By 1948, Godiva was the name on everyone’s lips in the Belgian capital. Adored across the nation for its exquisite chocolates, the company had now grown into a team of 60, all experts in the art of roasting, blending, moulding, tempering and decorating.

By 1948, Godiva was well established in the city of Brussels, with a 60-strong workforce overseen by the Draps family
By 1948, Godiva was well established in the city of Brussels, with a 60-strong workforce overseen by the Draps family

Godiva’s first pink delivery van also took to the streets that same year, allowing the Draps family to deliver its delicious creations all over the country.

Steps to Success

Fast-forward 10 years to 1958 and Godiva opened the doors to its first boutique abroad, nestled among the glamorous fashion stores of Rue St-Honoré in Paris. Another decade later, Godiva scooped its most prestigious honour yet when it was named an official chocolatier to the Royal Court of Belgium.

As the years went by, Godiva became recognised as a global ambassador for both Belgian gastronomy and exquisite chocolate craftsmanship. Joseph and Pierre Jr, along with their wives, Gaby and Eugénie, took the chocolatier from strength to strength through their tireless work and unparalleled passion. Eugénie was also the creative talent behind Godiva’s early packaging, using ribbons, bows and jewel-like presentations.

Godiva received a Belgian Royal warrant in 1968 and became an official chocolatier to the Royal Court of Belgium
Godiva received a Belgian Royal warrant in 1968 and became an official chocolatier to the Royal Court of Belgium

Godiva on the World Stage

After being purchased in 1966 by the Campbell Soup Company, Godiva went stateside, launching its debut US boutique in 1972. Joseph and Pierre Jr stood proudly outside the brand new Godiva shop on Fifth Avenue in New York City as its doors opened for the first time, while Eugénie and Gaby trained its salespeople and took charge of the striking theatrical displays.

Godiva became a global ambassador for Belgian gastronomy and chocolate craftsmanship

1972 also marked Godiva’s debut in Asia with the opening of its first boutique in Tokyo, in the iconic Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi department store. Today, there is a legion of Godiva boutiques to be found across Asia, from Hong Kong and Singapore to Taiwan and Shanghai.

Of course, Godiva’s unique story doesn’t stop here. In the next instalment of Chocolate Notes, discover how Godiva has flourished in the 21st century.

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