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. The inhabitants enjoyed increased economic prosperity.
Porvoo was a small town with around 6 200 residents but it had nevertheless a bustling shipping port. The latest trends arrived: ever more cars could be seen, the women wore shorter skirts and some even wore trousers. Women’s hair was cut short and bobbed.
Radio, records and movies brought new influences. Movies were nothing new in Porvoo, but in 1919 the first real movie theater, Royal, opened with 485 seats. It was located at Rauhankatu, where the loading of the Lundi shopping center takes place today.
Three years later, the Brunberg sweets factory was to be started in the same block, but, in order not to anticipate events, we take a look at the block beside the Town Park, where a period of economic upswing was about to begin.
Truffles conquer the hearts of the residents of Porvoo
The Lindfors sweets factory had grown into the second biggest in the town and had, up to then, produced mainly candies and marmalade. Now chocolate was added to the selection, which required better know-how and bigger investments in machines. For Christmas, thousands of kilos of the new delicacy, confectionary, or truffle, were hand wrapped in Porvoo. Read more about the history of chocolate.
For the Lindfors family, and for all Finnish people, the success of Adolf Lindfors in the Olympic Games in Antwerp was a wonderful achievement. The baker, who used to lift sacks of flour, won the Olympic gold medal in wrestling.
In the 1920’s the sweets factory started its nationwide marketing and expanded its customer base with the help of traveling salesman Nestor Häll, who actively sold Brunberg sweets in southern Finland as late as in the 1960’s.
Lennart Brunberg makes his dream come true
During 15 years, the factory boss, Lennart Brunberg, 31, had learnt a lot about how to produce sweets. At last he made his dream come true.
Lennart Brunberg worked on several profitability calculations and waited for favorable times before acting.
The Brunberg Sweets Factory was established in 1922. It was located at Puistokatu, today the Lundi shopping center, a perfect, bustling location adjacent to the market square.
Within three years, Lennart Brunberg had purposefully increased his production to be almost of the same size as that of Lindfors. The factory was a success and had to move to bigger premises.
The new address was Papinkatu 17, the house that was said to be the most beautiful building in Porvoo, Villa Borg.
The factory became a serious competitor to Lennart’s previous employer, Lindfors, whose production had decreased in 1923.
In 1926 the state of Finland had started to excise sweets producers, with the result that prices grew, followed by a subsequent decrease in the production of both manufacturers.
Lindfors sweets factory is acquired by Brunberg
The Brunberg sweets factory enjoyed a good reputation and in 1927 the production had surpassed that of Lindfors sweets factory.
Ivar Lindfors lived in Helsinki and was focused on his various activities and businesses and needed money.
In 1928 Ivar Lindfors sold his 31-year old sweets factory to Lennart Brunberg.
Oy Brunberg – Lindfors Ab was established.
Brunberg’s activities were transferred from Papinkatu to the factory at Raatihuoneenkatu, which means that Lennart Brunberg returned to his former place of work.
The following year Brunberg acquired the machines and rights to all trademarks of Helsinki based Mella Oy.
Mechanization of the production was introduced, but almost all work was still made by hand. In 1928 the selection included an assortment of candies, such as the “onion candies” with wrapping twisted in the form of an onion. For festivities special sweets were produced, such as Christmas, Wedding and Funeral sweets. Chocolate bars were also included in the selection.
The future did not look as bright as Lennart had hoped. Finland sank into deep recession and the consumption of sweets fell to half of what it had been. The production of Brunberg did not, however, sink that low, but the liabilities from the acquisitions were a heavy burden.