Swiss chocolatier replaces Godiva at Fashion Valley
High-end Swiss chocolatier Läderach opened its first California store last month at Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego as part of the family-owned company’s recent push into the U.S. market.
In Fashion Valley, the Swiss chocolatier took over the old Godiva storefront, an 839-square-foot ground floor across from Macy’s. There, Läderach now presents 20 varieties of its large chocolate bark slabs – known as “FrischSchoggi” – in glass display cases as a calling card, inviting customers to use their five senses and fully experience a product he believes is far superior to chocolate in convenience. . The brand’s artisanal pralines, truffles and chocolate-coated popcorn are also available for tasting and in-store purchase.
Founded in 1962, Läderach specializes in grain freshness, artisan chocolates and everything Swiss. That means ingredients like milk and honey from Swiss cows and bees, and products designed to be enjoyed within weeks – not months – of production. Passed down from father to son and then to grandsons, the company gained international fame when product manager Elias Läderach won the World Chocolate Masters in 2018.
The San Diego site is just one of 34 leases that Läderach bought in February from Godiva, which decided to close all of its stores in North America due to weak retail sales. The chocolate swap will significantly increase Läderach’s physical footprint in the United States. The company has only recently migrated overseas, starting with stores in Canada and New York in 2019.
“As a company, we’re very confident (…) to be bold and go into the brick and mortar (locations) because we think our product is best known in a store,” said Nathanael Hausmann, president of the company in the North. America.
The pandemic has also increased consumers’ appetites for high-end treats, he said.
“We have seen an appreciation for innovative foods, for enjoying and engaging in the present moment, and for celebrating when you consume very fine foods,” he said.
Läderach at Fashion Valley is open Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.