The First and Finest
Respect for tradition and authenticity has been Le Creuset’s guiding principle since 1925, yet our innovative designs and exceptional quality ensure that we remain relevant today.
Our company began when Armand Desaegher, a casting specialist, and Octave Aubecq, an enameling expert, recognized an opportunity to improve the versatility of cast iron cookware by coating it in a porcelain enamel glaze.
The Early Years (1925 – 1957)
Desaegher and Aubecq opened their foundry in 1925 in Fresnoy-le-Grand, France, a strategic location at the crossroads of transportation routes for iron, coke and sand. That same year, the first cocotte, or French oven, was produced, laying the foundation for what is now an extensive range of cookware and kitchen utensils.
The Le Creuset signature color, Flame, was born in this first piece. With their new ability to pigment the enamel glaze, Desaegher and Aubecq modeled their first color after the intense orange hue of molten cast iron inside a cauldron (“creuset” in French). This vibrant shade became known as the refreshing color choice within a sea of gray.
After an early expansion of our product range, the onset of the second world war brought troubled times. Over the next several years, we focused our efforts on continually improving our cast iron.
The Expansion Years (1958 – 1991)
In 1957, Le Creuset purchased a major competitor, Les Hauts Fourneaux Cousances, a company with a legendary history of its own. Additions of items such as a grill model and a fondue set added variety to our product lines. In 1958, Raymond Loewy, best known for his design of the Coca-Cola bottle, introduced the streamlined Coquelle French oven; in 1972, celebrated Italian designer Enzo Mari created a distinctly different handle shape for the traditional cocotte.
The United States subsidiary was begun in South Carolina in 1974, and in 1991, we purchased Hallen International Inc., a maker of wine accessories under the Screwpull trademark.
The Global Years (1992 – 2011)
In 1995 we began expansion into new categories: stainless steel, stoneware, silicone, enamel on steel, textiles and forged hard-anodized aluminum. And while Le Creuset pieces are associated with the finest French style and cuisine, we have worked to build an international presence by embracing local cooking trends with pieces such as the cast iron wok, an Indian karahi dish, a Japanese sukiyaki pan, an Italian risotto pot and a Moroccan tagine.
Although some production processes have been modernized, you can be sure that the handmade qualities of Le Creuset cookware remain unchanged. We still manufacture our cast iron in the original foundry, with each piece passing through the hands of 15 skilled artisans to ensure flawless perfection.
With the consistent qualities of authenticity, originality and innovation, Le Creuset maintains a connection to both heritage and modernity.