Rows of carefully created chocolates sit in trays, with a white gloved hand showing them off

Chocolate is arguably one of life’s ultimate indulgences, and no one is more passionate about this decadent treat than the chef chocolatiers of Masion Cailler. Switzerland’s oldest still existing chocolate brand, Maison Cailler has been producing exceptional chocolates since 1819 making it a treasured part of the Alpine nation’s heritage.

Guests on our Majestic Switzerland luxury small group journey will visit Maison Cailler when in Gruyère. We had the pleasure of speaking to award-winning chef chocolatier Géraldine Mueller-Maras, Manager of the Ateliers du Chocolat at Maison Cailler, to learn more about this experience.

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An exquisite mix of art and passion  

Photo credit: @cailler_suisse on Instagram

“There is an immense art and passion that goes into making chocolate,” says Géraldine. “In Swiss German, we call it the ‘schoggi job’ (Chocolate job), the best job in the world, because everyone is happy when they encounter chocolate!

“My grandfather was a pastry chef, so I always say that I have this chocolate running in my veins. I’ve worked here at Maison Cailler for 11 years now as a chocolatier and it’s wonderful for your passion to also be your profession.”

After completing a post-school apprenticeship as a pastry chef-confectioner in Switzerland, Géraldine worked in London with Swiss chef Anton Mosimann at The Belfry. She then switched to teaching and spent three  years in Australia at the Sydney branch of the Parisian culinary school Le Cordon Bleu and four years in the Bangkok branch

. An exceptional artist, Géraldine was crowned Swiss Chocolate Master in 2015 and the highest-ranking woman at the 2015 World Chocolate Masters in Paris.

Visit Maison Cailler on: Majestic Switzerland

Maison Cailler, a piece of Swiss history

Photo credit: @cailler_suisse on Instagram

Founded by François-Louis Cailler in 1819, Cailler is the oldest still existing Swiss chocolate brand and leads the country’s love affair with chocolate.

Cailler, a visionary entrepreneur, began selling this delectable treat in 1819. Inspired by the Industrial revolution and the emerging chocolate industry in Europe, he sought to create high-quality chocolates using innovative techniques. Maison Cailler quickly gained recognition for its exquisite chocolates, combining Swiss precision with a passion for craftsmanship. In 1929, the company merged with Chocolaterie Nestlé to form the Nestlé Company.

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Your chance to indulge

Photo credit: @cailler_suisse on Instagram

Located in Gruyère, in the Swiss Alps, chocolate-lovers enjoy an immersive experience at the Maison Cailler factory. You’ll be taken through the history in a multi-sensory tour, and Géraldine’s team of in-house chocolatiers will introduce you to the art of tempering, conching and ganache-making. They’ll also help you create your own chocolate work of art to take home.

“We bring customers closer to the chocolate,” she explains. “You can touch it, taste it out of the bowl, and make your own personalized mixtures. You can also take what you learned and reproduce it at home. Its lots of fun, and lots of chocolate at the end as well.”

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200 years of Swiss heritage

The Maison Cailler factory 75 years ago. Photo credit: @cailler_suisse on Instagram

Founded in 1819, Maison Cailler is now over 200 years old. The Gruyère factory itself was built in 1898. “The walls I touch are 126 years old, and it’s all still working,” says Géraldine proudly. “It’s an incredible place to visit. As well as being a very beautiful setting, you can feel the history, the tradition, the emotions – that’s what is so special.”

It is here that the Cailler chocolate goes through all the stages of production, from the roasting of the beans to the filling of their chocolate creations. These are then packaged in-house, with over 300,000 chocolate temptations leaving the factory each day.

Cailler is also the only brand in Switzerland to use condensed milk instead of powdered milk, giving the product a very rich milky flavor and smooth texture. For this fresh, high quality milk is bought from the farms close to the factory.

Géraldine explains that since it first began making chocolate, Cailler has maintained a close relationship with local milk producers. “Everyone is proud to be a part. You can see that the farms in the region have a special panel saying the milk from our farm goes to Cailler chocolate,” she says.

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A warm welcome awaits

Photo credit: @cailler_suisse on Instagram

“When I returned to Switzerland from traveling the world, I thought long and hard about where I wanted to work,” says Géraldine. “As well as their excellence in chocolate, Maison Cailler is Swiss history, past and present – the company has not only shaped the world of chocolate but contributed to the cultural fabric of Switzerland.

“It is always such a great pleasure to share this heritage and passion with guests of Luxury Gold, and all our visitors from around the world.”

Experience the glory of Switzerland over 10 days, with 5 star hotels and exceptional dining, and meet the chocolatiers of Maison Cailler on our Majestic Switzerland luxury small-group journey.