The Villars story
Since 1901, Villars has been a story of traditions renewed by permanent 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 the heart of Fribourg and the home of traditional dairy farming.
Villars is everyday Switzerland
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. A fully mastered artisanal process in the same place, from the selection and roasting of the beans to the conching and molding of the chocolate. An ability to choose his own route, for the benefit of his clients, by refusing 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. Such was Wilhelm Kaiser, an incorrigible entrepreneur championing Villars, pure Swiss chocolate.
The history of Villars in key dates
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.
The factory revisits an old family recipe that becomes the Chocolat au Lait à l’Ancienne.
Faithful to its Fribourg roots, Villars Maître Chocolatier moves to a more modern site.
Launch of a new range comprising 8 varieties of Villars coffees combining Arabica and Robusta origins.
Balanced blends, with specific aromatic profiles, to meet the expectations of all coffee lovers, individuals or professionals.
Launch of an organic, Swiss, fair and gourmet range including 4 milk and dark chocolate recipes without palm oil and without soy lecithin.
New graphic identity in full color highlighting affirmed and claimed commitments and a strong anchoring of Swiss origin and premium positioning.
Introduction of the new recipe from the Pays de Vaud with cocoa and distinctive notes in the collection of milk chocolates from the Swiss cantons.
To celebrate its 120th anniversary, Villars is creating, in collaboration with the artist from Friborg, Serge Lowrider, a range of limited edition products as well as a “We love it” mural retracing the brand’s history.
Launch of a delicious range of 7 couverture chocolates intended for food service professionals, pastry chefs and restaurateurs.
Milk, Switzerland’s white gold
Located in an exceptional dairy basin in the heart of the meadows of the Swiss Alps, Villars Maître Chocolatier exclusively collects Swiss milk of incomparable quality and purity.
Its collection basin extends from Neuchâtel to Valais via Friborg. Three breeds of cows are at work on small family farms: the Spotted, the Brown and the famous Black Spotted Friborg, also called Holstein. These small family farms – no more than 20/25 animals – practice the traditional method of breeding: balanced food – hay and fresh grass -, grazing in accordance with natural rhythms, daily contact with the animals and preservation of the environment in the plain and the mountains.
The quality and variety of herbs on which the cows feed and the purity of their environment thus explain the unique taste and smoothness of Swiss milk.
It is the marriage of this PURE Swiss milk and selected cocoa beans, sublimated by the know-how of the Maîtres Chocolatiers de Villars which is found in all the finesse of Villars chocolates.
Cocoa beans, the origin of the taste
From Oceania, Africa and South America, our beans are selected for their quality and typicity.
Notes of bananas or red fruits in Madagascar, touch of coconut in Ivory Coast or grilled dried fruits in Ghana, flavors of cinnamon spices in Ecuador, each terroir gives the beans a specific aroma that the Maîtres Chocolatiers de Villars select and assemble for original creations.
In the Villars factory in Friborg, the beans are roasted batch by batch and are adapted to each origin, to extract the best aromas. The cocoa beans are then carefully refined until they become a soft paste. It will then remain to concher this dough for a long time, to stir it to refine the texture and reveal all the aromas and smoothness.
Ingredients, source of wealth
The careful selection of natural ingredients at the source is part of the development of lasting relationships with our suppliers, favoring the local origin of products.
The 100% Swiss sugar from beets, grown exclusively in the Swiss region, meets sustainability criteria:
- short distribution channel
- intelligent waste recycling
The liqueurs come from the best distilleries in Switzerland and around the world . For example, apricot and Williams pear liqueur from Valais, kirsch from Zug, absinthe from Val de Travers embellish Villars chocolates with their particular flavor.
Beyond Switzerland, the Maîtres Chocolatiers de Villars travel the world in search of the best marriages. Roman hazelnuts, Candied oranges from Italy or Nougat from Montélimar sublimate the range of flavors of Villars chocolates.