Authentic Belgian chocolate. That’s Leonidas Chocolate. Get ready for luxury - their chocolates are some of the best chocolate desserts and gifts out there today.
"Leonidas Chocolat" was started by a confectioner named Leonidas Kestelides, a Greek-Cypriot American. Although born in Turkey, Kestelides lived in Greece for a while before moving to Italy to become a wine merchant. After this, he relocated to New York and found work as a confectioner. Another move brought him to Paris. Then, in 1910, Kestelides attended the Brussels Universal Exhibition at the Brussels World Fair, representing the United States Greek delegates. His chocolate won a bronze medal at the event. Three years later, Kestelides went to the World Fair in Ghent, Belgium, where he met his future wife, Joanna Teerlinck, a Brussels native. Deciding he wanted to be close to her, Kestelides moved for the last time to Belgium, and soon opened his own tea room in Ghent. After marrying Miss Teerlinck, Kestelides finally founded Leonidas Chocolate in 1913. He named it after himself, with reference to a marble statue called Leonidas that is located in the Sparta Museum. The statue embodies the King of Sparta, a Grecian hero.
In 1924, Kestelides established another tea room in Brussels. At this point, Kestelides’ extended family had moved to Ghent as well. This brought 19 year old Basilio, Kestelides’ nephew, into the picture. The two developed a close relationship, and when Kestelides died in 1948, he left his chocolate business to Basilio. A business savvy individual, Basilio expanded Leonidas into more shops, including a tea room in Blankenberge, Belgium, and later another store in Lille, France. Eventually, Leonidas Chocolate became an international brand, with sales stretching across Germany, London, Athens, and a store in New York that opened in 1991. Basilio died in 1970, and the business was passed on to his siblings. Although the company was listed on the stock exchange, its management has continued to be maintained by Kestelides’ family over the years.
Today, Leonidas ranks as one of the world’s largest chocolate companies, with production being bigger and more widespread than most of its competitors.
today's gourmet chocolate brands, Leonidas Chocolate is known for its pralines,
which are shells of chocolate that have soft fillings, though it also
sells other sweets, including over 100 different kinds of authentic
Belgian chocolate. As per Belgian tradition, Leonidas uses high
quality, fresh ingredients, like 100% pure cocoa butter for coatings,
and all-natural butter and cream. The company also incorporates other
fine ingredients from across the world, such as Turkish hazelnuts and
Italian almonds. Leonidas is known as a specialty brand, drawing in
many celebrities who are craving chocolate, although the company works
hard to make its Belgian chocolates reachable to the middle class. All
Leonidas products are made in a plant near Brussels and then these
creamy desserts are delivered to stores across the world.
Because Leonidas Chocolate is so big, you won’t have any trouble finding a place to buy its products. The company boasts 350 shops in Belgium, 340 in France, and over 1,000 more in about 50 other countries. One of the benefits of making a purchase at these brick-and-mortar stores is having the opportunity to watch store employees wrap your yummy chocolate desserts in beautifully colored gift containers and classic gold ballotins (decorative cardboard boxes made just for packing chocolate). However, should your travel budget confine you to your home, Chocolate Dessert Café is here to help! We're happy to provide those looking for chocolate to buy online a 24/7 source.