We go inside FAZER and I turn to see Charlie, the poor child in the movie “The Chocolate Factory”. We sit out on the veranda. It is a little cold, but fortunately there are “mushrooms” to heat the air. I take a cup of coffee with a chocolate hazelnut. While the coffee allows me to regain consciousness, I discover the history about the life of “Finnish Willy Wonka ” , alias Karl Fazer.
The history of Fazer’s confectionery traditions has it origin in the 19th century in Europe, more than a century ago. At that time, the best chocolate was made in Switzerland, Russia and France. Because of this, Karl Fazer went to Switzerland to learn the secrets from the masters of that time. Then he did the same in St. Petersburg, Berlin, and Paris. The opening of the Franco-Russian chocolate factory in Helsinki in 1891 was the realization of his dreams.
Today, Fazer is a creator and developer of innovative products and new concepts. In the confectionery industry, it is the leading company in Finland and in the Baltic Sea region. His products are elaborated in three towns located in Finland: Vantaa, Lappeenranta and Karkkila.
The Chocolate Factory is currently in Vantaa and the most important brand of chocolate is Fazer Blue milk chocolate. His original secret recipe was created in 1922, when milk chocolate was launched in the famous blue box. Apart from chocolate, he also produces candy. Later he had the brand Marianne, launched in 1949. This product combines the Russian confectionery tradition with a French flavor of mint.
The oldest product was launched in 1895 and is still on the market is the candy, Pihlaja. The product started being produced only four years after Karl Fazer opened the chocolate. It is believed that the recipe comes from Russia and Karl Fazer brought it with him when he returned to Finland after his years of study.
Before leaving the “Chocolate Factory”, I take pictures of the refrigerators filled with chocolate cakes, boxes of chocolates placed in order to create a Christmas tree, and the smiling girls who are decorating chocolates behind the counter. In order to justify the picture, I let them know that I am a journalist who wants to write an article about Fazer. As soon as they hear the word journalist, I am offered the latest chocolates: liqueur of Bayles, Margarita, Mohito … After this morning, I look like an alcoholic rather than a journalist!
I suggest that you try the “Gourmet Karl Nordic”; it has the flavor of the Nordic fruits –(cranberries, blueberries, raspberries and currants ) with equatorial grown cocoa. You should also taste marzipan, nuts, and their amazing classic caramel. While the chocolate is gently melting in my mouth, I said to myself … I LOVE MY JOB!