Close this search box.

The gourmet palace

Ici en région, 12.2023

Rue Germain Chauveau, a building, a priori banal, contains something to make visitors relive their childhood dreams. Once the door is pushed open, we discover an Ali Baba’s cave, unique in France, but also a showcase of rare and precious know-how. Welcome to the Confectionery Conservatory.

THE SCENTS OF VANILLA that hover in the large boutique leave no doubt about the vocation of the place. For the rest, we would think more of a jewelry store. The jars and sachets of pastilles, cartons, pralines and fruit jellies attract the eye like emeralds or rubies, with essentially the same colors. Red, green, yellow, orange, turquoise… which, sometimes, come in a variety of colors like these lollipops of all sizes, some of which reach a good meter… As for the flavors, there is something for everyone. From the most classic – Anise, mint, apricot, red currant, coconut – to the most unexpected such as cactus, prickly pear, poppy, jasmine… Nothing but natural flavorings, such as sugar, honey or coffee, which are used here without moderation.


These jewels needed boxes. The displays are old sugar cauldrons in gleaming copper, also refurbished display cases which also give pride of place to copper and wood. They sit alongside other museum pieces made from noble materials, gleaned over the years by the owner of the place. In this children’s storybook house, we might recognize Hansel and Gretel, played here respectively by Tugdual and Marine. Marine has been production manager for several months. Tugdual is “entertainer-confectioner”. “There is no training as a confectioner strictly speaking, but as a chocolatier-confectioner, where the confectionery part is a little neglected,” they specify. So it was Nicolas Viollet who perfected their apprenticeship, although Marine already had five years of pastry training under her belt, and she held a “flavor” cup, obtained during the Coupe de France des Jeunes. chocolatiers and confectioners. The two friends welcome and guide visitors within the manufacturing laboratory in a relaxed and almost family atmosphere.

“Adults are at least as fascinated as their children,” assures Tugdual. “We all have memories of candy…”


A magical place, which Amboise owes to the passion and tenacity of Nicolas Viollet, to the careful bacchantes. He represents the third generation of fairground confectioners in his family. “I made my first pralines at twelve years old, he confides. But the trigger was when, around 14 years old, my father brought back a carton box with two cylinder frames, which I restored with him.” Fascinated by these machines, he has been collecting them ever since, until he has collected more than 2,000 pieces! A collection which accompanied a dense career, first by following his parents to the markets while training professionally, then by taking over a confectionery in Bourges. He then wanted to “valorize this heritage and safeguard it” by opening a museum. It launched in 2019, but a few months later, the context of the health crisis cooled the banks, and the new municipality of Amboise proved insensitive to the project. “I was unable to meet fixed costs,” says Nicolas Viollet, “so I decided to open my capital.” Two potential partners will respond to the call at the last minute: Maé Innovation, specialist in food molds, and Erwann de Kerros, the well-known globetrotter from Tourangeaux, creator of Terre Exotique, who brought peppers and spices from all over the world to Rochecorbon. . “I first came to visit the museum,” he recalls, “and I was fascinated by this initiative.” After a discussion on board a boat on the Loire, the deal was made. A secondary benefit of this association, the Conservatoire de la Confiserie now offers a Penja pepper praline…