Leonidas Chocolate is Everywhere
Leonidas is nothing if not prolific. You can find a Leonidas chocolate shop within walking distance of just about anywhere in Brussels. While their chocolate is 'machine-made' rather than 'hand-made', it is still very good and one of the more popular Belgian chocolate companies among everyday Belgians.
We've just completed an interview about Leonidas Chocolate with Florine Langeveld of the Leonida's Marketing & Communications department. You'll find that interview below.
We've also assembled a list of 58 Leonida's shop addresses and phone numbers below as well.
Finally, we have link to Amazon.com pages where you can purchase Leonidas chocolate if you aren't near a Leonidas location.
Join Us For An Interview about Leonidas
We recently completed an interview with Florine Langeveld, with the Leonidas marketing and communications department. Below is the interview with our questions in bold and Florine's answers following.
BBTG: Can you give me some history about the origin and growth of Leonidas?
Florine: In 1910 Leonidas Kestekides, a confectioner in the United States, traveled to Belgium for the first time to show his confectionery goods. He immediately met with great success thanks to the quality of his products.
The young Greek attended the 1910 World Fair in Brussels and the 1913 World Fair in Ghent as a member of the Greek delegation from the United States.
He was awarded the bronze medal and the gold medal, respectively, for his chocolate confectionery and his patisserie.
Having won great professional recognition and having also fallen in love with a beautiful young girl from Brussels (whom he later married) Leonidas decided to settle permanently in Belgium.He opened tea-rooms in Brussels, Ghent and Blankenberge.
1935: In his ‘laboratoire’ on Marché Aux Grains, Basile Kestekides, the founder's nephew succeeded the founder and created a whole range of new chocolates, including the well-known ‘Manon’ of Leonidas.
With this range of new chocolates, Basile took up the torch of the company and incorporated the logo of an effigy of the king of Sparta, Leonidas, in honour of his uncle.
The master-confectioner sold his freshly made chocolates from the open window of his shop in Boulevard Anspach, with the goods displayed in the shop window where passers-by could see them. The revolutionary concept of what came to be known as the ‘guillotine-window’ shop was an immediate success. Since then, Leonidas chocolates have enjoyed a reputation that has been steadily growing.
The founder’s dream, perpetuated by his successors, was to make these Belgian chocolates available to everyone without lowering standards.
The Leonidas Manon perfectly illustrates this will to democratize: the innovatory idea was to replace the traditional fondant sugar coating with white chocolate and the walnut with a grilled hazelnut. Very soon the Leonidas Manon with white chocolate and a grilled hazelnut became the kingpin of the Leonidas range.
1970: Leonidas became a limited company in 1970.
Alexandros Kestekidis came to Belgium in 1940 and he and Basile worked together developing different flavours using praliné and chocolate.
Alexandros Kestekidis continued to take an interest in the company and in the flavours of the pralines until the end of his chairmanship in 1998.
The family-run company refines and creates its recipes for a clientele that by now has expanded far beyond Belgian borders.Leonidas’ expansion is seamless as the company remains vigilant and continues to guarantee freshness in the products it sells to its customers.
In 1983 and 1993, Leonidas opened two new factories to satisfy the demand from its loyal and ever-increasing clientele.
At the dawn of the 21st century, Leonidas chocolates were on sale in 40 different countries in the world through a network of some 1,400 sales outlets from Paris to Rome, from Sydney to Tokyo, from Brussels to New York.
Today, the name Leonidas has come to stand for the quintessential Belgian chocolate. To the Belgians certainly, but also to chocolate gourmets and gourmands all over the world, who are enjoying the Belgian Leonidas chocolates across the five continents.
What else is interesting about Leonidas Chocolate?
Florein: In 2004, there was a well-publicized “National Brands competition” organised by the LDV advertising agency, and its partners. The basis for the competition was very simple: a list of the leading brands in each sector, from cars to washing powder was drawn up. A panel of consumers (25,252 as it happens) were then asked to express their likes and dislikes, choosing their preferred brand in each category. In the “Chocolates” category, there was only one winner: Leonidas chocolates.51.7% of consumers consider Leonidas to be and remain the most popular chocolate in Belgium. The National Brands Competition is organised every year, over the Internet, attracting an ever younger section of consumers, who clearly love Leonidas chocolates, just as much their parents do.
Is it true that Leonidas chocolate is machine-made rather than hand-made?
How much chocolate does Leonidas sell each year?
Florine: More then you can eat!!
What makes Leonidas different from other Belgian chocolatiers?
Florine: Its freshness!!!! Leonidas guarantees the freshness and quality of its chocolates. They are always made according to traditional methods, using only the finest ingredients. 100% pure cocoa butter for the coating. Natural ingredients like fresh butter, fresh cream. And delicacies such as hazelnuts from Turkey, Morello cherries from the Périgord, almonds from Italy and walnuts from Grenoble. In short, the finest ingredients the world has to offer. We have also made use of the latest technology to guarantee that freshness, quality and safety even further. Leonidas has introduced the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points system.
What are some of the most popular Leonidas chocolate products?
Florine: Manon, Manon Café, Gianduja, Dressé Noisette. Our Manon Blanc and Manon Blanc Café are still the most popular chocolates.
What Leonidas products have been for sale the longest?
Florine: They include the: Manon,Bûche pralinée, Cerise emballée,Noisette masquée, Princesse, Antoinette, Eve, Carré croquant,Tosca, Alexandre Le Grand, Louise, Gianduja, Europe, Fraise massepain, Ganache, Désirée, Poésie, Lingotsand Merveilleux.
Tell us about some of the newer Leonidas chocolate products.
Florine: We now have the 'vintage Mickey box'. The most famous mouse in the world is making an understated entrance into the Leonidas chocolate world, with all the credit due to his status! A lovely round box with the image of the icon Mickey Mouse, specially designed by Leonidas, is now available containing 16 pralines (240g of chocolates) each featuring Mickey Mouse’s face. These pralines come as an assortment of 4x4 flavours, each one even more delicious than the last (milk chocolate with crème caramel, white praline with biscuit crunch centre, marbled praline with meringue pieces and fondant ganache praline). With its vintage appearance, this new box should immediately appeal to customers looking for a special gift or for a treat for themselves. Furthermore, the way the box opens will not fail to please as you have to pull Mickey’s tail through his shorts to open the lid – surprising and playful at the same time!
How many Leonidas shops are there in Belgium? In the rest of the world?
Florine: There are 350 shops in Belgium and and almost 1500 throughout the world in over 50 countries.
Does Leonidas offer tours of its facility?
No! Top Secret!
Is Leonidas privately-owned or publicly owned?
Leonidas is privately owned by the family of its founder.
Who invents new products at Leonidas and where do they get their inspiration?
Florine: We have 2 master chocolatiers and a wonderful product development team who work hard every day creating new flavours to keep surprising our cutomers. Their inspiration (is found in) everyday life, new trends, … look around you, inspiration is everywhere!
If you'd like to purchase Leonidas Chocolate but you don't live in Belgium, you can buy it by clicking our link to Amazon.com below!
Leonidas Chocolate Shop Directory
Bd. Anspach 46
Tel: 02/218 03 63
Rue des Fripiers 17
Tel: 02/223 17 45
Rue au Beurre 34
Tel: 02/512 87 37
Rue de la Coline 7
Tel: 02 513 26 23
Leonidas Gare Centrale
Carrefour de l'europe 2
Leonidas Adolphe Max
Bld. Adolphe Max 49-51
Tel: 02/217 95 55
Place du grand Sablon 41
Tel: 02/513 14 66
Tel: 02/201 06 84
chaussée de Louvain 3
Tel: 02 217 59 54
Chausée d'Ixelles 5
Tel: 02/511 11 51
Chaussée de Waterloo 153
Tel: 02/538 32 76
Rue Wayez 140
Tel: 02/522 59 13
rue Marie-Christine 203
Tel: 02 426 01 94
Place Reine Astrid 11
Tel: 02/426 33 00
Avenue d'Auderghem 360
Tel: 02 646 61 96
Rue des Tongres 32-34
Tel: 02/736 84 08
Bascule Shopping Center 14
Tel: 02/345 34 46
Confiserie Café Crème
Boulevard Sylvain Dupuis
Av. Georges Henri 379
Tel: 02/732 78 05
Drève olympique 15
Hot Chocolate IXL
Chaussée de Boondael 451
Keizer Karellaan 560
Tel: 02 465 83 58
Rue Xavier De Bue 35
Tel: 02/346 06 82
Au Panier de Pralines
boulevard du Souverain
Tel: 02/767 05 62
Steenweg naar Bergen
1600 Sint Pieters Lieuw
Tel: 02 305 40 01
close to airport
Tel: 02/306 4710
Tel: 02/251 11 30
Tel:02 582 83 05
Steenweg naar Halle 54
Tel: 0032/2 3582882
Confiserie De Meulemeester
Tel: 02 452 57 22
Henri Caronstraat 20
Tel: (0032) (0)2 6573100
Tel: (0032) (0)2 6881888
Tel: 02 759 94 01
Tel: 02 532 55 70
Tel: 052 37 19 38
Tel: 02 356 24 98
Tel: 052 30 15 36
rue du Serment 18
Tel: 02 385 05 02
Tel: 053 68 17 00
rue de Mons 39
Tel: 02 355 82 21
Tel: 053 77 02 74
Grote Markt 25
Tel: 0032 (0) 15 20 24 83
Onze Lieve Vrouwstraat 14
Tel: 052 41 20 99
Confiserie Jacobs BVBA
Tel: 054 33 75 72
Herestraat 49 - UZ Leuven
Confiserie De Vries
Tel: 03 886 56 60
rue des Brasseries 26
Tel: 010 22 32 62
De Meulemeester BVBA
Lange Zoutstraat 37
Tel: 053 77 08 91
Tel: 016 60 48 90
Tel: 053 83 88 44
Tel: 016 22 35 67