It was 1st May 1915, when Alfred E Haigh opened the doors of the very first Haigh’s Chocolates store at number 34 King William Street, Adelaide. Alfred began adding his own flavour to the industry and in 1917 he started producing chocolate-covered fruit centres, which we still make today.
Business was booming and it was time to expand. In 1919 Alfred bought land behind the family home at Parkside South Australia where he built a small factory, now the Visitors Centre. In 1922, he moved shops to the Beehive Corner – still our Adelaide flagship store. Sadly, in 1933, Alfred passed away suddenly. His son Claude took over the running of the business, which had by then grown to six stores.
Alfred’s grandson, John Haigh, joined the business in 1946 with a vision to take Haigh’s chocolate making to new heights. He trained in Switzerland with Lindt and Sprungli and visited the US to look at production, shop styles and marketing. John revolutionised the way we manufactured our chocolate and in 1959 became Managing Director.
Business continued to grow and John looked for other opportunities to expand. In 1965 Haigh’s opened the first store outside South Australia, in Collins Street Melbourne, where Haigh’s chocolates proved to be just as popular.
At Haigh’s we’re very proud to be the oldest family-owned chocolate manufacturing retailer in Australia. Today the company is run by fourth generation Haighs, Alister and Simon, who started in the 1970s and had to work their way up from the bottom. They’ve been joint Managing Directors since 1990 and John Haigh is now Chairman of the Board.