We don’t know if Mrs Godiva’s legend is true, but it’s certainly the source of inspiration for a genuine brand, the Godiva premium Belgian chocolate. It is said that Lady Godiva was a very generous woman, who lived in England in the 11th century and dedicated her life to the poor and neglected people. Her husband, lord Leofric, was an imposing leader who didn’t show much sympathy for his people, so he used to impose excessive taxes on them. As his wife kept begging him to give up those hard measures, he tossed her a challenge: if she had the courage to ride her horse, with no clothes on, through the country town, he would grant her wish. Lady Godiva took him seriously and announced the town inhabitants not to leave their homes and keep their windows shut and took on the challenge. Therefore, lord Leofric gave up the taxes.
Hundreds of years later, in 1926, the master chocolatier Joseph Draps created a new premium brand, with rich flavour and unique taste. The Godiva name came up naturally, as the legendary character expresses the very essence of the brand: solid principles, that never go out of fashion – altruism, generosity, leadership and courage.
With complex, yet balanced recipes, during the last years Godiva positioned itself as a premium global brand, with over 600 boutique stores and a commercial presence in over 100 countries. But, above all, Godiva is the story of a Belgium family business, with a strong passion for top quality chocolate.
In 1946, one of the two sons of Joseph Draps, who continued the family business after the founder’s death, created the famous chocolate Truffe Original, a benchmark in the brand’s evolution and the chocolate’ industry.
In 1968, Godiva became the official chocolatier of the Belgium Royal House and a high quality ambassador in the industry.
Four years later, the first boutique shops outside Belgium were opened – Paris, New York and Tokyo, within the prestigious shop Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi.
Recently, Godiva turned 90 years of fine chocolate, a good reason not to feel guilty when I taste such goodies. Aaaa, don’t miss the anniversary limited edition :).