It's the south and it's not quite the south, not yet. Yet that's what it tells you, in this place dressed with plane trees, with its sunlight scattered across terraces and its florist displays, all under the shadow of the Saint Bruno towers. You amble towards the very start of Cours Senozan and find your eyes refreshed by the green of the hills and the mountain which begins its ascent right here and goes on forever, the pure and absolute white of its peaks climbing ever higher. Take a breath of fresh air, you're in Voiron, and the valley here is well-protected by the beautiful arms of the Chartreuse.
It's here that chocolate lives: in this inspirational place where centuries of deliveries of fruit, sugar, cocoa, and the art of desserts have formed the soul of Maison Bonnat.
The Bonnat shop opens at eight-thirty. At this time, the prospect of a traditional chocolate, a refined tea or an honest coffee seem natural to you, after the road you've just travelled, and you welcome the start of the day. The terrace and shop await you; and you enter.
As you pass the shop, before even lingering at the displays filled with fresh flowers and dotted with delicacies, and even before savouring the shop's perfect welcome and style, you are entranced, charmed, and most definitely conquered by the aroma of true chocolate, the likes of which you have never smelled before. The laboratory is very close by; steam spirals and billows out like a good genie straight from the stories of your childhood. Your taste buds awaken, your worries disappear and you step straight into a universe of legend, as real as you are, as flavourful as the cakes in stories, which admirably meets and surpasses your expectations.
Among the Dauphiné mountains of Voiron, the shop and the laboratory still hold the heart of the company - the heart of a true family business - which is now connected to a network of approximately 2000 vendors across the world. It is fuelled by the passion of Stéphane, his mother, Nicole Bonnat, who won Madame Commerce de France in 2003 and Madame Commerce Européen in 2008, and Flavie and Cécile, his two sisters.
The tea room, filled with the sugary and chocolatey aroma of the laboratory, offers you a calm and welcome moment for tasting: a moment which all of us want and need.
The Cours Senozan shop not only sells the full range of Bonnat bars and sweets, but also delicious house pastries, including some of the recipes created by Félix Bonnat and his children when the business was founded.