It’s rather surprising the day Ernest Hillier opened Australia’s first chocolate making establishment isn’t celebrated with more exuberance. A public holiday even. You won’t find his name in any Australian history book, but Ernest Hillier was a true hero.
As Australia’s first chocolate maker he changed us from a colonial backwater, grateful for the scraps of Europe and the US, into a producer of our own quality chocolate, launching a chocolate culture that continues to this day.
But it was only once people tasted Ernest Hillier’s chocolates, that Australia’s love affair with chocolate really began.
Ernest Hillier's Chocolate Factory (c.1926)
His chocolates were filled with centres that both delighted and surprised. He experimented with exotic flavours, sneaked in a little alcohol here and there – to the stern disapproval of the local Temperance Movement – and added distinctive flourishes to ensure the chocolates looked as good as they tasted. His signature red boxes quickly became the icon of good taste.
Ernest Hillier is still a hero to chocolate lovers, but now the company leads the way, following in his footsteps with a dedicated team of chocolatiers who are constantly refining the art of chocolate making and introducing new taste sensations to chocolate lovers.
Today 100 years later, we are still making Ernest’s unique chocolates with the same passion and respect for tradition, using the finest ingredients, sourced locally wherever possible. After all, if our chocolates are going to carry his name, they need to live up to his reputation.