Paris' stylish Place de la Madeleine has been home to this French food emporium for 120 years.

The business was founded in 1886 by grocer Auguste Felix Fauchon when he set up a fine foods cart in Paris specialising in French products.

In 1898 he acquired a pâtisserie in the same street and created what were to become some of the finest baked goods in Paris.

It was here his chefs created the world famous Megève desert made from vanilla bean meringue, dark chocolate mousse, Valrhona chocolate curls and confectioners' sugar. It is still sold in vast quantities from its flagship Paris store.

With its wide range of exotic fruit and vegetables, confectionery, patisseries, exclusive flavoured teas, coffees, preserves, foie gras, and other such indulgent delicacies, the store has become a culinary epicentre.

Its world renowned Grand Salon de The and specialist wine cellar have helped to further propel the store's standing within the gourmet foods market.

The past 10 years have marked a major turning point for the Fauchon business, which was acquired by a group of private investors in 1998, and now offers a cocktail and catering service as well as gastronomical cruises aboard its new Fauchon branded boat.

In 2000 the company entered the US market with the opening of a new flagship store in New York followed by three more.

Today Fauchon sells its products through more than 450 retail outlets in 31 different countries. Its main markets are France, Japan, Korea and the US.

Location: Paris, France

Established: 1886

No. of stores and concessions: 450

Fact: The business started life on a food cart