About Us

Our Company

Our PHILOSOPHY

From the time we launched in 2003 our goal has been simple – to create beautiful handcrafted chocolates, macarons and pastries.

We source natural ingredients of the highest quality from both local and international producers. This ensures the best flavour, texture and quality for our customers. Being respectful of the origin and integrity of where and how these ingredients are produced remains a continued focus for us as a company.

While we stay true to traditional flavours and pastry techniques, our creative flair adds a contemporary feel to our range.

Quality ingredients

We only use premium Belgian coverture chocolate, made from sustainably sourced cocoa beans from plantations in West Africa (Ivory Coast, Ghana) and Indonesia.

We work closely with all our suppliers and source locally wherever possible.

Our mission

Our mission is to provide a product of the highest quality and innovation, while maintaining the authenticity of our handcrafted tradition.

  • Quality
  • Innovation
  • Service
  • Passion
  • Tradition

Our vision

Our vision is to position ourselves as the number one artisan producer of premium innovative chocolate and pastry products within the Australian retail and wholesale markets.

Our Team

We are a team of passionate people sharing an undeniable love for our craft. From the very beginning, we have only been driven by one objective - to produce the best quality products on the market.

Laurent Meric, Director

Laurent Meric is a French born and trained master chocolatier and pastry chef. He is a member of the Academie Culinaire de France and co-owner of CACAO Melbourne.

Laurent worked as a chef and then pastry chef at Michelin star restaurants, including La Tour d'Argent, a historic three Michelin star restaurant in Paris.

He also enjoyed the benefits of international training and influences, working in 5-star hotels in London and aboard luxury cruise ships.

Laurent moved to Australia in early 2000 and was the pastry chef at the InterContinental Sydney in preparation for and during the Olympic Games.

Tim Clark, Director

Tim Clark is an acclaimed pastry chef and chocolatier and co-owner of CACAO Melbourne.

Tim started his career in Australia before heading to Germany to work in the Michelin star restaurant 'Zirbelstube'. Following his time in Europe, he spent four years working for Silversea Cruises, one of the most awarded luxury cruise liners in the world making cakes for the likes of Nelson Mandela and Buzz Aldrin.

Tim also competed Internationally at the highest level and was the first pastry chef to represent Australia at the 'World Chocolate Masters' in 2005 in Paris finishing in seventh place. During his seven years at Crown Melbourne as the youngest ever executive pastry chef, Tim looked after a team of 26 chefs catering for premium restaurants and premier events.

Tim is the creative mind behind CACAO’s show stopping dessert creations and collaborations with the likes of Tourism Victoria and the Australian Open.

Andre Smaniotto

Operations Manager
I oversee all aspects of business operations in the kitchen areas. The focus of my role is to ensure we follow best practise in our chocolate and macaron production to maintain consistently high product quality we are known for.

What do you enjoy most about your role?
I really enjoy managing teams and working with people who are passionate about what they do.

Your favourite product
Marshmallow praline with a crispy wafer base topped with a soft raspberry marshmallow and enrobed in milk chocolate. It's divine!

Interesting fact about you
When I was 18 years old I was a fashion model for Benetton and Oxbow in France. Once at a runway show, I even had to curl my hair!

Jenny Nguyen

Chocolate Production Manager | 8 years at CACAO
I look after the production of all chocolate products. My role includes planning and organizing production schedules, new product development, training and supervising the team to ensure we maintain high quality standards and have all the ingredients we need.


What do you enjoy most about your role?
I enjoy helping others to learn new things, to see them grow and develop their skills in chocolate making.


Your favourite product
The 16-piece signature chocolate box is my absolute favourite, my go to for every special gifting occasion. My guilty pleasure is the Yuzu bonbon.


Your most memorable moment
My most memorable moment during my time at CACAO was when I did live painting on a 500kg edible chocolate canvas.

George Liu

Pastry Production Manager | 10.5 years at CACAO
I look after the macaron and pastry production. My main responsibilities cover drawing up production schedules, monitoring quality, helping and training the team and working on product development.

What do you enjoy most about your role?
The best part of my job is the opportunity to constantly learn and grow. I am exposed to new challenges regularly, which helps me develop both professionally and personally. I enjoy the collaborative environment in my workplace.

Your favourite product
Anything with dark chocolate. Our chocolate macaron would have to be one of them.

What excites you
I always feel very excited when I catch an airplane to go overseas because I enjoy that travel feeling. I truly value my time away as it gives me the chance to relax and free up my mind.

Mike Liu

Despatch Manager | 3 years at CACAO
As a despatch manager my job is to ensure all orders are packed and sent on the scheduled date to our customers.

What do you enjoy most about your role?
It’s probably no surprise but I like the planning and scheduling process of my role. I get a lot of satisfaction out of my day when all orders are under control and shipped as planned.

Your favourite product
Dark chocolate macadamias. They are delicious.

Interesting fact about you
I like problem solving.

Annette Jackson

Office Manager | 9 years at CACAO
I oversee all aspects of the office and customer service including processing orders, the maintenance of the inventory system and liaising with our team to ensure we meet customer expectations and deliver goods safely and on time.

What do you enjoy most about your role?
The variety of tasks that I do on a daily basis. And the fact that I get to taste test all the amazing creations from the kitchen.

Your favourite product
The peppermint drops from our petit bite range and the crispy marshmallow praline available in our signature chocolate range.

Interesting fact about you
I once rode a go kart through the streets of Tokyo.

Paris Gurlek

Quality Assurance Manager | 2 years at CACAO
My role spans across quality assurance, food safety compliance, supplier relations, product development support, incident response, documentation and reporting. In a nutshell, I contribute to maintaining the high quality and safety standards associated with CACAO.

What do you enjoy most about your role?
Taste testing! I get to try delicious products every day and get paid for it.

Your favourite product
Pistachio macaron and the macadamia praline. I love them both.

Interesting fact about you
I have a real passion for traveling. I set a personal goal to visit 50 countries before turning 30, and I'm proud to say that I achieved it. I celebrated my 30th birthday in my 50th country, which happened to be the beautiful Cook Islands. Next goal is 100 before 50!