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Haigh's Chocolates

Born in Adelaide and educated at Jamestown in the state's mid-north, Alfred E Haigh opened a confectioner's shop in Mount Gambier in 1905. He has been credited with introducing ice-cream to the town. Haigh's business was successful enough to allow expansion to the nearby towns of Pinaroo and Lameroo. In 1915 he moved to Adelaide and opened a new store in the distinctive Beehive Corner building, at 34 King William Street. Haigh's entry in the Sands & McDougall's South Australian Directory for 1916 stated:

Manufacturer of High Class Chocolates and Bon Bons. Glaced Fruit Marrons. Glaces a speciality.

Haigh established a separate factory for manufacturing at Parkside in 1919. His shop moved to the Rundle Street side of the Beehive Corner Building in 1922 where a Haigh's shop still exists today. Haigh's business expanded and he obtained the right to sell ice-creams and confectionary at the Adelaide Oval and established a cardboard box making section in his factory to package Haigh's goods.

Alfred Haigh died in August 1933 and his son Claude took over the ownership of the six Haigh's shops in South Australia at this time. The business continued despite sugar rationing during the Second World War and manufactured sweets for the Australian troops. During the 1950s Haigh's began selling chocolates during the interval at several cinemas around Adelaide.

When Claude's son John joined the family business, he decided to travel to Switzerland to learn more of the chocolate making craft. John became managing director of Haigh's in 1959 and brought many new ideas to the company from his time at Lindt and Sprungli in Switzerland. In the 1960s Haigh's opened its first retail outlet in Melbourne.

Today Haigh's is the oldest family owned chocolate manufacturer in Australia, with John as chairman and his sons Alister and Simon as joint managing directors. Haigh's have six stores in Adelaide, five in Melbourne and one in Sydney.

Rundle Street: Beehive Corner
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