Marou Faiseurs de Chocolat celebrates its 10th anniversary with a new product offering and store that promises to bring the award-winning chocolate brand further.

Since its conception 10 years ago, Marou Faiseurs de Chocolate remains at the top of the game in the chocolate industry in Vietnam and beyond.

Marou Faiseurs de Chocolat celebrates its 10th anniversary with a new product offering and store that promises to bring the award-winning chocolate brand further.

French co-founders Vincent Mourou and Samuel Maruta received their business license to manufacture chocolate in Ho Chi Minh City on November 29, 2011, and officially established the company in 2012, marking the birth of Vietnam’s first and original chocolate brand. Vincent and Samuel, who both worked for industries far different from chocolate-making, opened its first store on Calmette Street in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City in 2016, welcoming a growing legion of fans from around the world coming to see and taste a distinctly Vietnam flavor. A year later, Maison Marou Hanoi was built. 

Vincent Mourou, one of Marou’s founders, values transparency and sustainability in all of Marou’s production process.

Marou grew from basically nothing but a “light bulb moment” to a remarkable brand that established Vietnam's name to the chocolate world. As the company started exporting to over 20 countries and continuously releasing a whole new range of products, it built Maison Marou Thao Dien in 2020.

In its early years, Marou took the chocolate world by storm, getting the attention of international publications like Le Parisien, The New York Times and Forbes, getting tagged “new talent in chocolate” at a prestigious event organized by Salon du Chocolat in Paris, and impressing the late Michel Roux, a three-time Michelin star chef, and Pierre Hermé. Marou became the talk of the town, gaining the respect of industry titans as it shone new light to the quality products Vietnam has to offer to the world. 

Thao Nguyen, one of the first employees of Marou, saw how the brand grew and evolved. From being a training and development officer to becoming the current communications project coordinator, Nguyen has taken on just about every role – a befitting parallelism to the company’s appetite for experimentation and adventure.

“I just saw that picture of Sam and Vincent amongst the Cacao trees,” Nguyen says. “I read that story about the banker and the filmmaker setting off and making chocolate and I was so inspired. That very moment I realized I wanted to work for that company. I wanted to join that adventure.”

Vincent Mourou and Thao Nguyen

Pho Spice Bar: An ode to Vietnam

A full decade has passed and Marou continues to do what it does best: Creating chocolate wonders that bear Vietnamese pride. To celebrate its 10-year milestone, Marou recently launched a special chocolate bar infused with pho spices – an ode to the country’s essential spices and a tribute to the company’s humble beginnings. The team behind Marou had a favorite pho stall near the factory, where Samuel got excited by the fragrant spices grilling over wood fire.

The Pho Spice Bar is a delightful blend of cardamom, star anise, coriander, cinnamon and cloves, with each of the five elemental spices expertly paired with cacao and thus creating a full spectrum of flavor. Pho Spice Bar is now available at Maison Marou Thao Dien, Maison Marou Saigon, Maison Marou Hanoi, 4 Marou Stations, all Annam Gourmet stores, and Le Square Epicier Fin.

“It’s really a thank you to Vietnam, an ode to Vietnam,” says Vincent, “We’ve tried to make it something exciting and celebratory. It has so many layers, and when you linger with it these different layers emerge. You’ll get the cardamom, then you’ll get the star anise and so on.”

The Marou Station

In addition to a new special product, the well-loved brand also opened Marou Station, a smaller, more compact version of Maison Marou, in different locations in Ho Chi Minh City. While its flagship shop Maison Marou offered bigger and more open spaces where customers can watch their chocolate being made behind the glass wall of the open kitchen, the new Marou Station aims to make chocolate pleasure on the go, more accessible and more convenient for customers. The first Marou Station opened in 2020 at Thao Dien Pearl in District 2. Soon after, three new Stations were opened within 2021 at Crescent Mall in District 7, Gigamall in Thu Duc City and Takashimaya at Saigon Center in District 1. 

Through these stations, customers can select the freshly made chocolate creations from the display counter, or enjoy a cold glass of signature Marou chocolate drink from a recyclable takeaway cup as they continue their shopping trips. An assortment of pastries, including viennoiseries, chocolate tarts, soft serve ice cream and the new Pho Spice Bar are available at all Marou Stations. 

Marou aims to multiply its presence across Vietnam in 2022 with more new Stations in Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi and Danang. 

“This is just the beginning,” says Vincent. “We are planning to put Marou on the map by opening more Stations and Maison Marou in other Asian countries in the next few years, delivering the unexpected chocolate experiences.”

A decade of ‘tasting good, doing good’

Amidst all the innovations directed at making it the most inspiring chocolate company in the world, Marou remains fully committed to sustainability, authenticity and transparency. From the beginning, the company’s sourcing philosophy has always been direct and fair. The company supports small-scale farmers, excludes middlemen, and pays above-market rates to encourage and compensate the most committed and talented farmers in Vietnam, all while ensuring Marou only gets the finest quality and ethically sourced cacao.

Marou is currently initiating projects such as Madagui Agroforestry, growing cacao crops in mountainous native forests, and Cacao Footprint in which cacao seedlings are sent to farmers. As the first artisanal chocolate company in Vietnam, Marou hopes these initiatives can testify to Vietnam’s resilience, richness and indefatigable spirit.

There are a lot of things to look forward to in 2022 and in the years to come, says Vincent. “Now this year, we’ve never been so dynamic. As well as the Marou Stations, we have a new line of chocolate called ‘Marou Bar’, and a chocolate energy bar called ‘Iron Bar’ coming out in January 2022 which we’re really excited about.”