The chocolate masters came from the East since the chocolate-making skills of the Russian masters were at the time highly valued, as were those of the Swiss or French. Twelve women and six men worked in the factory, making chocolate products by hand. Also, the owner Karl Fazer would take part in the factory’s work every day from 6 o’clock in the morning.
The first confectionery produced at Fazer’s factory was called the “Imperial mix.” Another one among the very first products was the Kiss-Kiss caramel. It soon became sought after, and it is still for sale today. The demand for confectionery grew, the assortment and operations expanded, and in September 1897, Fazer celebrated the opening of the company’s new four-storey factory on Tehtaankatu street in Helsinki.
Fazer’s products won prizes at international exhibitions, making it possible to start exports. The first export shipment in 1889, containing so-called “Greek pastilles,” was bound for England. The company exported marmalade and chocolate confections to Scandinavia, Germany, Belgium, Holland, England, America, Africa, and Australia. The export goods were proudly marked “Made in Finland.”
Karl Fazer’s basic principle was that excellent taste and high quality determines sales. Each product needed to get a ‘dress’. Famous artists, such as Akseli Gallen-Kallela, drew pictures for the wrappings. The labels pictured great men, and the packaging was used to make statements. Jean Sibelius was congratulated on his birthday on wrapping paper, and Paavo Nurmi ran in front of the blue-cross flag on top of a tin box for pastilles.
Symbolically, blue was an important colour for Karl Fazer. To him, it represented the Finnish nature he was so fond of and, ultimately, his independent native country. The Karl Fazer Milk Chocolate, born from a gift recipe in 1922, is a cherished product and brand, always sold in its trademark blue wrapping.