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History

History

The Villars story

Villars is the story of tradition kept alive through constant creation. A story of passion for the dairy and cocoa farming regions, for chocolate-making know-how and time enough to do it right. A story of an outstanding brand encountering the discerning consumer. Villars, pure Swiss chocolate from the heart of Fribourg and the home of traditional dairy farming

Villars is everyday Switzerland

Whilst travelling the Swiss roads or railways, who hasn’t seen the famous Villars cows that built the reputation of the factory? The Villars cow, which was the official emblem of the brand for several decades, symbolises the Fribourg roots of the factory. Designed in 1906 by Martin Peikert, an artist from Zug, the cow with the playful eyes contemplates passing traffic, sure of the quality of her milk. More than a century later, this dairy cow and its Swiss milk remain at the centre of our story.

Villars, a profoundly human history

In 1901 Wilhelm Kaiser, a 28-year old man from Bern, founded the company Chocolat Villars in Villars-sur-Glâne, in the Canton of Fribourg. An intrepid visionary, the young Wilhelm laid the foundations of the factory, still in use today, as is its artisanal process – chocolate made under one roof from start to finish, from the selection and roasting of the beans to the conching and moulding of the chocolate. An ability to choose his own path, for the benefit of his customers, by refusing to join the cartels of the time. And a constant desire to innovate, with the first liqueur chocolates in 1935. Such was Wilhelm Kaiser, an incorrigible entrepreneur championing Villars, pure Swiss chocolate.

The history of Villars in key dates

Wilhelm Kaiser founds Chocolat Villars in Villars-Sur-Glâne, the Canton of Fribourg.

The winning combination of quality and creativity makes Villars the exclusive supplier of European royal courts.

The Villars cow appears for the first time and becomes the emblem of the factory.

Chocolat Villars creates a world first with its liqueur chocolates in tablet shape, called Larmes de Kirsch, the beginning of an ongoing range of new flavours.

The famous Perrier Tête au Choco takes its place in the Villars family of chocolates.

Acquisition of Villars by Savencia Group.

The factory revisits an old family recipe that becomes the Chocolat au Lait à l’Ancienne.

The exclusive Villars Maître Chocolatier shop opens in the centre of Fribourg. In 2007, constantly inspired by the exceptional dairy producing region, the factory creates its ultra fresh "bonbons de chocolats" with crème de Gruyère.

Launch of the first stevia chocolate bar

Faithful to its Fribourg roots, Villars Maître Chocolatier moves to a more modern site.

Villars create the Pure Range, with different chocolate variations on Swiss milk.

Planning ahead for the new 2017 “Swissness” legislation, Villars Maître Chocolatier took the initiative to strengthen the transparency and traceability of all its Swiss ingredients.

Launch of two product ranges symbolising all of Switzerland’s expertise and perfectly embodying the Villars strategy:  Les Pures Liqueurs Suisses (Pure Swiss liqueurs).

and les Laits Suisses (Swiss milk creations).

Launch of a new chocolate bar: Swiss Milk no added sugar and reduced lactose content with Stevia.