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With 1,400 sales outlets around the world, Leonidas is successful because it has something very special and that is its 100% guarantee of freshness every time. It was founded by Leonidas George Kestekides who was born in Greece. He emigrated to the U.S at the age of eighteen and it was there that his obsession with confectionery first began. He went to a World Trade Fair in Brussels in 1910 where he came third. He fell in love and married and ended up staying in Belgium for the rest of his life. His family from Greece eventually joined him including his nephew Basilio, who took on the confectionery trade as well. In 1913, the first tea-rooms were opened and this was the beginning of it all. The mission of Leonidas and Basilio was to make chocolate affordable to everyone.

An official brand name Leonidas was eventually incorporated to protect the ownership of the products. Success stemmed quickly and more and more shops continued to open. In 1966, the first franchised outlet was opened and in 1969 the first franchise went to France. The company eventually goes international but all the chocolate being sold is still made in Belgium.

The Franchise System

Being part of Leonidas means belonging to a well-known trusted brand name while also being distinctly individual and independent. Help is provided in every way shape or form to the new franchisee as they find their feet. The franchisor will give guidance as to a suitable location for the store, the decorating will have to match in and advertising and promotion will be monitored. Practical training will be provided throughout the entire course of the franchisee’s career.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Leonidas in Hong Kong give their support to the Benji’s Centre. It is the only charitable organisation providing professional speech therapy to children and teenagers with communication powers.


Leonidas opened a slightly different concept store in Bucharest. It is called the Leonidas Chocolate Café. It works as both a café shop and a chocolate shop. People get tasters of the chocolate and work off two menus, hot beverages in the winter, ice cream and cold drinks in the summer.

When King Philippe of Belgium published his first list of official published suppliers to the Court, Leonidas made it because of their outstanding quality and reasonable price.


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