"Le Casel" de Château-Thierry "Le Casel" de Château-Thierry
Wedding Léon HESS and Louise CHEMOLLE



Did you know...

The first half of the twentieth century sees two world wars which were also devastating for French confectioners. During WWI, butter was banned and by 1917, confectionery itself was banned until the end of the war. The shortage of raw materials would last until the middle of the fifties. It’s not before that time that French pastry was born again. During these dark times Léon HESS had to leave for the Reims area to continue his job.




Leon leaves Stoher’s company.
In 1903, Léon takes over Maison Roux, a pastry store located since 1890 at 18 Grande rue in Château-Thierry.
Léon settles as a pastry cook, confectioner, chocolate maker and caterer.

Being single, Léon has a hard time running his business.
Maria Hess, his mother, who does the cooking at the Hotel de l’Est in Condé en Brie, gives him a hand. She knows the business and will keep helping her son until he gets married one year later.

On April 25th 1904, Louise Chemolle, daughter of a Soissons baker, becomes Louise Hess and will assist her husband.

1912 is the year of success for Léon and Louise. Léon wins the Gold Medal at the International Culinary Contest which takes place in Paris at Porte Maillot. He would call his masterpiece pastry « le Castel » in honor of his « good town » as he liked to call it... The « Castel » from Château-Thierry was born...

Carton cardboard store Léon HESS

Léon Hess store

In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, working in a pastry shop is very tedious. Crunching sugar, whisking egg whites, grinding almonds exhaust all pastry apprentices.
The lack of artificial cold forces to use different processes in summer and winter. By 1914 French confectioners have an astonishing know-how which makes them famous worldwide and some of them pursue their careers abroad.

(source : la pâtisserie artisanale française)