This family business was established in 1910 in Kharkov, Ukraine. It was founded by Hovsep Ter-Poghossian Sr. in a modest middle class neighborhood. The business started as a bakery that sold white bread and baguettes as their main products. As the business rapidly grew, the bakery expanded by adding baked goods and sweets to its existing bread menu.
For the next 20 years Hovsep Sr. successfully operated the business. During the communist regime of Soviet Union, Hovsep Sr. was arrested and sent to Siberia as a prisoner. He was arrested for being a notable and successful businessman who accumulated a great fortune by working hard. During Hovsep Sr.'s absence, his family migrated to Tehran, Iran in the search of freedom and a better life. Hovsep Sr. was released after 4 years of torture and rejoined the family in Tehran with only a few pennies in his pocket. around 1935 he borrowed money from friends and opened his bakery in the center of the Iranian capital, Tehran. With his capitalistic views, the business grew and became a household name among the Armenian, Russian, Jewish, and Greek communities.
In 1946 Hovsep Sr. passed away and left the business for his family to continue. Onnik and Grigor Ter-Poghossians took over with the notable Help of their mother, Anoush Ter-Poghossian, the wife of Hovsep Sr.. Running a bakery was not a simple task, especially in 1940’S; Therefore the youngest son of the family, Rouben Ter-Poghossian, joined the family business full-time at the age of 8 while attending a French Catholic school. After graduating the 12th grade, Rouben dedicated all his energy towards the business.
The business continued its success and around 1962, Onnik and Rouben took a summer vacation to Europe. Upon their return to Tehran they brought new ideas and purchased machinery to manufacture chocolate. After several months of testing, the chocolate hit the store shelves. This was a new chapter that made Mignon what it is today. By the early 1970's Mignon was known, among Iranians and all other minorities, as the "King of Chocolate" in Tehran. The success was enormous which drew the Shah's (King of Iran) family for weekly trips to sweeten their lives. On several occasions, Rouben visited the King's Palace to deliver and decorate birthday and anniversary cakes and chocolates.
Since August of 1988, Rouben took regular trips to Los Angeles. Upon each arrival, he brought dozens of his creations to the Armenian community and his relatives in Glendale.
In 2002, third generation chocolatiers Joseph and Anoush Ter-Poghossians embraced the opportunity to introduce Angeleno chocolate fans the quality chocolates and truffles that was absent in Los Angeles area. The current menu includes 60 plus flavors of chocolates and truffles with additional seasonal flavors. The favorite still remains dark chocolate dipped orange peel strips, the Hazelnut Truffles, Ginger with Lime Seasalt to name a few.
Due to growing demand, Mignon's creations can now be found at the retail shops in Glendale and Pasadena in Southern California.
Queen of Iran Cutting a Mignon Cake in the Palace (1969)