Galler Chocolatiers s.a.

Upscale chocolate-maker Galler Chocolatiers has its head office and factory in Chaudfontaine, a quiet suburb located four miles from Liege. Founder Jean Galler started the business in 1976 and the company's office are located in a four-story building that was formerly the home of his parents. The company's name is painted on the storefront window along with a sign hanging above the entrance. Behind the building and right across the street is the factory which backs up to a gently flowing river (click for photo).

Entering the building there's no reception area so I stick my head in a few offices before finding someone. In a few minutes I'm meeting with Hany Libon, the personable assistant to CEO Jean Galler.

Between the head office and factory about 80 people work here. Employees are on their own as far as finding parking spaces if they drive to work, smoking isn't allowed in the workplace and there's no formal dress code. There're no onsite recreational facilities though you can get plenty of exercise by huffing and puffing it up and down the four floors as there's no elevator. It's 13 minutes via train to downtown Liege (Libon knows the exact time it takes since that's how she commutes to work), 10 minutes to the nearest freeway and 15 minutes to Liege's airport. There's a break room but no company cafeteria..Any employee perks? A 35% discount on company products.

Don't see any chocolate or plants/flowers in Managing Director Galler's small third floor corner office but do note the computer and framed pictures of his wife and daughter.

Revenues in 2004 totaled 10 million euros. Galler has 27 shops around the world including several in Japan, the USA and even Lebanon.

So, how do Galler chocolates taste? I don't know. During our conversation Libon mentioned giving me a box of chocolates to take with me but, unfortunately she forgot.

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