The Journey Continues NOW today onwards279
My brother Nick and I acquired Prestat in October, 1998. We commissioned the artist Kitty Arden to design new colourful and elegant boxes with the remit that they reflect the theatrical heritage of Prestat. Emboldened by the positive response to the packaging, we expanded the range by introducing sumptuous chocolate thins, a fabulous hot chocolate and an outrageous Banoffee caramel truffle.
As a result of my visit to the secret room in the basement of Princes Arcade I found files showing we had been supplying The Queen Mother for many years and in December, 1999, Prestat was awarded a second Royal Warrant as Purveyors of Chocolates to HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.
In 2006, we invested in new chocolate kitchens with production now taking place in Park Royal in West London. Chocolates are taken to the Princes Arcade shop fresh on a daily basis and despatched from Park Royal around The World.
In London, Prestat chocolates are now available in iconic stores such as Harrods, Selfridges and Liberty. Our love of developing new products remains undiminished. The Sea Salt Caramel Truffle has proved a massive hit as have the beautiful Union Jack and Diamond Jubilee range of boxes, not forgetting the gorgeous range of Finest Bean Bars.
We have also launched a Teddy Bear box of truffles and have named our new friend Pierre Bear after the small boy in whose honour Prestat was founded.
In 2011, we took the exciting step of launching Prestat in the USA. We have concentrated initially on the East Coast and there is family history here, too. Our grandfather was an East Coast American and even further back the British colonialists received Manhattan Island from the Dutch in 1667 in return for a mosquito-infested islet in Indonesia called Pulau Run.
Pulau Run had been claimed for the British Empire in 1609 by a certain Captain William Keeling, my namesake and a theatre-loving officer of the Royal Navy (under his direction his crew performed Shakespeare plays at each port of call from England to The Spice Islands), but that, as they say, is another story for a different time…