Le Chocolatier: A 42 Year Old Miami Landmark Creating Memories, Marking Special Events For Chocolate Lovers In South Florida
MIAMI – As a seasoned food and beverage executive for the largest hotel chains in the world, Joseph Marmor simply got tired of the exhausting long hours and lack of career fulfillment.
“That was just part of the job,” he said with a laugh. “There was also the travel and constant pressures of running the many high-end restaurant outlets at these hotels. My wife, Marlene, and I were always considering using these skills in our own business that would provide us and our customers with life joy.”
That opportunity came about in 1980 when the two former New York and Jerusalem residents met a woman who was manufacturing gourmet chocolates from a small kitchen in Miami.
“For her it was really more of a hobby,” said Marmor. “She loved her work and the creativity involved with making all sorts of chocolates. We sensed her enthusiasm and the potential for this kind of business in Miami.”
They also sensed how chocolate always brings joy to customers because it is associated with happy events such as birthdays, bar/bat mitzvahs, anniversaries, and other special occasions. It also comforts people during times of sadness.
“Chocolate just makes people happy,” added Marmor. “It gives people a sense of euphoria, and it smells just wonderful.”
Joseph and Marlene bought this fledgling venture in 1980, learning the recipes, production flow, marketing and everything else involved in running this unique establishment . And now, 42 years later, Le Chocolatier (www.lechocolatier.com) is one of the premier providers of fine, handmade chocolates in the United States. This thriving business has a beautiful factory showroom in North Miami Beach, Florida, a busy website, a robust digital presence and a strong local and national customer base, servicing corporations, caterers, restaurants, meeting and event planners and individuals seeking to find that special gift for special occasions.
“We pretty much handle the cycle of life — everything from birth to death,” said Marmor. “Our products range from a box of chocolates, baskets and platters to sculptures made from custom molds.”
Marmor estimates that Le Chocolatier manufactures more than 20,000 pounds of chocolate annually, which places it as one of the largest specialty manufacturers in South Florida.
As with all businesses, Le Chocolatier is emerging from the pandemic with the strong momentum generated during the last few years.
“We have been very fortunate,” he said. “During the pandemic, our customers were concerned about reaching out to clients and friends who were working at home or experiencing isolation. Chocolate was the perfect gift since it always seems to bring a smile to people.”
He cited law firms, real estate agencies, and others who regularly ordered products from them.
“Now we’re seeing the return of large-scale events,” he added. “We’re back to pre-pandemic levels as our handmade products are a staple for corporate events, weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, birthdays, baby showers, and pretty much every other kind of special event.”
One of the company’s specialties is making custom molds. The University of Miami, for example, turns to Le Chocolatier to produce logos of the various schools for display at banquets.
In addition, they have more than 3,000 molds, the largest collection in South Florida, that are available for reproducing untold numbers of everyday objects in chocolate!
The other advantage offered by Le Chocolatier is its versatility.
“We have full kosher kitchens,” said Marmor, “and can also manufacture non-dairy, vegan, and other recipes that meet the dietary needs of our varied customer base.
“Our goal is to continually perfect a confection of incomparable tastes and creativity. We are always pushing the limits of creativity to provide a remarkable and luxurious chocolate experience. While we’ve been doing this for more than 42 years, we believe we have only scratched the surface of what we can do for our clients. With our son, Ariel, 29, now joining Le Chocolatier and adding tremendous value with his own skills and a younger creative orientation, we’re even more excited about the next 40 years.”