Cioccolata Stella Bernrain
As an imaginative Swiss chocolate producer that also excels in realising its concepts, Chocolat Stella Bernrain draws on a wealth of creative ideas to produce high-quality chocolate specialities that fully meet the wishes of its customers.
We are an independent, internationally-focused, family-owned company and produce products for the private label sector and the Bernrain and Stella brands. We supply industrial manufacturers and commercial customers with the finest couverture chocolate and semi-finished products.
A culture of innovation dating from 1928, knowledge of the world's markets allied with decades of experience in development and production enable us to identify market opportunities at an early stage and then also translate these gaps into products. Throughout this process we lay great store on sustainability, both in the procurement of raw materials and in production.
In addition, we are totally committed to Switzerland as our production base. Genuine Swiss chocolate specialties are our passion.
1925 Walter Müller lays the foundation for his later entrepreneurship with an apprenticeship to become a confectioner, fills his rucksack in various confectioneries and French hotels and finally learns the craft of the chocolatier in Zurich from scratch.
1928 Achille Vanotti establishes Chocolat Stella, earns a reputation for himself with outstanding chocolate and makes imaginative investments across Switzerland in the "Stella" brand.
1932 Henry Weibel establishes the Bernrain chocolate factory and delights his customers with confectionery products, chocolate marshmallows, 'hüppen' (filled wafer rolls) and 'branches' (chocolate twigs).
1947 Walter Müller decides to start up his own business. Working together with his wife, Karin, he produces chocolate marshmallows, 'branches' (chocolate twigs) and liqueur-filled miniature chocolate bottles in the 300-year-old family home. The products become extremely popular and the production premises rapidly become too small.
1950 Karin and Walter Müller purchase Chocolat Bernrain. The young family together with both sons move to Kreuzlingen.
1955 A strategic decision is taken with the production of the first private label chocolate for the 'Lebensmittelverein Zürich' (Zurich Co-operative Food Stores). It marks the beginning of a focus on niche products.
1956 Karin and Walter Müller have the courage to move from their artisanal production methods to industrial manufacturing with the construction of a modern chocolate factory.
1960 Dr. Franco Vanotti, the nephew of the founder of Chocolat Stella, develops the first sugar-free chocolate in Switzerland.
1965 Adalbert Müller follows in the footsteps of his parents and, at 28 years of age, takes over the management of Chocolat Bernrain AG. His wife Ursula Müller manages the factory shop.
1980 The continual expansion is also accompanied by the demand for sustainable production. A heat recovery system saves 98 percent of fresh water consumption, reduces the company’s reliance on external energy and lowers CO2 emissions.
Dr. Vanotti's children express no interest in taking over the reins of Chocolat Stella. He sells his company to Chocolat Bernrain AG.
1991 Working in partnership with OS3, today's claro fair trade AG, one of the world's first Fair Trade chocolate is developed. The cocoa is supplied by the El Ceibo co-operative of small producers in Bolivia, the sugar by the Alter Trade Cooperative in the Philippines.
In the same year, the first organic chocolate is produced for Pronatec AG. To achieve this, Pronatec supplies the patented sugar Sucanat.
Partnerships become cemented over the years with various cooperatives in South America and Asia. Chocolat Stella Bernrain supports producers in the construction of fermentation and drying facilities, the establishment of plant nurseries and with training programmes.
2001 Monica Müller, the daughter of Adalbert and Ursula Müller, opts for a future career in the family business and fully familiarises herself with the chocolate business.
2003 Lactose intolerance is widespread throughout the world: Chocolat Stella Bernrain develops a milk chocolate formulation for those affected that tastes good and is well received around the world.
2005 Genuine demand is identified in the market for kosher chocolate. The specialists at Chocolat Stella Bernrain produce this for customers across the world.
2007 Monica Müller takes over the management of the company.
2013 Chocolat Stella moves into modern, new production facilities and obtains a large part of its energy requirements from a heat pump. In Kreuzlingen, a photovoltaic system sited on the warehouse roof supplies the company's own electricity.
CEO, Chocolat Bernrain AG Monica Müller
CEO, Chocolat Stella S.A. Alessandra Alberti