Godiva Café Chocolat: the first chocolate coffee in Belgium!

After Harrod's the first Godiva coffee of Europe. It's Brussels' turn, the chocolate capital, to host its first Godiva Café Chocolat in Belgium, located in the Hilton Grand-Place hotel right in front of the Central Station. Take the time to immerse yourself in the Godiva experience!

Focus: how was Godiva born?
"Godiva the story of a Belgian family"
Pierre sheets, chocolatier-confectioner born in 1892, married Louise Lebon on September 2, 1912. They leave Jette in 1920 to settle in Molenbeek with their four children; Joseph, Francis, Peter and Catherine.

1929, Pierre Draps manufactures pralines and hollow and molded chocolate items, marketed in the 1930s under the name Confiserie Fina. The firm provides department stores. In September 1937, the family moved to 40 rue Antoine Court, Joseph worked alongside his father at the age of 14, soon joined by his two brothers, and will be hired for some time at Victoria to complete his experience.

On the eve of the Second World War, the confectionery Draps Joseph & Frères appears. Confirmed at the head of the company, Joseph, is aware of the possibilities of the confectionery market, and in 1945 he adopts an original brand. It was his wife Gabrielle who had the idea, inspired by the famous legend of the city of Coventry in Britain: Lady Godiva, who is said to have crossed the city completely naked on horseback to convince her husband , Leofric, Count of Mercia, to tax the population less.

The mark is jointly filed by the two brothers Joseph and François Draps on May 22, 1945. Joseph, who will become honorary citizen of the city of Coventry, will work to promote his brand Godiva, the "spearhead "Chocolaterie Draps. The first Godiva stores are quickly found in Brussels and in 1958, there are about 20 in Belgium. The first store moved to Paris, in the luxurious rue Saint-Honoré, close to the Pace Vendôme.

The firm lacks space in its facilities at rue Antoine Court and in 1960 has additional warehouses at 265 chaussée de Gand. It acquired the former premises of the Chocolaterie Alliance SA, created shortly before 1914, which replaced in 1925 the no less ancient Chocolaterie Bruxelloise SA whose activity will be maintained at this address until the early years 1930.

1966, the Draps family makes contact with the powerful American company Campbell Soup Company. It enters for a third in the capital of Godiva. Soon a store was opened that year on 5th Avenue in New York.

1968, Godiva receives his patent as a supplier of the Court of Belgium.

1971, Unibra signs a sales agreement with the Godiva Company, and sells the workshops between Deneck Street and Armistice Street (7600m2). The price agreed is FB 27 million. The installation of the Godiva chocolate factory in the premises of the former Victoria chocolate factory will take several months and the investments will be very heavy, the real return will be in September 1973. "

At the end of the 60's, it was a small family business. The whole Fraps family worked there, we were about sixty and there was a lot of work in hand. Then we moved from the Godiva house to the factory in 1972. We bought machines and we turned to the international, the United States, Japan ... "says Mr. Verbreke, 38 years ago at the chocolatier.

In 1974, Campbell Soup Company acquired the entire capital of Godiva and in 1988, the American firm also bought Corné-Toison d'Or and will now cohabit the two brands. The same year, Campbell will get his Godiva chocolate to be an official partner of the Seoul Olympics.

In addition to its Koekelberg plant, which is supplied with couverture chocolate by Barry-Callebaut and hazelnuts by Ülker, which produces and distributes production for Belgium, Europe, Asia and airport shops, Campbell Soup Company has another production unit under the Godiva brand in Reading, Pennsylvania, primarily targeting United States territory. Dozens of brands belong to the American company, following its acquisition of Continental Foods in 1985, including Lamy-Lutti, Kwatta, Royco, Liebig, Heisse, V8 etc ...

2006, Godiva will have a showcase at number 6 Avenue de Jette. We welcome franchisees and the general public can come and discover the productions of the nearby factory.

2007, Campbell Soup Company sells Godiva to Turkish agribusiness group Ülker.

Today, the name Godiva resonates in more than 100 countries, from Europe to North America, from the Middle East to the Far East is recognized for its exquisite Belgian chocolates with its 600 shops. An unrivaled assortment of noble ingredients from around the world.

Godiva Café Chocolat - Hilton Grand Place
The first Godiva Café Chocolat from Belgium drops its suitcases at the Hilton Grand Place hotel, after London (Harrod's). I had the immense honor of being invited to the inauguration in the presence of the Godiva team! Located right in front of the central station, this pretty chocolate boudoir decorated with a contemporary style and Belgian art nouveau is full of a thousand and one flavors to satisfy your taste buds prepared in the shop's workshop by master chocolatier Jean Apostolou. You will find among others the must-have Godiva chocolate-covered strawberries, macaroons, the famous chocolixir (addict) hot or cold, Belgian Godiva drinks but also delicious pastries. The menu will be updated according to the season with new recipes to escape to the country of chocolate ... Cherry on the cake? A terrace will soon be installed to enjoy both winter and summer chocolates.

Some pictures of the inauguration party
"An olfactory emotion hovered in the Godiva chocolate coffee ..."

Godiva Café Chocolat (Hôtel Hilton Grand Place)
3, Carrefour de l’Europe
1000 Bruxelles

Plus d'infos sur www.godivachocolates.eu


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