The 2000’s: Brunberg today
Nobody could have foreseen where a simple application would lead, when the bakery apprentice A.W. Lindfors applied for permission in 1971 to start a bakery.
A lot has happened during these 150 years: Finland became an independent state, survived several wars, was urbanized and became a member state of the European Union. Brunberg continued its activities as a family business in Porvoo.
During the 2000’s the company has continued to grow.
In the year 2000, the factory building at Veckjärvi had become too cramped for space and the company extended its site by acquiring a piece of land and a warehouse from the neighbour.
Times had changed – so did the language. In 2001 the “Negro Kiss” was substituted by Kiss, as the original name was deemed no longer acceptable language. The carton logo of the young kissing African couple was also modified and in 2020 the image was substituted by a beautiful picture of Old Porvoo, the home town of Brunberg.
In 2007 lactose free milk chocolate was added to the selection and still today Brunberg is the only manufacturer of lactose free milk chocolate in the Nordic countries.
In the 2010’s the excise duties were increased twice and the consumption dropped temporarily, but it was soon back on the same level as before.
A new Managing Director for Brunberg
In 2011 Tom Brunberg retired after heading the company for about 15 years, but he continued to be close to the activities as Chairman of the Board.
The old sweets factory at Raatihuoneenkatu was sold in 2011. It marked the end of an era and the beginning of a new one.
In 2011 Katarina Enholm, born in Porvoo, was appointed Managing Director.
As a child, Katarina Enholm had enjoyed the fragrancies and flavours of the factory shop. For 15 years she had worked in the ice cream business and now she moved on to another kind of delicacies, sweets.
Even though the factory is no longer headed by a family member, the descendants of Lennart Brunberg take an active interest in the company. The children of Börje Brunberg, Tom Brunberg and Janne Brunberg, and the children of Ulla Somervalli, Martina Somervalli, Helena Somervalli and Camilla Somervalli-Aavarinne are members of the board. Helena Somervalli’s son Tom Somervalli is Chairman of the Board. Also Börje Brunberg’s grandchild Mats Sjöström is a member of the board as well as Magnus Björklund.
Brunberg grows and reinvents itself
The new Managing Director, Katarina Enholm, focuses on up-to-date production techniques, automation and growth of production capacity, export and finding new market niches.
As a small company, competing in the larger market areas can be complicated and, therefore, Brunberg started focusing on special products, such as lactose free, sugar free and vegan products.
Brunberg has also taken up handmade confectionary. This was one of Börje Brunberg’s dreams, which Annika Brunberg made come true. The first handmade products were available on the market in 2012.
The packaging was modernized and made more attractive.
In the 2010’s the production capacity increased and sales went up with 30%.
Porvoo of old times and Porvoo today
During 150 years Porvoo has grown from a small town of 3 500 residents to a city of 50 300 residents. Instead of horses we see cars on the streets, living conditions have improved and the former agricultural country has become an information society.
But the sweets are just as tasty – from one decade or century to another.
Brunberg is today one of the most prestigious brands in Finland and the fourth biggest candy brand in the country.
Behind the success there are dedicated and loyal employees, purposeful leaders, the tenacity of the family business and long-standing products of high quality.
In 2021 Brunberg turned 150 respectable years old.
Time will tell what the next 150 years will bring.
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1. Bakery founded
(1870-1890) About 150 years ago... A.W. Lindfors sets up his bakery in 1871 By the river of Porvoo, in the town with the red wooden houses along the waterway and the curvy cobblestone roads, the population enjoyed a period of economic recovery in the 1870’s. Around 3 500 residents lived in Porvoo, the majority still in [...]
2. Family enterprise
An enterprise for the whole family The family of A.W. Lindfors consisted of his wife, Wilhelmina (born Saarinko) and seven children: Ivar, Karl, Adolf, Axel, Viktor, Aina and Sigrid. They were all engaged in the bakery business and later on in the sweets factory, in one way or another. It really was a family business [...]
3. Sweets factory founded
A.W. Lindfors sets up a sweets factory In the spring of 1897 the baker A.W. Lindfors informed that he was going to produce sweets, chocolate and marmalade and other products included in the bakery range. The factory was named A.W. Lindfors sweets and marmalade factory. He wanted the factory to satisfy the craving for sweets [...]
4. Ivar Lindfors
August Ivar Lindfors, head of Division to the National Board of Trade Ivar Lindfors (21.6.1872-26.4.1950) was a true all-rounder in the business world. In addition to the A.W. Lindfors sweets and marmalade factory, he was head of Ab Ivar Lindfors Oy (since 1918), a metal and construction company with office in Helsinki. Image: porssitieto.fi As [...]
5. Years 1906-1920
Lindfors sweets factory grows steadily (1906-1920) After the death of A.W. Lindfors, Ivar Lindfors continued developing the factory. The subsequent years were prosperous. In 1907 a 16 year old apprentice, Lennart Brunberg was employed. The young man learnt how to make sweets and little by little he started dreaming of a factory of his own. [...]
6. Brunberg sweets factory founded
Lennart Brunberg sets up his own sweets factory in 1922 The 1920’s was a decade of grand festivities and belief in the future, a period of reconstruction of Finland. During prohibition illegally imported alcohol from Estonia could be bought in the restaurants. The improvement of alimentation and health services and new inventions made life easier. [...]
7. Lennart Brunberg
Lennart Brunberg – sweets manufacturer and music lover Lennart Brunberg (1891-1945) was not only a manufacturer of sweets; he was also a cultural personality, aware of his social responsibility. Closest to his heart was music. He played the violin and the cello and sang in the choir of the sports association Akilles, led by the [...]
8. The 1930’s
The 1930’s – Brunberg survives the recession The 1930’s was a decade of social upheaval. The Finnish people were twice put to the test: first after the stock market crush and the second time when World War II broke out in September of 1939. However, the decade also held hope and belief in the future. [...]
9. The 1940’s
1940’s: the decade of World War II and a tragic fire During the Second World War, Porvoo was bombed on several occasions. When the sirens went off, the residents ran to bomb shelters, one of which was located in the basement of the Brunberg-Lindfors factory. The war kept people in constant fear and the shortage [...]
10. Börje Brunberg
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: [...]
11. The 1950’s
The 1950’s: Kisses, television sets and second-hand bags In the post-war era the cities grew and living conditions improved. Many moved into the new houses called “rintamamiestalo” - modern detached houses built after the war for the families of soldiers who fought in the battlefront - and started a family. New trends came from around [...]
12. The 1960’s
1960’s, the mechanization of the Brunberg factory In the 1960’s, major changes took place in the Finnish society. People migrated from countryside to cities, standard of living improved and consumption grew, even though non-essential products were avoided – the hard years were still vivid in people’s memory. Factories were mechanized and production was made more [...]
13. The 1970’s
The 1970’s, the decade of sweets A well-known Finnish singer, the avant-garde A.M. Numminen, sang in the 1970’s something like: “Eat sweets only on Saturday Sweet Day, never on any other day”. The Finnish people were crazy about sweets and consumption increased to almost seven kilos per year and per person. The 1970’s was the [...]
14. The 1980’s
The 1980’s: inauguration of new premises for Brunberg In the 80’s the Brunberg production grew to previously unknown heights. In the 50’s a production of barely 150 tons was reached, in the 60’s almost 250 tons and in the 70’s 600 tons – now the factory reached a production of 1 200 tons. The volume had [...]
15. The 1990’s
The 1990’s: Recession and new sweets The 45-year long career of Börje Brunberg had come to an end. He had modernized the factory and multiplied production. In 1991 Börje Brunberg retired. A new managing director was appointed, Ph.D. Raimo Keskinen, who was manager of the company until 1997. Börje Brunberg had devoted his time and [...]