The Bees & the Chocolate Factory

By Laurence Ferra-Gaudenèche, executive assistant at Fifty Bees and Claire Le Meur, CEO at Blue Bees

When you walk into Janin chocolate shop, which the Bees have the honor and pleasure to support on a daily basis, your eyes shine. The flavors, the scents, the colors, the shapes, the names of the sweets… Everything invites you to dream and indulge yourself. It’s quite simple: you feel like tasting everything! We did not refrain ourselves from doing so 😉 …

Since 1901, Janin chocolate factory, located in the 3rd district of Lyon, has developed a unique expertise in manufacturing chocolate … It is this amazing story that Cyrille and Chrystelle Boissié have taken the time to tell us, through a visit to their astonishing chocolate factory.


Here, all the chocolates are made on site according to recipes that have not changed for 40 years. Naturally, since taking over the chocolate factory in 2004 along with his brother, Cyrille has created new varieties of chocolates, but remained faithful to tradition. This is precisely what makes the difference. At Janin, the products are handcrafted and traditionnally manufactured – including the meticulous brushing of the chocolates to remove traces of starch after molding. The chocolate comes mainly from Africa, especially from Ivory Coast. Coffee, almonds and hazelnuts are roasted separately in the broiler before being mixed with sugar and then refined with an expertise passed on from generation to generation and machines which date, for the oldest, from the creation of the company…

Because the chocolate factory is above all a family business. In 1962, Cyrille’s father was a worker in the chocolate factory: he carried the bags of cocoa, before taking over the company in 1982. And for Cyrille, working with his father has been obvious since his childhood. Holder of a BEP… in accounting, he entered the chocolate factory in 1990 at the age of 19 and never left as he took over the company in turn! Then Chrystelle joined him in 2011, after Cyrille’s brother left, initially to give a hand before working full time at the chocolate factory… and was also never to leave, with the greatest pleasure. The latter particularly excels in the manufacture of brittle.

Today, it is their children who come to get hands-on (chocolate) and help prepare for busy periods like Christmas or Easter, even if none of them is considering taking over the business.

The variations of chocolate are indeed numerous and there is plenty to do in terms of manufacturing process: cutting, coating, manufacturing, packaging… Because if originally, the chocolate factory offered only four varieties of chocolate, today Janin presents more than twenty specialties for gourmets and up to 60 different chocolate candies at Christmas: pralines, ganaches worked in kneader and whipped up in Chantilly, almond paste, cast products such as cream balls, liqueur chocolates, papillotes.

Regarding the papillotes, wrapped one by one by hand at the chocolate factory, we will have to wait until next Christmas to taste this delicacy, born around 1790 in Lyon, in Bât d’Argent street, at the confectioner Papillot…

Easter is now just around the corner! Once again this year, you will have the pleasure of discovering a huge chocolate egg in the shop window – a delicate operation that requires a lot of dexterity. Do not hesitate to push open the door of the chocolate factory to treat yourself and feel like a child again. One thing is for sure: we will be there!