Created in 2006 under the impetus of enthusiastic and unified employees, the Fondation Valrhona supports several projects aimed at safeguarding, enriching and promoting gastronomy-based professions. Presided over by Franck Vidal, Director of the Cité du Chocolat, this corporate foundation's mission is to promote awareness of and educate on flavor and gastronomy-based professions, as well as inspire and attract vulnerable groups to these professions.

Message from the President - Franck Vidal

"Our Foundation uses 'flavor' as a social bond and catalyst for personal and professional development through projects and partnerships with various associations and institutions. Administrators of the Fondation Valrhona all share this common vision and wish to, along with myself, continue this momentum in the coming years."


  • Support for the ATELEX - ADAPEI project in the Drôme.

The Fondation Valrhona helps organize culinary workshops for youth with intellectual disabilities. These are held outside the walls of Medical Educational Institutes (EMI), in a mainstream environment.

ATELEX takes the form of two actions:

- A long-term training project for 7-8 young people per year: this takes place at the hospitality high school in Tain-l'Hermitage, with a customized course given by Elodie Thivolle, a specialized instructor with a culinary degree.
- Introductory culinary courses are for a wider audience from the Medical Educational Institutes, which are held in Elodie Thivolle's laboratory.
The project, which began during the 2014-2015 academic year, aims to offer recognized vocational training for young people and secure internships with culinary professionals.


Elodie Thivolle, ATELEX instructor:

“We are so pleased with how the first year has gone. The seven young people who attended training have developed enormously, and their families are proud of the work they have accomplished. The project will allow each young person to pinpoint their career plans and go forward feeling more confident."


  • Partnership with Youth Protective Services (PJJ) of Valence

Since 2006, the Fondation VALRHONA has worked alongside youth protective services of the greater Valence region with the following actions:
- Supporting the cuisine laboratory project for its educational team in Valence
- Organizing pastry workshops at the PJJ premises and at l’École Valrhona
- Annually supporting the "Parcours du Goût PJJ," an event that showcases the culinary knowledge and skills of young people through competitions and presents the richness of French gastronomy to the greater public, as well as promote the integration of youth into the workforce.


David Gilles, Manager of Educational Unit, UEAJ of Valence

"For young people who have long dealt with a negative self-image, this experience with the l'Ecole du Grand Chocolat will stay with them forever"


  • Chocolate discovery workshops

These workshops led by Valrhona employees are provided for specific audiences throughout the year.
They are divided into two phases:

1 / Discovery of chocolate: its origin, cocoa cultivation and steps at the plantation, the production process, varieties of chocolates, etc.

2 / Discovery of tasting process: based on the five senses, this includes perception of flavors and aromas, discussion on perceived sensations, awareness of the diversity of flavors, products and materials, etc.

In 2015, more than 50 Valrhona employees led workshops for nearly 1,000 participants aged 4 to 100.


Dominique, Operator in Packaging Workshop and Manager of the Fondation:

"It is an incredible experience when you receive more than you give"



The Fondation Board of Directors is made up of 12 members who are appointed for five years. They include representatives of the founding company, staff representatives and distinguished individuals.

Franck Vidal, Director of the Valrhona Cité du Chocolat (President)

Isabelle Vallat, Director of Innovation and Quality, Valrhona (Treasurer)

"Our mission is to share the values that make up our DNA: the importance of flavor, sensorial discovery, and the diversity of flavor by drawing on the expertise of those who have agreed to pass on their passion for gastronomical pleasures."

Carole Seignovert, CSR Manager, Valrhona

Armelle Giammattei, Fondation Valrhona Manager

"Thanks to the Fondation Valrhona, we are able to share our passion for gastronomy and encourage the discovery of flavor and its diversity. We are therefore committed to taking concrete actions that help promote social inclusion and the development of each person."

Dominique Para, Operator in Packaging Workshop, Valrhona

Jean-Luc Grisot, Chief Executive Officer, Valrhona

Jean-François Dargein, Purchasing & Logistics Director, Valrhona

Philippe Rident, HR Director, Valrhona

Agnès Giboreau, Research Director, Institut Paul Bocuse

Yves Chapellat, Principal, Lycée Hôtelier de l’Hermitage (hospitality high school in Tain-l'Hermitage)

"A great name that undertakes great actions. Encouraging investment and the devotion of certain individuals in order to help and promote the development of disadvantaged groups:
All of this takes place within the world of gastronomy, a passionate world in which we must continuously strive for excellence and do better."

Gérard Cagna, retired Michelin-starred chef

Régis Marcon, Michelin-starred chef, Le Clos des cimes


If you have an idea for a project, or wish to get in touch, please contact us!

Armelle Giammattei
04 75 09 26 53
Fondation Valrhona
37 avenue du Président Roosevelt
26602 TAIN l’HERMITAGE cedex



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