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.
Achille Vanotti establishes Chocolat Stella, earns a reputation for himself with outstanding chocolate and makes imaginative investments across Switzerland in the "Stella" brand.
Henry Weibel establishes the Bernrain chocolate factory and delights his customers with confectionery products, chocolate marshmallows, 'hüppen' (filled wafer rolls) and 'branches' (chocolate twigs).
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.
Karin and Walter Müller purchase Chocolat Bernrain. The young family together with both sons move to Kreuzlingen.
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.
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.
Dr. Franco Vanotti, the nephew of the founder of Chocolat Stella, develops the first sugar-free chocolate in Switzerland.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Genuine demand is identified in the market for kosher chocolate. The specialists at Chocolat Stella Bernrain produce this for customers across the world.
Monica Müller takes over the management of the company.
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.