Who is Madame Oiseau?
Self-taught chocolatière, Sandrine May opened the chocolate shop in 2003. Her early creativity and passion for chocolate developed in her mother’s kitchen in Picardy, France.
The small town of Lydd in the Romney Marsh is where Sandrine started the business with the help of her husband. The old shop they chose had belonged to Mrs Bird, a well known and colourful member of the local community. She had lived there for 50 years. The shop was always referred to as “Mrs Bird’s place”. It felt only right to name the business after her - but with a French twist.
Madame Oiseau Fine Chocolates was a success with the locals, and trade rapidly grew, with customers coming from places further afield, including London. As word of the business spread, Sandrine was featured in the Sunday Times Magazine’s A Life in the Day, as well as in other national and local publications.
In 2005, the shop relocated to the historic King’s Mile of Canterbury, where Sandrine creates unique artisan chocolate treats. All the chocolates are freshly handmade in small batches, on a daily basis, in the shop. Her creative daughter joins the small team when extra hands are needed. And her son is rather good at quality control!
Top quality Belgian couverture chocolate and carefully selected ingredients are used. Sandrine also takes pride in her extra special personal service, she knows her regular customers so well that she has nicknamed a few after their favourite chocolate: the violet cream lady, the orangettes man and the frog boy!
When one enters the little shop, the strong scent of chocolate is uplifting. Resisting the temptation is difficult... Sandrine knows about this, her favourite chocolate is the Escargot de Bourgogne, in dark chocolate.