Leonidas, Brussels

Leonidas, Brussels

If you need a token travel gift from Brussels for family and friends back home, go to Leonidas Chocolatiers to find the best selection of authentic yet affordable Belgian chocolates. While there is no shortage of craft chocolate shops replete with delicious displays in the city, Leonidas really stands out as a combination of good atmosphere, selection, service and reasonable price. An established producer with international recognition, Leonidas has over 1400 retail outlets all over the globe, including the one in the Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert in Brussels.

The brand is named after its Greek founder, Leonidas Kestekides, a confectioner who moved from Anatolia, Turkey to the United States in 1900, and then 10 years later settled in Brussels after having participated in the World Fair where he won a bronze medal and met his future wife, Joanna Emelia Teerlinck. In Brussels, Kestekides established a chocolaterie with a logo featuring an effigy of the Greek warrior Leonidas, King of Sparta. His very first shop was in a rented room so small and without even a door to the main street, that the only possibility to attract customers was to open the window and display chocolates on the windowsill.

This proved to be a revolutionary idea as it allowed passers-by to pick up the delicious scent of chocolates and buy them on the spot. Selling through a sliding sash window would remain the trademark of the brand for many decades. Eventually, the demand for Leonidas chocolates proved so high that, in 1985, the company was forced to place an ad in the national newspapers, the first of its kind in the history of advertising, asking the people interested in retailing Leonidas chocolates to stop sending their requests to open a shop since the production could not keep up with the demand.

Leonidas's main specialization is pralines (chocolate shells with soft fillings, called Belgian Chocolate in English-speaking countries), although they also sell marzipan, solid chocolates, and other confections. The available varieties are displayed along the walls of the shop, clean and bright, in an orderly fashion, well documented and with due description of ingredients and pricing, making it easy for visitors to take their time and look around. Should you find it easy, and yet not, to make your pick amid the enormous variety on offer, the staff will be happy to help you with a choice.

Family business since establishment, in 2013 Leonidas celebrated its 100th anniversary, and on November 15 the same year became a certified purveyor to the Belgian royal household.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

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Leonidas on Map

Sight Name: Leonidas
Sight Location: Brussels, Belgium (See walking tours in Brussels)
Sight Type: Shopping
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Brussels, Belgium

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