We know all too well that the famous yellow sweets with the sour centre are delicious. But where do Napoleon Sweets actually come from?
'Den Gouden Bol' Bakery
It was 1912 when Antwerp baker Louis Janssen decided, in imitation of a fellow baker, to produce sweets. In the cellar of his bakery ‘In Den Gouden Bol’, he produced the delicious sweets that we still know as Napoleon candies almost 100 years later. The delicious sweets was well appreciated by the citizens of Antwerp and therefore needed to be given a name. When a friend and chocolatier boasted over a drink in a café about his new chocolate truffle, which he had given the name ‘Caesar’, Louis announced: ‘Then I will call my sweets Napoleon’. Little did he know then that 100 years on, his sweets would be hugely popular under this very same name.
More about 100 years of Napoleon (PDF) >
From Antwerp to Breskens
Little more was heard of the Caesar chocolate truffle, whereas Napoleon became a household name! Over the years, the ‘golden bonbons’ by Janssen the baker became more and more popular. Once the factory in the heart of Antwerp had grown so large that it threatened to burst at the seams, Napoleon relocated to a larger factory. Production moved to Schelle, a small city 15 km to the south west of Antwerp. In 2003 Napoleon moved again, this time to Breskens in Zeeland Flanders.
An ever expanding range
Almost one hundred years after the invention of the Napoleon bonbon, the range has expanded considerably. In addition to the traditional fruit flavours Lempur (lemon flavoured), Fruit mix, Wineballs, Sinaspur ( orange flavoured), Pompur (apple flavoured) and Fruit mix lollies (with a sour filling), there is a cola flavoured candy and two liquorice flavours with a powder centre: black and white sweets with salmiak and liquorice flavoured sweets. The Napoleon Energy , with the recognisable flavour of an energy drink, was also launched in 2012.
Unique historical images
Watch a unique historical film from the 1940s about the production of the Napoleons.