Godiva: Truffles that are Pure Luxury
Of all the names associated with fine chocolate, there are few as iconic as Godiva. Founded in 1926 by Joseph Draps, the Belgian chocolatier has since blossomed into one of the world's most celebrated, earning it a Luxist award nomination in the best truffles category.
Draps opened his first store on a cobblestone street in Brussels nearly a century ago, its name inspired by the legendary Lady Godiva. As the story goes, the medieval dame grew upset with the onerous taxes that her husband, Lord Leofric, levied upon his subjects in Coventry, England. Leofric proposed a bargain: If she could ride naked through town without any citizens eyeing her, he'd ease their financial burden. Lady Godiva did exactly that, and Leofric relented.
Gallery: More from Godiva
The name Godiva still evokes images of graciousness, luxury and sensuality. Draps first expanded the company beyond Belgium in 1958, opening a boutique in Paris. The first North American shop followed in 1966; another in Tokyo came in 1972. Today there are over 450 Godiva stores in 80 countries around the globe. Of course, its delectible chocolates can also be ordered at its online shop.
Though Godiva boats a wide range of fine chocolate candies, the chocolatier is as famous for its packaging as Lady Godiva was for her lack thereof. Godiva's signature is the Ballotin, French for "little box of chocolates." The boxes come in all manner of colors, from the traditional gold to seasonal red, and sport festive ribbons. The truffle boxes fit a wide range occasions, from the two-piece Gold Ballotin ($3.50) to the 105-piece set ($115.00).
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