In 1924, two Belgian industrialists, Armand Desaegher and Octave Aubecq met at the Brussels Fair. The former being a casting specialist and the latter an enamelling expert, they dedicated themselves to a new venture and established a foundry that would enamel various cookware items.
In 1925, Le Creuset was born as the duo settled in Fresnoy-le-Grand, France, a strategic crossroads of transportation routes for raw materials of coke, iron and sand.
The first cocotte was produced in the now-iconic Flame colour inspired by the intense orange hue of molten cast iron inside a cauldron (or ‘Creuset’ in French). Within its first year, Le Creuset was setting the stage for the bold, rich and unique colours to come.
1925 – 1935
During Le Creuset’s first decade, the iconic Flame products began appearing in some of the most storied kitchens throughout France and western Europe. Professional chefs and home cooks immediately understood its many advantages.
1935 – 1945
During its second decade, Le Creuset began to increase its product offering to include cookers, charcoal stoves, hot plates and kitchen utensils.
1946 – 1951
A commercial strategy was developed and ads on the radio and in the press were launched to promote the quality of enamelled cast iron. The onset of World War II brought troubled times as the foundry was close to front lines and occupied by German forces.
November 18, 1952 – Le Creuset Corporation registered the Le Creuset trademark, first used in 1926 for household iron ware, cooking iron ware, household enamelled iron ware and cooking enamelled iron ware.
1952 – 1955
Following the war, Le Creuset saw a period of growth and innovation with an increased variety of colours and styles for enamelled cast iron cookware. In 1952, exports to other countries had begun, with products destined to other European countries and the United States.
In 1957, Le Creuset bought its major competitor, Les Hauts Fourneaux de Cousances, the designers of the popular Doufeu – a cocotte with a water lid.
In 1958, acclaimed designer Raymond Loewy created a new and unique shape to add to the world-renowned range of Le Creuset Cast Iron Casseroles. Internationally famous for his designs, Loewy created a striking, evocative design called the Le Creuset Coquelle.
Alongside new products such as the first grill model, the Tostador, the first fondue set (1962) and first Barbecue (1963), Enzo Mari’s Mama Collection and new colours such as Elysees Yellow were received with enthusiasm.
The 1960s and 1970s also saw increased efficiencies at the foundry, where semi-automatic machines replaced the manual casting workshop. Le Creuset took over the Godin Company, specialists in furnaces and firing equipment for foundries.
The current Le Creuset logo was introduced in 1970 and was designed to represent the metal casting and molding of cast iron.
In 1974, a period of globalization was ushered in with the first subsidiary in the United States, Le Creuset of America Inc. established in South Carolina, quickly followed by bureaus in Australia, United Kingdom, Germany and Belgium.
In 1988, the current Chairman, Paul van Zuydam, often referred to as the King of Cookware, bought the company and consolidated production at the factory in northern France.
In 1991, Le Creuset purchased Hallen International Inc. which made wine accessories under the Screwpull trademark and transferred the manufacturing of these products from Houston to the headquarters in Fresnoy-le-Grand.
1992 – 1995
In 1992, Le Creuset launched its first wok, inspired by the growing trend in Asian cooking and the new Saffron colour. The brand was also diversified with the introduction of enamel-on-steel kettles in 1995.
With a strong international presence, Le Creuset adapted to cooking trends in different regions worldwide. Between 1998 and 2004 the first US vegetable cocotte – the Pumpkin, the French Tatin Dish, the Indian Karahi dish, the Balti dish, Japanese Sukiyaki cocotte and the Italian Risotto Pot were released.
Growth in new markets continued to flourish with subsidiaries established in Hong Kong (1998), Switzerland, South Africa, Brazil and Spain (1999), Scandinavia (2003), Italy and Canada and a sourcing office in China (2004).
Modernizations at the factory continued with enlarged capacity in 2003. All of Le Creuset’s cast iron continues to be produced in the original factory in France.
As Le Creuset’s product offering deepens, more than 100 retail stores worldwide offer a unequaled selection of premium cookware.
Le Creuset introduces its Stainless Steel line taking inspiration from the iconic rings on the lids.
Today, Le Creuset is proud to offer its customers an expanded line of cookware, bakeware, tableware and accessories.
Le Creuset’s uncompromising dedication to quality and innovation ensures that the brand will continue to be the world’s most coveted cookware for many generations to come.