Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center

Allen County Resources

Growing up in a family deeply involved in the confectionery arts, Cathy Brand-Beere began working with chocolate at the age of eight. She always loved the creative process of making fine chocolates and dreamt of opening a "real chocolate shop" when she grew up. Throughout high school, Cathy baked and sold custom designed wedding cakes as a summer job, but it was her passion for confectionery arts that led her to start DeBrand Fine Chocolates.

The name "DeBrand" was created by combining the French prefix "De", meaning "from", and Cathy's last name, "Brand". The first DeBrand retail store was opened in 1987 and was located in Cathy's childhood home on Wells Street in Fort Wayne. From this historic house that stood for over 100 years, Cathy's dream became a reality.

The cornerstone of the company was laid in a steadfast commitment to excellence in all aspects of business. Only the highest quality ingredients are used, from imported Belgian chocolate to fresh local ingredients and inclusions from all over the globe. From these pure, natural ingredients, every center is made from scratch including rich caramels, decadent ganaches, fresh crèmes, truffles, brittles, and smooth creams. The products are then beautifully packaged and presented in retail stores that deliver first-class ambiance and outstanding customer service. With these principles in place, DeBrand’s reputation has quickly grown, and so has the demand for their fine, gourmet chocolates.

Today, DeBrand employs nearly 100 people with three retail shops in Fort Wayne and a mail order department that ships all over the world. In 2010, DeBrand officially launched their Wholesale Division which now supplies products to retailers in all fifty states, Canada, Europe and the Middle East.

With a deep appreciation for all of their customers, DeBrand encourages everyone to tour their facility to see the kitchens and meet the people that help make their gourmet chocolates. Tours are available year round and product can always be purchased from their secure and easy-to-use web site (www.debrand.com). From Cathy's childhood home to their 30,000 sq ft corporate & manufacturing headquarters, DeBrand's foundation remains their commitment to excellence and passion for perfection.

Learn more about DeBrand's commitment to excellence on their website and by watching their Youtube presentation.