Maestrani is founded
Ludovico Aquilino Maestrani, known as Aquilino, learned the art of chocolate-making from his father in Lombardy. In those days, chocolate specialities produced according to Italian recipes were considered “real treats”. In 1846, after spending several years travelling the world and learning, he started to manufacture his own chocolate. In 1852, he set up shop in Lucerne, opening his own business on Krongasse. The year 1852 is therefore considered the actual founding year of the modern company.
The business moves to Multergasse in St. Gallen
In 1859, Aquilino relocated to St. Gallen, where he set up his business at Haus zur Meise on Multergasse. Thirteen years later he purchased the adjacent building, demolished it and built the “Marmorhaus”, a magnificent building for that time. In the new premises he was able to install modern showrooms and sales areas where, in addition to chocolate, he sold other delicacies and tropical fruit. By this time, Aquilino’s three sons Ludovico, Roberto and Savino were able to help their father in the family business.
Aquilino Maestrani dies
In 1880, Aquilino Maestrani died and was buried in St. Gallen. Later (after the abolition of grave sanctity) his tomb was moved to Aquila in Val Blenio (Ticino). The business, which was inherited by his three sons, continued to flourish under the name of A. Maestrani & Co.
Purchase of the former spinning mill in St. Georgen
The former abbey mill and spinning mill in St. Gallen was converted into a factory. Even then, the name Maestrani stood for high-quality chocolate, and, in 1884, Maestrani was appointed official supplier to the court of King Umberto I of Italy.
In 1912, the company was renamed Maestrani Schweizer Schokoladen AG, the name it still bears today. After a successful start, the company suffered a series of setbacks during the First World War, which continued into the post-war period. The Second World War also proved a difficult time, particularly due to the scarcity of raw materials.The path to success was not without costs, and considerable sums had to be invested in building extensions and installing new machinery to regain lost ground and expand the factory beyond its original scope.
Visit our chocolate factory
Have you always wanted to know how chocolate is made, where the raw ingredients come from and how they are processed? On a visit to Maestrani's Chocolarium in Flawil, your questions will be answered by an expert guide and you will discover the secrets behind the art of Swiss chocolate.