After running what he claimed to be Australia’s first soda fountain at Sydney’s Imperial Skating Rink, Earnest Hillier opened his store in Pitt Street where he began manufacturing chocolate. The signature red chocolate box appeared in 1916. Hillier’s transferred operations to Melbourne in 1934 and for many years operated a soda fountain at the Regent Theatre. In the mid ’90s Hillier’s was bought by supermarket proprietors Piedimontes who expanded the business by acquiring the Newman’s Chocolate company, established in 1924. Hillier’s has now been sold to British investment company Re:Capital.