For the past ninety years, Godiva has led the chocolate category through its pioneering innovation and impressive culinary artistry. Godiva’s heritage is rooted in its founding family’s skilled craftsmanship and passion for chocolate, which is upheld today by Godiva’s five Belgian-trained chef chocolatiers.
In 1926, Pierre Draps Sr. began making pralines at his confectionery workshop in Brussels. His children, Joseph, François Yvonne and Pierre Jr., all worked for the family business from an early age – Pierre Draps Jr. later described himself as being “born into chocolate”.
The first Godiva boutique opened on Boulevard Leopold II in Brussels in 1945, and a flagship soon followed in the city’s famous Grand Place in 1948. After gaining recognition and popularity in its home country, Godiva’s first international boutique opened in 1958 on the fashionable Rue St-Honoré in Paris. A decade later, after becoming increasingly synonymous with quality Belgian chocolate, Godiva was named an official chocolatier to the Royal Court of Belgium.
In 1966, Godiva made its debut in North America, at Wanamaker’s - one of the most elegant department stores in Philadelphia. New York followed a few years later when a boutique was opened on Fifth Avenue in 1972. Venturing into Asia for the first time the same year, Godiva opened a boutique in the prestigious Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi Department store in central Tokyo the same year. Hong Kong followed in 1998, and then Singapore in 2001 and Taiwan in 2002.
Today, Godiva has over 600 boutiques and is present in over 100 countries around the world from Europe to Asia, from North America to the Middle East. The chocolatier also operates through franchise and licensing agreements and global travel retail.
Godiva’s innovation pipeline is fueled by five expert Belgian-trained chef chocolatiers who are based across the US, Belgium, China and Japan. Although located in different continents, these ardent experts continue to protect the Draps family legacy, while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of their art.
Every year Godiva’s chef chocolatiers create at least 40 new recipes, 12 seasonal collections and 2-4 limited edition collections in order to keep the Godiva experience fresh and engaging for consumers worldwide.