After fashion, the designer creates Makaya Chocolat, and adds a new string to his bow, becoming master chocolatier.
Ralph Leroy is an eclectic man. A Haitian by birth and an adoptive Montrealers, this versatile designer and jewelry designer has made a name for himself in Montréal’s very exclusive fashion scene.
Since his first collection for men in 2009, he continues the collections and creativity. Five years later, and a growing recognition, he returned to his country of origin, a place of inspiration and opened his studio loft in 2015.
From fashion to chocolate, there was only one step. Ralph Leroy first made it in 2009 at the invitation of the Montreal Chocolate Show, where he created a fashion show with chocolate accessories every year until 2013.
But it’s on his return to Haiti that this aesthetic inspiration will become a chocolate passion: in its terroir, that of cocoa, chocolate is obvious, Ralph Leroy wants and will make chocolate.
The meeting with the North’s planters, not far from Cap-Haitian, his birth’s city, marks a turning point. He discovers the world of producers of the cooperative FECCANO. “The planters brought me back to earth. I realized that I had to make a choice between the imaginary and spectacular world of fashion and this world of earth and cocoa.
Therefore, he wants to take up the challenge imposed on him by his terroir: to bring value to the product of more than 3600 planters, and to make a difference in quality. “Why not work the chocolate here in Haiti, despite the opinion of local producers, persuaded it is in Europe only that chocolate is working. “
July 2016, birth of Makaya chocolate. Very busy with his sewing workshop, Ralph Leroy installs a parallel laboratory in Delmas, district of Port-au-Prince.
He entrusts a biochemist his installation, but the designer must take things in hand and learn the job on the job. First selection of cocoa beans, first roasting: its first production was unveiled successfully at the Gourmet Village of Goûts et Saveurs, in September 2016.