a modern interpretation
Deux Cranes is an artisanal chocolate and confectionery company showcasing handcrafted creations made in California by French-trained Chocolatier Michiko Marron-Kibbey. The branding and creative direction, led by Ayaka B. Ito in New York, establish a holistic visual and digital experience that heightens the sensual nature of Deux Cranes’ products. They draw on their Japanese heritage and flavors of their youth for inspiration in creating the varied lineup of sweet, and sometimes salty, creations.
Deux Cranes strives to celebrate the flavors and aesthetics in Japanese and French culinary traditions.
The incredible quality of the chocolate we source from Valrhona, in Tain L’Hermitage, France, provides the perfect canvas for our creations. Utilizing these couvetures, we stone-grind and blend Japanese flavors such as kinako (roasted soy powder), goma (black sesame), and hōjicha (roasted Japanese green tea) into luscious chocolate bars and bonbon. Our unique signature flavors include Matcha Chocolate with Yuzu and Milk Chocolate with Ginger, Sesame and Buckwheat. We also offer a rotating selection of seasonal offerings.
In addition to geometrically designed chocolate bars, the Deux Cranes product portfolio includes a variety of meticulously constructed bonbons, shortbreads, and caramels with flavors such as miso, umé, shiso, saké and Japanese shichimi togarashi pepper.
Since 2018, we have intentionally created products with remarkable attention to the detail of every flavor and design element. We strive to elevate the chocolate and confectionery tradition in the US by combining our rich heritage as Japanese women to present our new interpretation of this historic industry.
MEANING BEHIND OUR NAME
The deux (two) in Deux Cranes symbolizes our intention to create products that celebrate the depth of Japanese flavors and aesthetics, married with French chocolate work tradition. In addition, cranes are deeply associated with peace and long life in Japan and serve as a nod to our desire for Deux Cranes’ longevity and success.
MICHIKO MARRON-KIBBEY • マロン・キビー美智子
— HEAD CHOCOLATIER & FOUNDER
A fourth-generation Japanese-American, Michiko Marron-Kibbey grew up in Japan and the US, surrounded by a mix of cultures that years later have informed her creative practice in the art of chocolate.
During her 10 years in Japan, Michiko developed an appreciation for food as her family traveled around the country—from Iwakuni and Hiroshima area in the south, where her family is originally from, and to Aomori in the north to go antique hunting with her father. She learned the joy of making new recipes in her grandmother's kitchen and absorbed the Japanese way of taking time to honor each object, whether it be fruit at the neighborhood food stall or artistically arranged bento boxes.
In 2015, after an eight-year career in education in Washington D.C., she decided to pack her belongings and pursue her childhood dream of learning to make French pastries at the world-renowned school of culinary arts, Ferrandi. Thereafter, she worked at Mori Yoshida, the internationally-recognized Franco-Japanese pastry and chocolate shop in the 7th Arrondissement.
Upon returning to the U.S., Michiko immediately began conceptualizing Deux Cranes to create a unique space that marries her Eastern and Western cultural upbringings in the American chocolate and confectionary industry. Michiko is now anchored in Northern California, where she and her team thoughtfully handcraft each product with a passion for the craft.
Deux Cranes honors the Japanese and French customs while drawing inspiration from Michiko's diverse background and celebrates the blended cultures through her flavors that continue to enrich her life and the lives of those around her.
AYAKA B. ITO • 伊藤 B. 綾香
— CREATIVE DIRECTOR & CO-OWNER
The Deux Cranes brand design is conceptualized with the same attention to detail we bring to our chocolate and confectionery production. Creative Director Ayaka B. Ito designs the holistic visual identity and packaging experience to embrace a modern interpretation of traditional Japanese confectionery culture. To create layers of authentic visuals, she draws from her and Michiko’s childhood moments, from origami to finding inspiration in the classic kimono motifs they wore growing up.
Born and raised in Kawasaki, Japan, Ayaka grew up with an appreciation for design by admiring the beautiful food packages sold at Depachika (the underground department stores food halls) of Tokyo, including individually packaged confectionery that resembled pieces of jewel.
In 2005, Ito left Japan to study graphic design and pursue her childhood dream of creating meaningful brands and experiences in the confectionery world.
Ito and Marron-Kibbey went to high school together in Yokohama, Japan where they initially bonded over a love of movies, manga, art exhibits in Tokyo, and weekend meals at TGI Friday's restaurants. When the opportunity to collaborate via Deux Cranes came up in 2018, Ayaka offered her talents to elevate Deux Cranes with refined craftsmanship and thoughtful attention to detail.