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 of raw materials made life difficult.
The shortage of raw materials hit the sweets factory hard. Most of the raw materials, such as cocoa, liquorice and sugar, were import goods.
Sweets were also considered a luxury people would not spend their scant amount of money on.
At first, Brunberg-Lindfors tried to pull through by manufacturing products from available raw materials. One such product was carrot liquorice.
In the end the factory had to accept the situation. The machines were shut down and the factory grew quiet, waiting for better times to come.
One day a bomb fell on the adjacent Town Park. Splinters hit and damaged windows and walls of the wooden house – Lennart Brunberg’s family home.
The stone building was unharmed.
A fire takes Lennart Brunberg’s life
When the war was over, the machines of the factory were restarted. However, a new horrible tragedy hit the factory, this time it was a fire which took Lennart Brunberg’s life and destroyed the family’s home.
The fire supposedly started from a hot pad and spread to the office and delivery premises of the factory..
The whole town was shocked. Lennart Brunberg was a much appreciated manager of the sweets factory and a person with his heart in the right place.
The children of Lennart Brunberg and Valborg Brunberg, Börje Brunberg and Ulla Somervalli (born Brunberg) were forced to step into their father’s shoes, an almost impossible task, as the country’s economy was in a sorry state after the war, the shortage of raw materials continued, the machines were old-fashioned and the buildings in poor condition from the fire – and it was hard to get financing.
Slowly the activities of the factory started to move forward.
Börje Brunberg is appointed managing director
In the autumn of 1946, a year and a half after Lennart Brunbergs death, the factory started functioning again, little by little, along with the increasing availability of raw materials from abroad. A lot of products were, however, rationed long after the war ended.
In 1947 Börje Brunberg was appointed Managing Director.
It seemed almost a miracle that, as early as in 1949, the sweets factory managed to reach the impressive production numbers of 400 tons. During the war, people had not been able to satisfy their craving for sweets and therefore the sweets were now flying off the shelves.
The assortment was very much reduced compared to before the war. The production line included unusual products such as, for instance, chocolate powder and marmalade in a jar.
The cookbooks of hard times proved that there was always a way to satisfy the sweet tooth, however difficult the situation was.