Esch-sur-Alzette is the second largest city in Luxembourg, and more and more entrepreneurs are discovering the city’s potential. Pop-up stores, galleries, cafés, and small boutiques: Among them, persuaded by the charm of the Minette metropolis, is Lola Valerius. Born in Esch, she opened her chocolaterie in one of the loveliest Art Nouveau buildings in the Avenue de la Gare in March this year, about which she is delighted: “I can’t imagine a better place. In addition, I loved the idea of doing something for my city and its enlivenment.”
Lola Valerius creates her own chocolate and has decided that her boutique is to be both manufacturing place and shop. “It’s important to me that people can see how our pralines, dragées, bars, etc., are created. If they wish they can watch the skilled creation process and see how we work. Such a connection to clients is something very few producers have,” says the 30-year-old. “In addition, it’s nicer for us in production to work in a room with daylight instead of in a cellar.” A concept that is popular: “People like it,” a staff member summarises. And they can better understand why the creation of pralines takes four whole days.
The young entrepreneur studied architecture in Vienna and has always wanted to “do her own thing,” like many of her family members. Since patisserie has always interested her, she did a qualification at the EBP (École de Boulangerie et de Pâtisserie) in Paris after her bachelors’ degree. After that, Lola Valerius worked in Taiwan and Paris, for example for Patrick Roger and Nicolas Bacheyre, renowned professionals in the industry.
Quality is, for her, the most important; in addition, regionality rates high when procuring her ingredients. The pralines are becoming a clear bestseller. They are hand painted, colourful, and filled with caramel, ganache or praliné for example. The almonds and other nuts covered with chocolate are also enjoying growing popularity; beautifully packed chocolate bars and spreads are ideal gifts when invited.
In future, Lola Valerius can imagine organising workshops or events. Possibly during 2022 when Esch and the region is European City of Culture. “I’d love to band together with other entrepreneurs here in Esch and organise tastings, for example.” Until then she simply wants to perfect her work and make people happy. Very sweet indeed!