Swiss chocolatier Läderach opens at Fashion Valley

Swiss chocolatier Läderach opened its first California store at Fashion Valley in San Diego on Aug. 28.
(Courtesy, Läderach)

Award-winning chocolate boutique features 20 varieties of bark, as well as artisanal pralines and truffles, all shipped directly from Switzerland.


Premium Swiss chocolate-maker Läderach opened its first California location last month at San Diego’s Fashion Valley mall as part of the family owned company’s recent push into the U.S. market.

At Fashion Valley, the Swiss chocolatier has taken over the former Godiva storefront, an 839 square-foot, ground-floor location opposite Macy’s. There, Läderach now displays 20 varieties of its supersized slabs of chocolate bark — known as “FrischSchoggi” — in glass windows as a calling card, inviting customers to use all five senses and fully experience a product it believes to be far superior to convenience chocolate. The brand’s artisanal pralines, truffles and chocolate-covered popcorn are also available for in-store sampling and purchase.

Started in 1962, Läderach specializes in bean-to-store freshness, handed-crafted chocolates and Swiss everything. That means ingredients such as milk and honey that are sourced from Swiss cows and bees, and products that are designed to be enjoyed within weeks — and not months — of production. Handed down from father to son and then to grandsons, the business received international acclaim when product lead Elias Läderach won the World Chocolate Masters in 2018.

The San Diego location is just one of 34 leaseholds that Läderach purchased in February from Godiva, which decided to shutter all of its North America stores because of sluggish retail sales. The chocolate swap will boost substantially Läderach’s physical footprint in the U.S. The company only recently migrated overseas, starting with stores in Canada and New York in 2019.

“As a company, we are very confident ... with being bold and going into brick-and-mortar (locations) because we believe our product is best experienced in a store,” said Nathanael Hausmann, who is the company’s president in North America.

The pandemic has also increased consumer appetite for high-end treats, he said.

“We have seen an appreciation for innovative food, for enjoying and indulging in the moment, and in celebrating when you consume very fine food,” he said.

Läderach at Fashion Valley is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.