. After devoting decades of my life to building Rococo, it remains close to my heart. I am also looking forward to working with the staff at Prestat. At the moment, Prestat is a sleeping beauty with huge un-tapped potential.”

“I am ready to bring fresh ideas to both companies. These are exciting times for chocolate and I know that the Illy family are the right people to nurture Prestat and Rococo to help them to flourish as genuine leaders in the luxury chocolate market.’

Susan Ennis, chair of Prestat Group, added: ‘Chantal is an un-matched visionary in the chocolate business, so we are thrilled that she has joined Prestat and Rococo.

‘Chantal has always been the oxygen that brings Rococo to life, so it is fitting that she is returning to the company. She is back where she belongs. She has a unique energy that will help us fulfil all our plans for both of these remarkable brands.”

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