Founded in 1987
Growing up in a family deeply involved in the confectionary arts, Cathy Brand-Beere began working with chocolate at the age of eight. She had always loved the creative process of making fine chocolates and remembers dreaming of opening a “real chocolate shop” when she grew up so she could always do something that she truly enjoyed. Throughout high school Cathy made and sold custom designed wedding cakes as a summer job, but it was her passion for confectionary arts that led her to open the first DeBrand chocolate shop in October 1987.
The first DeBrand store was located on Wells Street in Fort Wayne in Cathy’s childhood home, a historic 100+ year old home unfortunately no longer in existence. The name “DeBrand” came from the French prefix “De”, meaning “from”, and Cathy’s last name, “Brand”.
Some notable dates:
1988: Cathy marries her husband, Tim Beere, who later joins the business and designs each of the DeBrand stores
1990: The Coldwater Road shop opens and DeBrand begins serving ice cream sundaes
1991, 1993, 1996: Cathy and Tim’s daughters are born and grow up in the family business
1992: Two traditions begin as the Limited Edition Heart Boxes and Giant Caramel Apples are introduced
1996: The first website is launched, making it easier for customers all over the world to enjoy DeBrand
2001: The Jefferson Pointe shop opens
2002: The Connoisseur Collection is added to DeBrand’s main gift collection alongside the Classic and Truffle Collection
2003: The Auburn Road shop, corporate headquarters and DeBrand kitchens open and tours and private parties are offered
2004: Chocolate Art Boxes become a standard product
2010-11: DeBrand is featured in ‘O’ Magazine as one of Oprah’s favorite things
2013: DeBrand Kuwait opens in the prestigious Avenues Mall
Today, DeBrand employs nearly 100 people with our three shops in Fort Wayne and a mail order department which ships our chocolates all over the world. But rest assured, we will never outgrow our commitment to perfection! The quality and freshness of each chocolate remains our absolute top priority. We still use only the finest ingredients, whether they are imported from other countries or found fresh locally.
Our standard at DeBrand is to be second to none in taste, beauty and presentation. This, along with operating by the Golden Rule, is the foundation for everything that we do.