Börje Brunberg, an innovative nautical enthusiast
Börje Lennart Brunberg (born 1924) was a popular and determined managing director who tirelessly and purposefully managed to get the Brunberg sweets factory back on its feet after the war and the death of his father, Lennart Brunberg.
Börje Brunberg was an enterprising and innovative person with a dream: the automatization of the factory. He made his dream come true; during his management the factory was automatized and modernized. He also designed and manufactured machines.
One of his most successful ideas was to start manufacturing Kisses in Finland.
The idea came to him during travels in Europe and Denmark provided the know-how and the necessary equipment. The Kisses reached rapidly the position of most popular product and have been manufactured for about 70 years according to the original recipe.
Today 15-18 million Kisses are sold annually.
Börje Brunberg had three factories built in the area of Tarmola in Porvoo: Teollisuustie, Mestaritie and Veckjärvitie.
He used to say that not until he could choose his own core team – persons he could trust – did the ball start rolling. He was supported by a solid team: sales manager Tor Granberg and production manager Göran Karlsson. In addition to the closest colleagues, dedicated and loyal employees worked in the factory, many for more than 30 years.
Börje Brunberg’s sister, Ulla Somervalli, a piano player who had studied at the conservatory in Helsinki, worked at Brunberg as office manager and as a member of the board. She was chairman of the Brunberg foundation 1988-2002 and vice chairman until 2016.
Börje Brunberg believed in slow growth and he often said: “Small is beautiful”.
Börje Brunberg was managing director of the company for 47 years. After retiring in 1991 he continued as chairman of the board for almost 20 years. He was deeply attached to the factory and found it hard to let it go. He was also member of the board of the foundation which was started in honour of his father.
Börje Brunberg was described as a humorous and playful person who loved the sea, sailing and traveling. He was happy when he could work on one of his projects, work or leisure. After retiring, he spent a lot of time in the archipelago with his wife, Helena Raumolin-Brunberg, and traveled many times to the Far East. Until 2010 he lived in the wooden house on the plot where the old factory still stands.
Börje Brunberg died on May 16, 2016, 92 years old. Ulla Somervalli died in 2018, 97 years old.