Soemods Candies History
Back in the old days, there was only one way to produce candies. The method implies in boiling the crystal sugar to 180 degree Celsius where after, on the production table, from the liquid sugar mass, they would produce the finished product. All was done by hand. Later on modern factories, different kind of sugar substitutes were added, for example glucose, which makes it possible to mass produce the candies on machines and keep the cost down.
Sømod’s Candies have, as the only company in the world, preserved the ole fabrication method, why the candies here are still produced as they were over 100 years ago. Back then they did not produce as many different kinds as we do today (74 different kinds today), but we still produce the original.
The traditions and principles at Sømod’s Candies were established in 1891 on the second floor in Nørregade 49, but not before 1920 did it get the name Sømod. The founder of the candy factory, Mr. Hansen, was not blessed with sons to take over the business after himself. For that reason was the company bestowed to a son of his childhood friend, Martin Søemod. Martin Søemod had three sons, where two of the already was allocated into fine companies. One of them was to take over Martin Søemod’s own legacy, a wild, meat and poultry slaughter house which had been honored by Appointment to The Royal Danish Court. The third son, Theodor Søemod, was granted the candy factory and it got the name Søemod’s Bolcher or Sømod’s Candies. In 1932 did the candy factory move to its current location, across the street to Nørregade 36, where is now stretches over 319 square meters. In 1982 was the candy factory passed on to the next generation, where Martin Søemod became the daily manager, supported by his wife Gemma Søemod. In 1985 did Michael Søemod step in as part of the production, for hereby preparing for a future generation shift. In the year of the factory’s 100 anniversary, Sømod’s Candies was honored by Appointment to The Royal Danish Court. Today is the fourth generation Søemod, fifth generation drops boiler, Mike Søemod and Camilla Søemod involved in the noble candy production, which secures that people in the future still will be able to buy the real Sømod’s Candies in Nørregade.
Back then was it a sensation on its own to get crystal sugar and everything was delivered by horse and carriage. Sømod’s own horse was housed in the court and as it offers a real candy horse, did it refuse to work before it had received its morning candy.
Under the Second World War, where there were restrictions on food and sweets, was the sugar rationing stamps saved for a special purpose. When the rumour ran, in the streets of Copenhagen that a new batch of sugar had arrived at Sømod’s, people would throng together on Nørregade to get their share of the sweets.
In a factory where time seems to be standing still little changes has happened over time. The production has expanded from 27 tons a year to the current 50 tons a year. The stove where the sugar mass is boiled on is still the original, but it has been rebuilt from coal to gas. Theodor came with the idea of an electrical fan, so the candies cool down faster and also a small heater so it was possible to extend the work time with approximately 10 minutes. Little daily remedies have furthermore been introduced to ease the workload for the employees. The drop boilers have a cart to transport the 27 kg heavy copper pot from the stove the production table. And the ladies in the store has a machine to close the bags, so they do not need to manually close all the bags the are weighed every day.
The largest change is the packaging and the necessity in air-conditioning. Not further back than the 1950’s was the candies wrapped in traditional paper cone. Climate changes have however meant that it is not longer possible to use paper cones since they are not air sealed and the candies get sticky. Equivalent is it necessary with air-conditioning during the production, to prevent the candies from getting sticky from the moisture in the air.
Despite these developments, is the candies still being produced with hand power and with the original tools dating back more than 100 years. The raw materials are also like back in 1891, all natural flavors and colors and no preservatives. The only development introduced that is breaking with the old production method and recipes are the introduction of sugar free candies, where the crystal sugar is replaced with Actilight.
Sømod’s Candies is like a historical time capsule, which gives a unique image of Copenhagen’s history and traditions.
The video is made by Christian Sundsdal and shows how the candies are made.