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Meet Our Founder

Cathy Brand-Beere


My drive originates from a deep appreciation of art and a passion to create. And what better way to fulfill this than with my love of chocolate! My “work” is my favorite hobby and I am energized by the talented people with whom I collaborate as they share my enthusiasm every day. I am motivated and humbled by the customers who love and embrace DeBrand as “their chocolate shop”. While I will always be grateful for the success of DeBrand, I am particularly thankful for how it has touched peoples’ lives through special moments and celebrations.

Young Cathy with Cake

Growing up in a family deeply involved in the confectionery arts, I began working with chocolate at the age of eight. I always loved the creative process of making fine chocolates and dreamt of opening a “real chocolate shop” when I grew up. In elementary school, I began making and selling things to my classmates, such as chocolate candies and jewelry. While in high school, I baked and sold custom designed wedding cakes as a summer job, and it was my passion for confectionery arts (particularly chocolate) that led me to start DeBrand Fine Chocolates in October of 1987.

Tim Cathy

The name “DeBrand” came from the combination of the French prefix “De”, meaning “from”, and my last name, “Brand”. The first store was located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in my childhood home, a historic 100+ year old structure which is no longer in existence. DeBrand has always been a family business with my husband, Tim, being involved and all three of our children literally growing up in the business. After going to college and doing various jobs, all three daughters have returned to DeBrand to achieve their careers, each working in a different aspect of the business and all right by my side. My three granddaughters even have their own area in our company to play and learn.

35 DeBrandiversary 1

Today, DeBrand employs nearly 100 people with two retail shops in Fort Wayne, one in Indianapolis, and a mail order department that ships all over the world in addition to a wholesale division that provides chocolates to various retail businesses across the country. The highest quality ingredients are used as a foundation for our art, including fresh, local ingredients as well as imported items Belgian, Switzerland, France and other countries around the globe. Each product is carefully and beautifully packaged and presented in our retail stores that deliver first-class ambiance and outstanding customer service centered on “The Golden Rule”. From my childhood home to our current 30,000 sq ft corporate & manufacturing headquarters, the cornerstone of DeBrand remains a steadfast commitment to excellence.